ORLANDO, Fla. – The (1-0) UCF Knights take the floor again tomorrow night, taking on Gardner-Webb (0-2) at 7:00 P.M at CFE arena. They will be without two of their big-time players.
B.J. Taylor fractured a bone in his foot during the home opener last Friday night. Coach Dawkins said we can expect B.J. Taylor to be out 4-6 weeks. Taylor, a redshirt Junior, is the returning starting point guard and last year’s scoring leader.
“I was raised that nobody is going to have a pity party for you, you can’t sit around a feel bad for yourself,” B.J. Taylor talked about how he can still help the team win. “I see a lot of stuff while sitting out, I can still help them in that way.”
Replacing B.J. Taylor in the starting line-up will be Terrell Allen. Allen played 21 minutes Friday night, and finished with 6 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Terrell Allen is your fathers point guard, he distributes the ball nicely, and makes his teammates better.
“I need Terrell to step up, he is a pure point guard, it’s an opportunity for him to assume that role,” Dawson said on Terrell starting. “I need him to lead, B.J. was our captain our leader, Terrell is going to have to step into that role, be more assertive and look to run our team.”
Expect UCF’s new weapons on the wings to replace much of B.J.’s scoring. Ceasar DeJesus and Dayon Griffin both seem to be capable scorers, each finishing with 16 points in their first game.
Tacko Fall will most likely be out tomorrow night as well. Tacko Fall didn’t play Friday night because of a sore hip, and its unclear when he will return. Coach Dawkins said the injury was day to day, claiming the injury was nothing too serious.
“Tacko is doing well, you see he is out there (practicing),” Dawkins said. “His return will be in the near future.”
Rokas Ulvydas will start at the five with Tacko out. Expect UCF to play small for quite a few minutes with Tacko out. They will replace Tacko’s rim protection with speed, AJ Davis will play a lot of key minutes at the 5. They will lose rim protection, but their spacing on offense will be improved, along with their quickness getting up the floor. It’s not ideal, but they have the roster to adjust to this style of play.
“It’s something we have to go through, we can be better from this, based on how we preform and how guys step up,” Dawkins said before practice Tuesday. “If that happens we can become an improved team.”.
Luckily these injuries are nothing too serious, and shouldn’t have a lasting impact on their season. They don’t leave the state of Florida until December 3rd. The only time they will be living Orlando is to play in the AdvoCare Invitational, in Lake Buena Vista. B.J Taylor is scheduled to return before UCF opens conference play. You never want guys to get injured, but these injuries are hitting UCF at an optimal time.
UCF takes on Gardner-Webb tomorrow, who is 0-2 on this young season. They shouldn’t be taken lightly; their 2 losses came to Miami and University of Florida, who were both highly regarded going into this season.