The UCF Knights Men’s Basketball team resume conference play tomorrow at home versus a stuttering Temple Owls team, which are looking to get its conference form trending in the right direction.
The Owls are currently winless in the American Athletic Conference with a record of 0-2, but that doesn’t mean this will be an easy victory for the Knights, that are currently 2-1 in conference play. Temple has an experienced program and have the talent to pose a threat to the Knights.
“They (Temple) had a great preseason and they are a very good team, and of course they are experienced,” head coach Johnny Dawkins said. “We need to be true to who we are, we ant to defend hard, we want to try and identify their personnel, their best shooters and best scorers and make sure we give them a great focus.”
One matchup to pay attention to is versatile UCF guard/forward A.J. Davis and Temple’s top scorer Quinton Rose. Rose is averaging 15.4 points-per-game on 47 percent shooting and is also 41 percent from three-point range. Davis will need to use his veteran savvy to curtail Rose’s scoring efforts.
“He (Rose) is a great player, especially for such a young guy. He is only a sophomore and for him to grow so much from his freshman to sophomore year, I look at him as the bets player on their team because he can do so many different things. He can shoot the ball, he can dribble, he’s super-athletic, great on defense, he rebounds,” Davis said. “With me doing the same kind of stuff hopefully I can take away some of the stuff that he does.”
Head coach Dawkins echoed his players sentiments about Rose, and knows his team must be aware of his talents.
“He is a terrific player. He is versatile, long, he can shoot on the perimeter, he can score around the basket and is one of the best players in our conference,” Dawkins said.
Fifty-five percent of Temple’s scoring comes from just three players, but this is not expected to change the way the UCF plays.
“We come out, play our defense, like coach Dawkins for us every day at practice. We come out there and do the same thing every game. We hang our hats on defense and that what we plan to do on Sunday,” UCF guard Terrell Allen said.
B.J. Taylor was also spotted at practice, working on his shooting and footwork while recovering from a foot fracture.
The tip-off is at 12p.m. on Sunday, January 7 at the CFE Arena.