Game Notes - 11 - FAMUGame Notes - 11 - FAMU

Men's Hoops Welcomes Florida A&M

by Ken Landis
UCF Game Notes

ORLANDO – The UCF men's basketball team is set for its penultimate game of the 2023 calendar year and of its seven-game homestand as the Knights welcome Florida A&M for a 7 p.m. tip on Thursday night.

Date: Thursday, Dec. 21, 2023
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Addition Financial Arena; Orlando, Fla.
TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+
Talent: Austin Lyon (PxP), Mike O'Donnell (Analyst)
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game and SiriusXM channel 387
Talent: Eric Lopez (PxP), Taylor Young (Analyst)
Live Stats: click here


  • As a team, UCF is approaching a top-10 national ranking in blocks per game, currently sitting 14th with 5.9 per game. According to KenPom, the Knights rank sixth in the nation in block percentage, which is the amount of blocked shots divided by the amount of two-point attempts an opponent takes.
  • Ibrahima Diallo is currently averaging 2.50 blocks p/game which stands as the top mark in the Big 12 and ninth nationally. He has led the Big 12 in blocks since Nov. 17 after his five block performance against Cal St. Fullerton. He has led the Knights in shots blocked in eight games thus far and has five games with three or more blocks. Diallo is ranked as KenPom’s No. 1 player in block percentage with a clip of 16.87%, nearly a whole percent higher than the next player on the list. Omar Payne has averaged 1.40 blocks per game, a mark that ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 14 total blocks.
  • Darius Johnson has been on a roll as of late, scoring a career-high 25 points on 11/20/23 against Charlotte and then matching that point total four games later against Ole Miss on 12/10/23. Johnson has averaged 17.7 points per game over the last five games. In total, he has tallied double-digit points in eight of UCF’s games so far. The junior guard is currently ranked 53rd in the nation in steals per game, averaging 2.1 steals a contest. He has at least one steal in all but one contest so far this year and has snatched three of more steals in three games.
  • UCF is 36-12 in the month of December under Johnny Dawkins, never losing more than two games in any December while he has been at the helm. Two of Dawkins’ five victories over top-25 teams at UCF have come in the month of December. The Black and Gold are 27-4 at home in December during Dawkins’ tenure. The Knights have averaged 71.8 points per game in December under Dawkins while holding foes to just 61.6 points per game, a double-digit margin of 10.2 points per contest.
  • UCF has found success against in-state opponents under head coach Johnny Dawkins, going 24-10 against teams from Florida since his arrival. The Knights opened the season with back-to-back in-state opponents, hosting FIU and winning 85-62 and traveling to No. 13 Miami with an 88-72 final in favor of the Hurricanes. In total, UCF will face six teams from the state of Florida this season. The Black and Gold have already beat Florida, Florida State, Miami, Stetson, South Florida, Jacksonville, FIU and Bethune-Cookman under Johnny Dawkins’ remarkable run through the state. FIU was added to that list this season.


  • UCF has won five of the last six meetings with Florida A&M and own an all-time series lead of 8-6.
  • This will be the first meeting since Jan. 5, 2013 when the Knights earned their largest margin of victory over the Rattlers in the sereis' history, winning 99-69.
  • This is the first time that Johnny Dawkins has faced Florida A&M as head coach of the Knights.


  • Florida A&M has begun its 2023-24 campaign with a 2-7 record with victories over Presbyterian College and LeMoyne-Owen College.
  • The Rattlers used a barrage of threes to beat LeMoyne-Owen, shooting 50% from deep in a 108-78 victory on Dec. 9.
  • Keith Lamar and Morrell Schramm combined to score 37 of Florida A&M's 58 points in Florida A&M's last time out, falling to Iowa State 96-58. The Rattlers knocked down 10 three-pointers on 27 shots in the contest and recorded assists on 70% of the team's baskets. Florida A&M outrebounded the Cyclones 36-30 in the contest.