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Did UCF Men’s Basketball Deliver on Media Day Promises Against Robert Morris?

We were promised better shot selection and fast play from Coach Dawkins and the players. Did it show Wednesday night?

Isaiah Adams throws it down against in the 69-59 win over Robert Morris
Derek Warden

Before we begin “deep diving” what took place in the UCF Knights Men’s Basketball 69-59 season-opening win over the Robert Morris Colonials, one thing should be stated off the bat — the law of “it’s just one game” applies.

Last week at Hoops Media Day, UCF Forward Isaiah Adams said that his squad would be playing fast and scrappy on defense. With nine steals and eight blocks on the night for the Knights, Adams declaration held true in shutting down the Colonials despite allowing a 7-0 run to open the second half and a 10-1 run that closed the game.

UNLV transfer Chiekh Mbacke Dijong also did his part starting at center in his UCF debut to deliver power in the paint that Knight fans have come to know and love from CJ Walker. Dijong posted five blocks with four points and seven rebounds.

That’s not to say the veteran Walker was outdone down low. Off the bench, Walker recorded 12 points and eight rebounds of his own.

UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins last week additionally expressed excitement from the mere act of having full practices and offseason workouts that weren’t canceled. At those practices, a focus for the Knights was a better shot selection.

Even with Darius Perry dropping 7-of-15 on field goals for 18 points, UCF as a team finished 44% from the field and 25% beyond the arc. Coach Dawkins confirmed that he was disappointed in the shot selection, but mentioned it may be a matter of his crew trying to find balance in playing fast and smartly finding buckets.

Perry also added to the opportunities for improvement coming out of the victory over RMU.

Any critical UCF fan is accurate to point out that the claims from media day delivered (or not) after a single contest against Robert Morris are miles from mission accomplished (or failed). And the upcoming Miami game in South Florida will certainly do plenty more to see if the Knights are the real deal this season.