GREENVILLE, N.C. - After being whipped by USF in the last contest, not many people were excited about UCF’s Men’s Basketball team. After going down by 20 against East Carolina, that sentiment grew much louder. Then it happened.
The Knights found a rhythm and they mounted a comeback. The outlook went from ugly to beautiful, as the following tweet suggests:
Some form of energy, a spark. Whatever one wants to call it. Sometimes a player gets rolling the rest of follows. For UCF Men’s hoops, that would be freshman guard Darius Johnson, who came off the bench to really play some good basketball. He posted a career high 16 points and helped the comeback bid take place.
Going 4/6 from deep, Johnson was one of six Knights to knock down a three-point shot on the evening. The overall total of 15/30 from behind the arc is truly amazing. Anytime the UCF Men’s Basektball team or any other team shoots a grand total like that, it deserves kudos.
Also coming off the bench to play good basketball would be C.J. Walker. His stat line of nine points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal shows how he can contribute in many different ways.
Here are some other notes about last night’s stunning comeback victory for UCF.
**Brandon Mahan knocked down 19 points between the second half and overtime. That’s correct, 19 points in just over a half of basketball. When this young man gets hot, he’s on fire. Mahan has struggled to escape nagging injuries for over a year, but he’s really been playing well.
**After a poor rebounding performance against USF, the UCF rebounding situation improved quite a bit. East Carolina still came out on top 35-32, but it’s a step in the right direction.
**Darin Green, Jr. is in a shooting slump. He struggled against USF by going 1/8 from the floor, and he was just 2/9 against East Carolina. Therein lies the beauty of team basketball. He was not nearly at his best, yet Green’s teammates picked him up. When a great shooter struggles, it’s rare for a team to suddenly go “bombs away” like UCF did. Again, 15/30! That’s incredible shooting as a team.
**One of the reasons that UCF did so well from three-land would be the passing ability of the team. Eight Knights produced at least one assist, with Darius Perry leading the way with eight. For the game, Perry is also the MVP. He dropped 19 points and added four steals and four rebounds to his assist total.
**Last point, this team can now decide to be really good and buy into each other, or just be the up-and-down UCF team that’s been prevalent for much of the 2021-2022 season. There’s a bunch of talent on this UCF Men’s Basketball team. Green will come out of his slump; that’s inevitable. Adding Johnson to the rotation of players that can knock down shots and make clutch plays gives the Knights yet another player to rely on. Will the Knights take that next step and make some noise down the stretch of the regular season and into the NCAA Tournament?