The chief reason why it was so important for the UCF men’s basketball team to fulfill its lofty expectations this past season was because everyone knew this was its final chance to really accomplish something great before everything changed.
B.J. Taylor, Tacko Fall, Chad Brown, Dayon Griffin, all seniors. Redshirt junior Aubrey Dawkins was all but certain to head to the pros, which he confirmed earlier this week. That quintet contributed 70 percent of the Knights’ points, 59 percent of their rebounds and 48 percent of their assists.
And the attrition isn’t done yet.
It was reported Wednesday that point guard Terrell Allen will seek to transfer elsewhere.
UCF point guard Terrell Allen will explore a graduate transfer, source told ESPN. Started every game for UCF this season, averaged 6.7 points and 4.3 assists.— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) April 10, 2019
Shortly after that came word that forward Myles Douglas is in fact departing the program.
And these bits of news follow guard Chance McSpadden’s transfer to Stetson last week.
I will be attending Stetson University for the remainder of my college career! Big thanks to all the colleges who reached out! The future is bright! Let’s get to work #GoHatters pic.twitter.com/IY0psWlRwE— Chance McSpadden (@showoutchance) April 5, 2019
What does it all mean?
- Let’s start by saying that Allen may still be a Knight come next season. It depends on what he finds in his search as a possible graduate transfer. His intentions are unexpected and his exit would represent a significant setback for UCF’s backcourt, which is already, shall we say, light. More on that in a minute.
- Even with all of the moving parts, let’s not act like Myles Douglas moving on is a huge loss. He had a nondescript freshman year — 2.0 points and 1.1 rebounds per game across 31 contests — and then redshirted this past season when UCF’s bench was not exactly a powerhouse. Maybe it just wasn’t a good fit. Regardless, we shouldn’t assume that he or McSpadden, whose career has been beset by injuries over the past few years, would have been impact players in 2019-20.
- All of this has restoked fears that Johnny Dawkins will be coaching some other team next fall. There seemed to be legitimate reason to worry when Vanderbilt was courting him last month. And I’ve had a lot of fun with the speculation ...
... but at this juncture, there are only two high-major coaching jobs open: St. John’s and Cincinnati. Nevada’s gig was open, but it was reported this afternoon that it will be filled by former UCLA HC Steve Alford.
I will bet my first born that Dawkins won’t leave UCF for the same job at another AAC school. So, unless he really loves Queens, N.Y. ... no, no, Johnny Dawkins will remain the head coach of the Knights. At least for the upcoming season.
Dawkins has his work cut out for him, without question. The Knights return a budding star in forward Collin Smith, a couple of servicable reserve guards in Frank Bertz and Ceasar DeJesus and a ton of unknowns, Just look at the roster’s makeup if Allen does find a new home:
The current UCF MBB roster for 2019-20:— Brandon Helwig (@UCFSports) April 10, 2019
PG: Tony Johnson*
SG: Ceasar DeJesus, Frank Bertz, Dre Fuller Jr., Darin Green Jr.**
SF: Ibrahim Famouke Doumbia
Bigs: Collin Smith, Yuat Alok^, Avery Diggs*
^ Not eligible until mid-December
4 scholarships open.
The program is definitely entering a rebuilding phase. There are lean times ahead. But we all knew those times were on the horizon in the aftermath of the Aubrey Dawkins layup that just didn’t spin the right way. I think the biggest takeaway from today’s development is that if Allen does leave, those lean times will simply grow leaner and last longer.