Knights Aim to Stay Undefeated in Evansville

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The UCF men's basketball team couldn't have asked for a better start to the 2021-22 season as the Knights currently hold a perfect, 3-0 record headed into the latter weeks of November. They'll look to keep that undefeated record intact over the weekend as they travel to Evansville, Indiana for a game with the Purple Aces on Saturday, Nov. 20.
The game is set to tip off at 2 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on ESPN+.
The Knights haven't put together a 3-0 start since 2017-18, when they opened played with four straight wins before going on to post a 19-13 overall record.
If UCF wins at Evansville on Saturday, it will be just the second time the Knights have opened a season 4-0 under Dawkins, and it will mark just the third time in the last decade and a half that it has happened (2010-11, 2017-18).
On the other side of the ball, Evansville is off to a 2-2 start to the 2021-22 campaign. They dropped their season opener. 65-43, to fellow AAC program Cincinnati, but the Purple Aces are fresh off a 69-58 win over Depauw.
Todd Lickliter is in his third season at the helm of Evansville. He is 11-31 all-time as the Purple Aces' head coach after leading his team to a 9-16 record in 2020-21. Saturday's game will mark the first meeting between UCF and Evansville.
Game Information
Date: Saturday, Nov. 20
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Radio: Not available
SOLID START             

  • The UCF men's basketball team opened the season with a 69-59 win over Robert Morris on Nov. 10 in front of 4,869 fans at Addition Financial Arena.
  • UCF wasted no time establishing itself in the win over the Colonials—allowing the first basket of the night to Robert Morris and then going on a 14-2 run while hitting four of its first six three-point attempts (two each by Darius Perry and Darin Green Jr.).
  • UCF followed up its stellar opening Knight victory with a 95-89 road win at Miami on Nov. 13, putting them at 2-0 to start the year for the first time since 2017-18.
  • The Knights moved to 3-0 to start the year after fending off in-state foes Jacksonville, 63-54, in front of their home crowd in Orlando.
  • Not much about UCF's victory over the Dolphins was easy. The Knights were outshot from the floor overall and from three-point range—and found themselves outrebounded 36-22. But 24 Jacksonville turnovers (to only eight for UCF), and a late 12-0 UCF run helped the Knights pull off the home win.
  • The Knights have outscored opponents, 227-202, to open the season.
  • UCF has hit 82.0 percent of its free throw opportunities, which leads the conference and is 12th in the nation to open the year.
  • UCF is also ranked third in The American field goal percentage with a 45.5 clip.

GREEN IS GOOD                                                        

  • Junior guard Darin Green Jr. debuted with a solid 14 points in 2021-22, including six from beyond the arc, to open the 2021-22 season with a win over Robert Morrison Nov. 10.
  • He followed up the solid opening game with a team-high 23-point effort in UCF's 95-89 win at Miami on Nov. 13, and another team-high 11 points in the Knight's 63-54 win over Jacksonville.
  • Green is averaging 16 ppg to open the season and is 9-for-19 (.474) on three-point tries through the team's first three games.
  • Green was solid in year two for the Knights during the 2020-21 season, averaging 11.3 points per game, which ranked 17th in the conference and third on the team.
  • The Charlotte, North Carolina product also led the Knights with 53 made 3-pointers in 2020-21 and ranked seventh in the league with 2.3 made threes per game.  
  • Green was also monumental in UCF's 86-74 win over then 15th-rated Florida State last season as he knocked down six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 20 points against the Seminoles.
  • In his freshman season in 2020-21, Green set a UCF freshman record with 68 made 3-pointers
  • He led The American with 41.7 percent shooting from 3-point range and 2.3 threes made per game.

DAWKINS ERA AT UCF                                            

  • Johnny Dawkins has made an immedate impact as head coach for the UCF men's basketball team, winning 94 games in five years at the helm.
  • Dawkins is 94-60 since starting with the Knights in 2016, a win percentage of .610, the second best of any UCF coach (Torchy Clark, .754 from 1969-83).
  • He has the third most wins over any UCF coach, trailing Clark's 274 and Kirk Speraw's 247 from 1993-2010.
  • Dawkins has led UCF to its first NIT Final Four (2017), first at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament (2019) and first NCAA Tournament win (2019).
  • Prior to Dawkins' arrival at UCF, the program had won three games against ranked opponents from 1984-2016. Since Dawkins has taken over, the Knights have won five games against ranked opponents.
  • UCF had never won two games against ranked teams in a single season, and the Knights did it in a span of five days, taking down no. 6 Houston and no. 19 Cincinnati late in the 2018-19 season.
  • UCF is now 8-49 all-time against ranked opponents, but 5-15 against ranked teams under Dawkins.

WHO IS BACK?                                 

CHALLENGING NON-CONFERENCE SLATE                                               

  • Highlighted by home games against Michigan and Oklahoma, as well as matchups against Florida State, Miami, and Auburn away from home, UCF will play 11 non-conference games in total to open the year.
  • Three of the Knights' 11 non-conference opponents are ranked in the AP Top 25 preseason poll in No. 6 Michigan, No. 20 Florida State and No. 22 Auburn.
  • The Knights defeated then No. 15 Florida State at their place, 86-74, last season and took down Auburn, 63-55, to open the 2020-21 season at home.
  • Home games at Addition Financial Arena will return to 100% capacity for the 2021-22 season.

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