Men’s basketball looks to change the narrative

Coach McCullum paired alongside Shannon Grant and Alvin Tumblin during SWAC Media Day.
Photo Courtesy: @theswac on instagram

The past few seasons have been very underwhelming from the Florida A&M University men’s basketball team. Though FAMU is deemed a “football school,” basketball players are trying to change the narrative and even the playing field.

True freshmen Colin McAllister spoke about the mindset of the Rattlers going into this season, after having a down year.

“The mindset is to win. We take one day at a time, but the ultimate goal is to win a championship,” said McAllister.

Head Coach Robert McCullum has been under scrutiny following the 2022-23 season, in which the Rattlers finished with a record 7-22 overall and 5-13 in conference play.

However, during McCullum’s tenure as head coach, he led the Rattlers to four straight winning conference records from 2019 to 2022. And in the first year after switching conferences, McCullum led the Rattlers to a positive conference record and a seven-game win streak, which was their longest win streak since 2007.

The Rattlers are in a new position to be better after reloading the roster with transfers and true freshmen.

The team’s new look comes with the addition of Love Bettis, a 5’10 guard who transferred in from North Carolina A&T and is a 40 percent three-point shooter. The team also added 6’10 forward Shannon Grant, a transfer from Mercer University.  The Rattlers are also bringing in a freshmen guard from Tallahassee, Colin McAllister. The Rattlers are trying to improve as point Guard play was inconsistent last season, hoping McAllister can contribute early in his collegiate career.

McAllister spoke about what he hopes to bring to the Rattlers in his first season.

“I’m hoping to bring anything I can to my team, defense, shooting, whatever the staff wants me to do, I’ll execute it,” McAllister said.

The Rattlers have a tough schedule to begin the season, as the team faces a few Power-5 schools such as Creighton University. The Rattlers are also lined up to play tough road games against Florida University, the University of Central Florida, and Iowa State.

The non-conference schedule is just one task, the other is the conference schedule. The Rattlers look to get back on track with being competitive in the conference after having a down year last year.

Forward Shannon Grant spoke on the expectations that the rattlers have put on themselves.

“Our expectations are to win as many games possible & pack the gym out with students & the community,” Grant said.