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FLORIDA A&M Team Report


After being led by dominant point guard Tony Tate (16.4 points per game) for the last couple of seasons, Florida A&M's strength will be on the inside this year.

The return of 6-5, 245-pound former second team All-MEAC forward Darius Glover, who took a medical redshirt last season, to a front-line that includes 6-5 jumping jack Brian Greene and 6-8 center Rome Sanders gives the Rattlers the most lethal interior attack in the league.

Akini Adkins (6-10), who became eligible last season in December, will be available all year.

Sanders led the league in field goal percentage (57.8%) while scoring 11 points and grabbing five rebounds per game. Greene (10.8 points, 6.8 rebounds), with his ability to get to the cup and finish may be the most explosive player in the league.

Glover was a double-figure scorer (11.1) and an effective inside player before getting hurt. All three are fifth-year seniors, and will be leaders. If they stay healthy, they should make Florida A&M the second-best team behind Delaware State.

The guard positions will be handled by a committee of as many as five players. Head coach Mike Gillespie will give holdover Joe Ballard a chance to take over at the point with Lamar Twitty getting a shot at the two-guard.

If they can't get the job done, two 6-foot junior-college transfers, L. C. Robinson and Ernest Maul, are waiting in the wings. Maul is a steady point guard and Robinson a deadly shooter. Gillespie is also waiting for the NCAA to clear freshman Jermonte Bush, a 5-9 high-scoring guard from Tallahassee, who originally signed with New Orleans.

With Tate at the helm, the Ratters (66.8 points per game) were the top scoring team in the conference. Someone from the backcourt will have to play more of a set-up role this season, feeding the beasts inside. It Florida A&M can get that done, it should challenge Delaware State.


SCOUTING THE NEWCOMERS: E.J. Maul averaged 21.1 points per game for Blackhawk (Ind.) JC but will play at the point for Florida A&M. L.C. Robinson averaged 13.1 points per game on a talented Highland Community College squad but is a much better scorer.

STRENGTHS: The inside play of Sanders, Glover and Greene, three players who could all challenge for MEAC honors. Sanders and Greene were named to preseason all-league teams.

WEAKNESSES: Perimeter shooting and guard play. The loss of Tony Tate leaves a big void at the guard spot. Talented but thin inside.

HEAD COACH: Mike Gillespie (career 95-220); 6th year at FAMU (69-80).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're waiting for him to be cleared by the (NCAA) Clearinghouse. I feel that he could become the newcomer of the year in this league. He's 5-9, but he is a scoring machine. If we can get him cleared, I believe he's going to have a tremendous impact on our team and this league." -- Florida A&M coach Mike Gillespie on the pending clearance of Tallahassee high schooler Jermonte Bush.


KEY EARLY-SEASON GAMES: The Rattlers open at Maryland on Nov. 12 and has a four-game Midwest swing through Miami (Ohio), Illinois, Bradley and Illinois-Chicago. Plays at defending champion Florida on Dec. 17.

PROGRAM DIRECTION: Ascending with a strong cast of senior leadership this season. Rattlers should improve on their 10-8 conference record and fifth-place finish.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUP: PG Joe Ballard, SG L. C. Robinson, C Rome Sanders, PF Darius Glover, SF Brian Greene.

ROSTER REPORT: Darius Glover broke his foot but was expected to be ready when the Rattlers open at Maryland on Nov. 12. Brian Greene, who missed 10 MEAC games last season because of a stress fracture, averaged a double-double in league games. L.C. Robinson led his junior college (Highland Community College) team to third and fifth place finishes in the last two Juco national tournaments.

Previous Report: 03/20/2006




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