Orlando, Fla.- The UCF Knights lost Tacko Fall for the season following Saturdays win Against USF. This is a huge loss for the Knights and will drastically affect them going forward.
“It’s always difficult losing a player like Tacko. We’ve been battling adversity throughout the season. It’s amazing, our guys have found a way to keep stepping up,” Coach Dawkins said on the mindset of the team after the loss of Tacko Fall.
The Knights Defense is expected to take the biggest hit due to the injury.
They currently rank No. 5 in opponent field goal percentage. Much of that success is due to Tacko Fall’s length. He is 7’6, when he sticks his hands up it makes shot making much more difficult.
“Everybody needs to give us a little bit more, we can’t have one guy being the hero. Chad is going be are starting center, it’s a different look for us. We will have to retool what we do,” Dawkins on the challenge of replacing Tacko Fall.
Does this mean the season is over?
Umm, No? What Knight fans need to realize is B.J. Taylor has been missing all season. He returned 2 games ago, and still getting back to full health.
“I’m just trying to get back to where I was before and do whatever I need to do to help the team,” B.J. said, downplaying his 25-point outburst versus USF on Saturday.
The offense has been killing the Knights all season. They haven’t done anything well offensively. B.J.’s return will help solve a lot of issues. He averaged over 17 points per game last year and is likely to score more efficiently this season. B.J. works very hard, and it is clear when you talk to him that he cares about this program so much.
“I am glad he is on my team,” Coach Dawkins laughed when asked what it’s like to have B.J. Back.
B.J. will do a lot more than score for this team. Much of the Knights struggles have been due to their lack of playmaking. With B.J. out, Dayon and Ceasar were asked to do too much. They are good players, but you don’t want them to have to create their own shot 12 times a game. Think about how much easier pick up basketball is when you have an elite offensive talent on your team. When you don’t have to beat your defender off the bounce every time you get the ball. B.J. Taylor is going to collapse defenses. This will help Dayon get better shots. It will also make it easier for Ceasar to blow by his defender, since they will be closing out on him instead of being on his hip.
“Without him (Tacko) it allows us to run more, it allows us to be more dynamic with the stuff we are running. Coaches have put in a lot of great stuff for us in terms of spreading the floor, and allowing us to use are speed and quickness,” B.J. Taylor said about the different style of play we can expect the rest of the season.
We can all agree that expectations should be lowered for Coach Dawkins team, but don’t give up on them. They have been crushed with injuries all year, they just got their best player back. The Conference season is still young, and this team is going to continue to compete night in and night out.
They also beat USF on Saturday!