Game Notes - 09 - Ole MissGame Notes - 09 - Ole Miss

Men's Hoops Set to Host Undefeated Ole Miss

by Ken Landis
UCF Game Notes Ole Miss Game Notes

ORLANDO – The UCF men’s basketball team is set to match up with undefeated Ole Miss at 4 p.m. on Sunday inside Addition Financial Arena.

Date: Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023
Time: 4 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
Talent: Marc Daniels (PxP), Taylor Young (Analyst)
Live Stats: click here


  • UCF has scored 72 or more points in each game to start the 2023-24 season. The Knights are averaging 79.2 points per game through eight contests, which is 7.7 points per game better than the 71.5 posted through the last campaign. The last time a UCF team began the first eight games of a season with 72 or more points scored in each game was during the 1979-80 season, a year in which the Knights went 24-4 and made a run to the Division II NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. That team pieced together 17 straight 72+ point outings to begin the year and averaged 101.2 points per game on the run. The current 72+ point streak is the longest under Dawkins, besting a previous run of five in a row in the 2019-20 season.
  • UCF is 35-11 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 Knights have averaged 71.8 points per game in December under Dawkins while holding foes to just 61.7 points per game, a double-digit margin of 10.1 points per contest.
  • Sophomore forward Thierno Sylla had a breakout game against Jacksonville on 12/6, scoring 20 points and hauling in 11 rebounds and added two blocked shots and an assist. The points, rebounds, field goals made (seven) and attempted (11), as well as free throws made (four) and attempted (five) were all career highs.
  • Jaylin Sellers has been one of the nation’s most prolific scorers to begin the 2023-24 campaign. He is averaging 20.6 points per game which is the 22nd-highest mark in the nation and first in the Big 12. Sellers has scored 15 points or more in each of UCF’s first eight games. The last UCF newcomer to score double digits in their first seven games was Aubrey Dawkins, who helped lead the Knights to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018-19. Dawkins went on to score 10 or more points in 18 consecutive contests to begin his redshirt junior campaign and tallied 20 or more points on four occasions during the streak. The junior guard had a career-high 34-point outing against Stetson on Nov. 26. It was the first 30-point outing of his career and the fourth 20+ point performance of the season, bringing his career tally to 10. He registered six 20-point outings in 62 career games with Ball State and has four in just eight contests with the Black and Gold.
  • As a team, UCF is approaching a top-10 national ranking in blocks per game, currently sitting 17th with 5.6 per game. According to KenPom, the Knights rank eighth 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 per game which stands as the top mark in the Big 12 and 14th nationally.
  • UCF is currently averaging 16.75 forced turnovers per game, a mark that is ranked 16th in the nation and third in the Big 12. The Knights also rank in the top 50 in steals and blocks per game, sitting 17th in blocks per game with a 5.6 average and 34th in steals per game with a mark of 9.2.


  • UCF and Ole Miss faced each other last season, the first meeting since 2010 and just the fourth meeting of all time. The most recent contest began with the Knights outscoring the Rebels 21-0 over nearly the first eight minutes of play, as Ole Miss scored its first basket with 12:07 remaining in the first half. The Black and Gold went on to win 72-61 in Oxford.
  • The 11-point victory in 2022 was UCF's first against the Rebels as Ole Miss holds a 3-1 series advantage. This is the second game in as many years in a series that is just 16 years old.
  • The Knights have only hosted Ole Miss once which was on Dec. 8, 2007; the Rebels defeated UCF 76-67.


  • Ole Miss enters the contest a perfect 8-0 to begin the campaign. The Rebels are one of just 13 teams in the country who remain unbeaten, and are the only one in the SEC, at 8-0. This marks just the fourth time in program history Ole Miss has gone undefeated through their first eight games of the season, with the last coming in 2007-08.
  • In the latest AP Top-25 Poll and USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Ole Miss received votes, landing No. 33 in the Coaches’ Poll with 23 votes, and No. 35 in the AP Poll with 15 votes. The program was last in the top-25 polls in January 2019 when they ranked No. 20 on January 21.
  • With the hiring of Chris Beard last March, the Ole Miss men’s basketball program is prepared to take the next step forward, bringing in one of the most successful coaches of the last decade. Compiling a record of 245-98 as an NCAA head coach since 2012, Beard holds one of the highest win percentages in the nation, ranking 10th among active head coaches with 10 or more years of experience at 71.4%. The 2019 AP National Coach of the Year has led three different programs to the NCAA Tournament over the previous eight years, and is undefeated in the opening round at 5-0. His all-time record in the NCAA Tournament is 11-5 (.688).
  • Averaging 6.8 blocks per game, Ole Miss ranks sixth in the country and is keeping opponents to just 39.8 percent shooting from the floor which ranks No. 55 in the nation. The muscle in the paint for the Rebels so far has been Jamarion Sharp, who leads the SEC in blocks per game (2.50) and ranks blocks (20), ranking No. 14 and No. 20 in the NCAA, respectively. Ole Miss is set to get even better at defending down low, with the recent waiver approval of forward Moussa Cisse, who averages 1.80 blocks per game for his career, the 16th-best average in the NCAA among all active players. The Knights faced Cisse as a member of Oklahoma State's squad in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship last season.
  • Through the first eight games of the season, Ole Miss has shown elite ball control and movement on the offensive side. With a total of 130 assists compared to just 83 turnovers, the Rebels’ assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.57 ranks No. 27 in the nation. They also rank No. 50 in the country in turnovers per game at 10.4, and assists per game at 16.2.
  • With 12 points in Ole Miss’ win over NC State, Matthew Murrell surpassed the 1,000-career point mark, becoming the 42nd student-athlete in program history to do so. Now at 1,029 points in his career with the Rebels, he sits seven points behind next on the list, 2023 M Club Hall of Fame inductee Todd Abernethy.