2022 Record: 19-15 (8-10 AAC)
Head Coach: Johnny Dawkins (Career Record 287-201) (UCF Record 131-87)
PG: Darius Johnson (10.0 Pts, 3.0 Reb, 4.2 Ast)
SG: Shemarri Allen (Kansas City 17.0 Pts, 5.0 Reb, 2.7 Ast)
SF: Jaylin Sellers (Ball State 13.5 Pts, 3.7 Reb, 0.8 Ast)
PF: CJ Walker (2021-22 8.3 Pts, 5.7 Reb, 1.0 Ast)
C: Ibrahima Diallo (San Jose State 6.0 Pts, 6.0 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
6: Marchelus Avery (New Mexico State 8.2 Pts, 4.5 Reb, 0.9 Ast)
7: SG Antwann Jones (2021-22 Louisiana 2.1 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 1.1 Ast)
8: C Omar Payne (Jacksonville 4.8 Pts, 3.2 Reb, 0.5 Ast)
9: SF Comeh Emuobor
10: C Thierno Sylla (2.2 Pts, 1.1 Reb, 0.1 Ast)
11: Tyler Hendricks (RS)
Darius Johnson is returning for the Knights and he should step right into the starting point guard spot. He had a very good season last year averaging double figure point and also having over 4 assists per game. He’s going to have to take more of a leadership role this season with UCF now moving to the Big 12 conference.
Shemarri Allen is a good scoring guard for the Knights next season, but it will be interesting to see how he adjusts when he doesn’t have to take 15 shots a game. His shooting splits are a little bit concerning, but maybe while not having to force a bunch of shots and being the main option that can improve.
Jaylin Sellers might be the most underrated addition for the Knights this offseason. Sellers is a young player and had some great seasons for Ball State in a competitive MAC conference. His shooting splits are really good and he has a chance to be the most surprising player on the team with his unique skillset.
CJ Walker returns for a 5th year after only playing 4 games in the 2022-23 season. Walker brings some size inside that the Knights were lacking last year. The move to the Big 12 conference should also test the Knights interior depth. UCF also added center transfers Ibrahima Diallo from San Jose State and Omar Payne from Jacksonville. Both are mainly known for defense. Diallo also previously spent time at Ohio State. He’s mainly a rebounder and shot blocker but possesses some offensive post skills. Payne is strictly an interior defender having also spent time at Jacksonville, Illinois, and Florida. Payne is a great shot blocker and that will be his main role with the Knights.
Marchelus Avery is another transfer that the Knights added who will compete for minutes in the frontcourt. Avery has good range for his size and is a nice change of pace from the other bigs that UCF has. Antwann Jones is another player the Knights added. He spent time at Memphis, Creighton, and Louisiana. He will bring a defensive presence to the team on the perimeter.
With the loss of Jaykwon Walton and him leaving for Memphis, UCF faces more of an uphill battle than it did just a few weeks ago. UCF will be joining the Big 12 this year which is a gauntlet of a conference. The Knights do have some talent, but joining the Big 12 is just a different beast and they will find it very difficult this season. It will be a big wake-up call for them from the AAC. They likely won’t make any postseason, but could possibly make the CBI if they are at or near .500