The UCF Knights Men’s Basketball team rode a balanced scoring attack, led by Brandon Mahan’s 17 points, to improve to 15-8 on the season and 7-6 in the American with a 76-67 win over Tulsa on Valentine’s Day at Addition Financial Arena.
Here are my three takeaways on the Knights’ win.
1. Brandon Mahan & Darius Perry Being Efficient Is Good for UCF’s Offense
Mahan and Perry combined for 31 points on 10/14 from the field, including 7/10 from the 3-point line. As Mahan and Perry usually go, so goes UCF’s offense. Tonight was good night as the Knights shot 50% from the field and 10/23 from the 3-point line.
UCF is 6-0 this season when shooting 50% or better from the field this season, and just 9-8 when they do not.
2. UCF Took Advantage of Tulsa’s Turnovers
The Knights’ defense forced 18 turnovers, which is 6 more than Tulsa averaged giving up on the season coming into the game. UCF turned the 18 turnovers into 26 points.
Perry had 5 of the Knights’ 10 steals to lead an active defense.
3. Darius Johnson Continues to Impress
Darius Johnson had another solid game, with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals in 28 minutes. The Knights are now 5-1 in games where Johnson starts. I can see why Johnson has been compared to B.J. Taylor.
Speaking of B.J. ...
OT: B.J. Taylor Has a Future in Broadcasting
Former Knight great B.J. Taylor made his ESPN+ debut Monday night as the color analyst with Austin Lyon. Taylor was fantastic as he had great energy and knowledge of the game and what was going on the court. I enjoyed listening to him.
Taylor is a natural for this and likely will get more opportunities down the road. This continues the tradition of UCF Basketball alums being on-air contributors to College Basketball, with Mike O’Donnell doing games for ESPN+ and CBS Sports Network as well as Taylor Young being the radio analyst with Marc Daniels for over a decade. Ben Stout has also filled in on ESPN+ and has also done color for College Basketball tournaments in the region. Now, you can add Taylor, who is a natural for this profession.