Cohesiveness to lead UCF Men’s Basketball to another successful season

Robert Stark, Contributing Writer

UCF men’s basketball looks to have another great season. Head Coach Johnny Dawkins is in his second year as the head coach. The success of this defensive team seems to be continuing defense along with the cohesiveness they have built from last year.

It’s media day yet again and this time around UCF has some big shoes to fill. Last year this team went 24-12 and hosted their first NIT game in school history. Head Coach Johnny Dawkins led UCF to one of the best defenses in all of the NCAA in the 2016-2017 season.

Coach Dawkins has been keeping up the work in practice on the defensive end; “Coach stresses defense every practice,” says sophomore guard Chance Mcspadden. When asked about the camaraderie of this team, Mcspadden was quick to give the praise to the coaching staff. “He really made us buy in to the team.”

This team’s success last year is not deterring them from continuing the same if not better this year. “It’s all about moving forward; we got a bunch of guys who are hungry to be better,” says transfer from Michigan, Aubrey Dawkins.

This year’s team has more depth than they have had in previous seasons. Daniel Lewis, freshman guard out of Westlake High School chose UCF in part because of the coaching staff. “When I heard about Johnny Dawkins, that pretty much sealed the deal,” Said Lewis. “He wants us to give energy every time we practice.”

Coach Dawkins was also available during media day and had great praise for his team’s efforts this summer. “I think teams that are close like that really go out and play for each other and that’s when you have success,” Said Dawkins.

It’s clear that this team has bought into the coaching staff and also each other. A.J. Davis, a 5th year senior forward, has been playing his part in mentoring the young guys. “I just try to lead as much as possible,” said Davis. “This is one of the closest teams I have ever played with.”

Camaraderie seems to be the staple of this year’s success for the team. Before the end of the questions, Dawkins had a few final words to say about his team; “Guys that are giving up who they are for what the team can become and when you get that going you have a chance to be good.”

The 2017-2018 begins at home against Mercer: Tip-off is at 8pm.