Following every home contest, UCF basketball legend Mike O'Donnell will share his thoughts on the Knights' play on the court. Here is the first installment of @MOD4Three, which includes his observations following UCF's 85-56 victory over Alabama State:
- After a huge road win against USF, I had a feeling about what the first five minutes of the game would look like. I was right, it was somewhat of a slow start. But that didn't last long.
- Ball movement and unselfishness (my absolute favorite characteristic of this team) continues to reign supreme for the Knights half-court attack.
- Let's play a game: You have to guard Isaiah Sykes in a pick and roll situation. What do you do? Hedge and go under? Double him at the point of contact? Double him before the pick even happens? Sink your wings in to prevent penetration? Well, you can try any of those delightful options. Unfortunately they will all end up achieving one of these results: A drive for a layup, a kickout to Clanton, Wilson, Spurlock or Days for a 3-ball, or a pass back to conference player of the year candidate at the top of the key (wonder what he will do with it).
- Twenty-five assists as a team! Did I mention how much I love this team's unselfishness?
- Really impressed with Sykes' 23 points, but the scoring number pales in comparison to his seven assists with only one turnover.
- Another boring night for Clanton. Just 20 points and 11 rebounds. And how about that beard?
- Tristan Spurlock gets more of the press coverage (rightfully so) as the "third" guy, but Kasey Wilson has been the unsung hero for this team. He is definitely a player who needs to make his first shot to get going.
- Fun team to watch on the fastbreak... so far, haven't seen a bad break-out... you can tell this team loves to get out play in transition. Donnie Jones loves it too!
- Daiquan Walker was much better tonight. He is a pass-first point guard who will see more time as the game slows down for him.
- Staphon Blair continues to look more comfortable in the offense.
- Dylan Karell is a crowd favorite! Long, athletic, great hair... wait, what?
- Nothing like stepping on to the court for the first time and draining a trey ball... T-Coons for three!!! #FearTheMuttonChops #TaylorYoung2.0
- After the first five minutes, the Knights defense was very good.
- UCF forced 15 Alabama State turnovers.
- Deflections are a great way to gauge the effort of a team. A deflection is not an official stat on the stat sheet but 95 percent of college coaches chart them. A deflection is anytime a player changes the course of a ball, like steal, loose ball, deflected pass or tip on offensive rebound. It's a great barometer of your team's effort. A good number for a game total is 25. The Knights had 32 last night.
- Clanton had three blocks and you wouldn't even know it. I believe we underestimate his sneakiness.
- Sykes is playing like a draft pick right. He is a 6-foot-6 point guard who is as strong as a power forward and doesn't turn the ball over. Channeling my inner Herm Edwards "Hello?!?!?"
- The announced attendance was 4,454. This team is crazy fun to watch. Let's hope more of Knight Nation can be there for Sunday's game
- There was a technical foul called at the 17:28 mark of the first half on Clanton for hanging on the rim. It was easily one of the oddest technical foul calls I have ever seen. I have hung on the rim longer than that, and I have never hung on the rim, ever!
- The little girl who won the dance contest has crazy swag!
- Sat next to former UCF star quarterback Kyle Israel for most of the game. He kept saying touchdown and interception... it was awkward.
- Keep an eye on the 2-man game between Clanton and Wilson. They have a great feel together working the high-low action.
- All-American trainer Andy Reber was disappointing in his outfit last night - a simple black sweater vest (the gold cuff links saved him). DJ's suit was phenomenal but director of athletics communications Doug Richards stole the show with a classic bowtie look. It was a thing of beauty.
- The next game is Sunday at 2 p.m. vs. Savannah State... be there Knight Nation!!!