Game Notes - 12 - Bethune-CookmanGame Notes - 12 - Bethune-Cookman

Men's Hoops Set for Final Non-Conference Tilt vs. Bethune-Cookman

by Ken Landis
UCF Game Notes

ORLANDO – The UCF men's basketball team is set for its final game of its seven-game homestand and non-conference slate as the Knights welcome Bethune-Cookman for a 7 p.m. tip on Friday night.

Date: Friday, Dec. 29, 2023
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Addition Financial Arena; Orlando, Fla.
TV: Big 12 Now on ESPN+
Talent: Austin Lyon (PxP), B.J. Taylor (Analyst)
Radio: FM 96.9/AM 740 The Game and SiriusXM channel 381
Talent: Marc Daniels (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 12th with 5.8 per game. According to KenPom, the Knights rank third 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 2.45 blocks p/game which stands as the top mark in the Big 12 and 12th 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 nine 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 16.19%, over a half-percent higher than the next player on the list. Omar Payne has averaged 1.36 blocks per game, a mark that ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 15 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 15.7 points per game over the last six games. In total, he has tallied double-digit points in nine of UCF’s games so far.
  • Johnson has been an offensive maestro when it comes to helping his teammates score. The junior point guard has tallied three or more assists in all but one of UCF’s games this season and tallied his 200th career assist earlier this year against Miami (11/10/23). Johnson recorded 106 of his now 235 assists last season in 25 games played, a 4.24 assist per game mark. Johnson is 33 assists away from a tie of 10th place on UCF’s career assists leaderboard, a spot currently held by Daiquan Walker (2012-16) who recorded 268.
  • Johnson is currently ranked 93rd in the nation in steals per game, averaging 1.91 steals a contest. He has at least one steal in all but two contests so far this year and has snatched three of more steals in three games.
  • UCF is currently averaging 16.27 forced turnovers per game, a mark that is ranked 20th in the nation and fourth in the Big 12. The Knights also rank in the top 50 blocks per game and steals, sitting 12th in rejections per game with a 5.8 average and 29th in steals per game with a mark of 9.4. UCF has forced double-digit turnovers in 10 games thus far and have forced 15 or more in eight games.
  • C.J. Walker made his 2023-24 debut on 12/21/23 against Florida A&M after missing 10 games to start the season and the last 27 games of the 2022-23 season due to injury. He played in just four games in last year’s campaign. After multiple tries to get back going again in 2022-23, Walker was shut down for the season on Jan. 8, 2023 to help him rehab for 2023-24. Walker saw 76:26 of time on the court in his four games in 2022-23. He averaged 5.0 points a contest along with 3.5 rebounds. He had a season-high eight points against Western Illinois on Nov. 14 and last played in game action against Miami on Nov. 27. Walker also played in contests against Florida State and Oklahoma State. He tallied three blocks, three steals and a pair of assists while on the floor.
  • UCF is 37-12 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 28-4 at home in December during Dawkins’ tenure. The Knights have averaged 71.7 points per game in December under Dawkins while holding foes to just 61.5 points per game, a double-digit margin of 10.2 points per contest.


  • UCF has earned 14 straight victories against Bethune-Cookman and hold an all-time series advantage of 20-7, with 17 of those wins coming in Orlando.
  • The two teams last faced each other on Dec. 5, 2021, resulting in a 81-45 Knights win, the largest margin of victory over the Wildcats in the series' history.
  • The Knights are 3-0 against Bethune-Cookman under head coach Johnny Dawkins.


  • Bethune-Cookman leads the nations in steals and turnovers forced per game, averaging 13.2 and 19.91 respectively.
  • Jakobi Heady, Zion Harmon and Dhashon Dyson are the Wildcats' three double-digit scorers, averaging 15.1, 14.7 and 13.0 points per game, respectively.
  • Damani McEntire leads the team in steals with 34 while Dyson boasts 27.
  • Heady is the team's leading three-point shooter, knocking down 34.6% of his shots.