UCF Kicks Off AAC Play at Temple

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PHILADELPHIA – Off to a 6-2 start to open the season, UCF men's hoops will look to keep the momentum rolling as the team opens American Athletic Conference play with a trip to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night showdown at Temple (6-4).

The game, which is set to tip at 7:00 p.m., will air on ESPN2 and Marc Daniels will be on the call on FM 96.9 The Game.
The Knights dropped their only matchup against the Owls last season, falling 62-55, on Jan. 14. Darius Perry sat out the loss due to COVID protocols. The Owls hold the all-time series lead, 9-6.
The city of brotherly love has historically proven to be a difficult place to play for UCF as the Knights are 1-6 all-time in Philadelphia, with their lone win coming on Feb. 22, 2017 (71-69). But UCF will catch the Owls at an oppurtune time as the Knights are on a two-game winning streak and have won 11 of their last 14 games dating back to last season.
Temple, meanwhile, will look to bounce back from their last game where they fell to Saint Josephs, 68-49. The Owls are led by head coach Aaron McKie, who has led his team to a 25-32 record in his three years as head coach.
With star guard Khalif Battle sidelined due to injury, the Owls are paced by redshirt freshman Damian Dunn, who is averaging 13.5 points per game on 39.8 percent shooting.
Game Information
Date: Wednesday, Dec. 15
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game
Ready for AAC Action     

  • The Knights' league opener against Temple on Dec. 15 marks the earliest UCF has kicked off conference play since joining The American (2013-14).
  • UCF went 8-10 against AAC opponents in 2020-21 before the Knights' season came to a close in the quarterfinals of the conference championship (vs Memphis, 70-62).
  • The Knights checked in at fifth overall in the annual American Athletic Conference men's basketball preseason poll on Oct. 13.
  • UCF fifth-year senior Brandon Mahan was selected preseason second-team all-conference in the same release.
  • The Knights totaled 66 points in the poll, placing them just ahead of Cincinnati in sixth (52) and just behind Wichita State in fourth (76).
  • UCF dropped their lone contest to Temple last season, 62-55, in Philadelphia.


  • Johnny Dawkins picked up career win No. 100 in the Knights' most recent win over N.C. A&T on Dec. 11, becoming just the third coach in UCF history to reach the milestone.
  • Dawkins is 100-62 since starting with the Knights in 2016, a win percentage of .617, the second best of any UCF coach (Torchy Clark, .754 from 1969-83).
  • He has the third most wins over any UCF coach, trailing only Clark's 274 and Kirk Speraw's 247 from 1993-2010.
  • Dawkins is the fastest coach to reach 100 wins in program history in the Division I era, needing only 162 games to do so.
  • Dawkins had his squad off to a 4-0 start to begin the 2021-22 season, tying his 2017-18 mark for his best start to a season at UCF.
  • 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 8-50 all-time against ranked opponents, but 5-16 against ranked teams under Dawkins.

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 followed up its stellar opening Knight victory with wins over Miami and Evansville on the road and a victory over Jacksonville in front of its home crowd in Orlando.
  • As a team, the Knights led The American with a 81.9 percent free throw percentage and were third in the conference with a 46.1 percent field goal percentage through their first five games.
  • The Knights were also top three in The American with 14.6 assists per game over that stretch.
  • Following a strong undefeated start to the season, the Knights were receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll on Nov. 22.
  • The Knights' appearance in the poll marked their first since Dec. 28, 2020 and their 20th under head coach Johnny Dawkins (2016-present).
  • Before falling to Oklahoma on Nov. 27, UCF's 4-0 start marked their seventh best in program history [2010-11 (14-0), 2006-07 (6-0), 1993-94 (5-0), 1981-82 (5-0), 1979-80 (15-0) and 1969-70 (8-0)].


  • As a team, UCF has knocked down 78.4 percent of its free throw opportunities through the first eight games of the season, which leads the conference and is 21st in the nation as of Dec. 14.
  • The Knights' current single-season record for highest field goal percentage is 76.1 percent (1975-76).
  • Fifth year senior Brandon Mahan has not missed a free throw dating back to 02/01/21 at Memphis (last 18 games).
  • Mahan is a perfect 38-for-38 in free throw attempts over that stretch.
  • Mahan is currently UCF's all-time free throw percentage leader at 86.2 percent over his career.
  • Six Knights are shooting 75.0 percent or better from the line as of Dec. 14 (min. eight attempts).

GREEN IS GOOD                                                        

  • Junior Darin Green Jr. has made a big leap forward in year three with the Knights as he leads the team with 15.8 points per game to open the season, ranking first on the team and eighth in the conferece
  • Green has led UCF in points in six out of its first eight games to open play, with double-digit points in all but one game.
  • He was named to the American Athletic Conference honor roll on 11/15 and 12/13
  • Green ranks second in The American with 3.12 threes per game and a 42.4 percent mark on shots beyond the arc
  • He has posted two games with five made threes to open the season (11/27 vs Oklahoma & 11/13 at Miami).
  • Green posted a team-high 23-point effort in UCF's 95-89 win at Miami on Nov. 13.
  • 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.

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