UCF men’s basketball are officially back and ready to get back on the hardwood and officially start the season.
There is a lot of hype around this team after having an incredible that no one saw coming. They finished fourth in the American conference and went all the way to the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden in New York City. All while they previously projected to finish 8th in the Conference last season.
Now, they are projected in the Coaches Poll to finish 3rd this year. But, the Knights have way loftier expectations than that.
“Everybody is expecting us… oh we want to get to the tournament, but we know we’re going to get to the tournament,” UCF Redshirt Junior Dayon Griffin said. “We want to get to the championship. The way we work, we work so hard that it’s like, getting to the tournament and losing right away would still be like a good year. But we want to go all the way.”
Now going for a championship, that’s bold, but anything can happen when tourney play begins. The Knights are expected to be a better team just based on what the Knights were able to add to their rotation.
Last year, the depth for the Knights wasn’t there mainly to the NCAA transfer rules. This year, however, the story is different.
Transfers Terrell Allen, Griffin, Rokas Ulvydas and Aubrey Dawkins are all coming in ready to get back on the floor and go up against other competition after sitting out for a season.
UCF is also getting back Chance McSpadden from an ACL injury that will certainly give the Knights a boost coming off the bench. They will also get production from Ceasar Dejesus who was red-shirted last season.
Now the Knights will have a deep bench and can do more things like playing a faster pace, and they are getting back Tacko Fall who has expectations for this season as well.
“We’re definitely going to make it to the NCAA Tournament,” Fall said. “That’s our goal. Like I said, we’re always trying to take it game by game like we did last year. That’s how we got so far last year. We just need to use that coming into this season.”
They are also getting back BJ Taylor who was their best player last year and won them multiple games on his own last year.
With all of the additions and expectations that both the media and even the team are putting on themselves, the Knights are ready for this upcoming season that hasn’t been this much anticipation in years.
The season starts on Nov. 10 when they go up against Mercer. The game will be played at the CFE arena with a tip-off time at 8:00 p.m.