Monday, May 20, 2024

Naples & Florida News

Clean Water Rights in...

Experts forecast that one other significant algae bloom could end in billions of...

The Emergence of an...

Sightings of Peter’s rock agamas have increased on Sanibel and Captiva since Hurricane...

Soul cleansing – Naples...

How much wine did the famous Spanish painter Pablo Picasso should drink to...

“Punting in Emergencies”

I used to be having coffee the opposite day with a young guy,...
HomeSportsUCF men's basketball...

UCF men’s basketball fully geared up for intense debut Big 12 season with no breaks

ORLANDO — Johnny Dawkins embraces the “exciting times” surrounding UCF’s impending inaugural Big 12 men’s basketball campaign. Nonetheless, the recent National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame inductee is keenly aware of the challenges that lie ahead for the Knights in entering certainly one of the game’s premier conferences.

“How would I characterize the Big 12? The numbers speak for themselves,” Dawkins said, referring to a league that has produced two national champions (Kansas and Baylor) and a runner-up (Texas Tech) within the last 4 seasons alone. “It has been an exceptional conference.

“I do know what to anticipate. There can be no nights off. Each team that you simply play goes to be a team able to beating you. There are not any easy games. And that is great. If you wish to compete, what would you reasonably do? Would you reasonably be in that sort of environment, or a sort of environment where our guys can take nights off and perhaps not be as sharp. If we do this within the Big 12, that is a recipe for disaster.”

UCF football loses to Kansas:3 takeaways as Knights fall to 0-3 in Big 12 before bye week, Oklahoma trip

Given the high degree of roster turnover, the standard of opponents, and its relative struggles within the mid-major American Athletic Conference, little can be expected of UCF in its first foray through the league. The Big 12’s preseason poll is as a consequence of be released in the approaching days, and the Knights are more likely to sit last among the many 14 teams.

“In the event that they have us at the underside, the one way we will go is up,” junior guard Jaylin Sellers, a transfer from Ball State, said. “I’m very confident on this team and the way we play. I’m willing to place us against anybody — anybody in our conference, anybody on our schedule. If we go on the market and play as hard as we will, we’re going to return out with the win. We now have no fear of anyone. We’re thankful for the chance to affix the Big 12. It will be fun, each night.”

Central Florida head coach Johnny Dawkins watches his team during the first half against Oregon in the second round of the NIT Sunday, March 19, 2023, in Eugene.

Shemarri Allen, a fellow newcomer from UMKC, added: “We see it, we hear it, we definitely keep it at the back of our heads. But we do not let it distract us. We just concentrate on what we have in front of us, practice every single day. Convalescing is the primary thing, after which all the opposite stuff will handle itself at the tip of the day.”

UCF posted a 19-15 record through the 2022-23 season, including an 8-10 mark in AAC play. The Knights, led by No. 9 overall NBA draft pick Taylor Hendricks, impressed through December with Power Five victories over Florida State, Oklahoma State, and Ole Miss and two-point losses to eventual Final 4 qualifier Miami and Missouri.

A five-game losing streak from mid-January through the start of February sunk the Knights’ at-large hopes, they usually were eliminated within the second round of the AAC tournament by Memphis. UCF advanced to the second round of the NIT, defeating Florida before being bounced by Oregon.

Only 4 players that suited up for the Knights last season return, most notably junior guard Darius Johnson and fifth-year senior forward C.J. Walker, limited to 4 games last yr as a consequence of a leg injury.

Jaylin Sellers is one of 10 new players for UCF this season. He earned All-MAC third team honors at Ball State last year.

Dawkins patched many of the holes with experienced athletes out of the transfer portal. Central Florida natives Antwann Jones and Omar Payne have suited up for 3 previous teams apiece, while 7-footer Ibrahima Diallo made prior stops at San Jose State and Ohio State. Sellers and Allen were all-conference selections last yr for his or her respective schools, and DeMarr Langford Jr. made 45 starts over the past two seasons for Boston College.

Advertisementspot_img

Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of the 12-Team College Football Playoff for Tennessee, Florida, and LSU | Toppmeyer

Seeing a rival win the national championship was nauseating enough. Seeing 4 rivals make the expanded College Football Playoff can be worse. ...

Donald Trump getting ready to fight back against jury decision in hush money case

DALLAS – Facing per week by which a Latest York jury could resolve his legal fate, former President Donald Trump is busy lobbying voters to stick to him regardless of what the justice system does. "That is their type...

Exclusive Deals on Naples Daily News Subscriptions

Get unlimited access with a subscription What's included ...