New Florida A&M head basketball coach Robert McCullum has been busy over the last month.
McCullum, who in May was named FAMU’s head coach after a two-month search, said during his introductory press conference he planned to hit the ground running. Earlier this month, the school announced two more of his signees.
“This a good part of recruiting,” McCullum said when he was introduced as FAMU’s coach. “Knowing who you can get and who you can’t get.”
He said Florida and Georgia would be “areas of emphasis” for recruiting. Neither of the two players he recently signed are from those two states.
First, he has a transfer in Tulane forward Darian Jones. The 6-foot-9 Louisiana native played in just 10 games as a freshman for the Green Wave last season and hit one shot on three attempts.
Jones was one of three players to leave Tulane’s program in March, according to the Associated Press.
“We can play him in different positions on both ends of the court, making us much more effective offensively and defensively,” McCullum said in a statement.
McCullum also secured a letter of intent from point guard Kamron Reaves out of Champaign (Ill.) Central.
“Kamron is a point guard who thinks ‘pass first,’ understanding the importance of getting his teammates involved, where the ball should go and why,” McCullum said.
“He’s very good in transition at advancing the ball via the pass as opposed to over-dribbling. His ability to see the floor, and get the ball to open teammates sets him apart.”
The two players join three-star Godby standout Corbin Merritt, who was the first player signed by McCullum.
McCullum also confirmed three faces who won’t be back next season for the Rattlers.
Junior forward Derrick Dandridge plans to transfer, while sophomore point guard K’Ja Johnson and sophomore center Andrew Smith aren’t coming back due to academic reasons, McCullum said.
“Derrick, he and I sat down and most of it seemed to be him being disappointed or bitter about things that happened in the past,” McCullum said. “The other two are academically related.”
Dandridge averaged 7.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Rattlers. He played in all 30 of FAMU’s games this season and started 21.
Johnson started seven games for the Rattlers, but ran into academic issues midway through last season and only played in 10 total games, averaging 6.2 points per game.
Smith never played for the Rattlers. The 6-foot-10 big man transferred from Columbia State (Tenn.) Community College but sat out the 2016-17 season with an injury.
Those three players are the latest to leave FAMU’s program since the end of last season. Point guard Craig Bowman in March announced his plans to transfer.
The Rattlers finished 7-23 last season.