Central Florida Golden Knights

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UCF’s Aubrey Dawkins to miss season

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Michigan transfer Aubrey Dawkins sat out last year because he wanted to play for his dad, Central Florida coach Johnny Dawkins.

He’ll have to wait another year before taking the floor for his dad as an injury is going to keep him sidelined in 2017-18.

“I just got word today that I will miss the entire season,” the younger Dawkins said in a video the program posted to Twitter. “This sucks, and I am definitely heartbroken.

“Wish I was playing for you guys this season but I cannot. Of course, next season I will be back stronger and excited to play in front of you guys.”

Dawkins did not specify what the injury is, but a source confirmed to NBC Sports that he underwent shoulder surgery.

Aubrey Dawkins played two seasons for John Beilein and the Wolverines, averaging 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15.8 minutes per game as a sophomore. He transferred in 2016 after his father was fired at Stanford and hired by the Golden Knights weeks later.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to coach him. I never have,” Dawkins said at media day last week, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “I’ve always worked him out and trained him, but I’ve never had the chance to actually coach him on the floor.”

 

AAC plan men’s basketball tourney at new Texas arena in ’20

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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The American Athletic Conference will hold its men’s basketball tournament in a new arena in North Texas in 2020.

AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco announced Wednesday that Dickies Arena in Fort Worth has been selected to host the tournament for three years, starting in March 2020. That is only four months after the facility is scheduled to open.

On the same day of a groundbreaking ceremony for the 14,000-seat arena last April, the NCAA announced that first- and second-round games of the 2022 NCAA men’s basketball tournament would be held there. The NCAA women’s gymnastics championships are scheduled there from 2020-22.

The closest AAC school to the new arena is SMU, with its campus in Dallas about 40 miles away.

Orlando will host the 2018 AAC tournament, which moves to Memphis in 2019.

UCF coach Johnny Dawkins gets one-year contract extension

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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — UCF has extended the contract of basketball coach Johnny Dawkins after a successful first season.

The school announced Thursday that Dawkins’ current six-year contract has been extended by a year through 2023. The extension will add $1.5 million onto his current deal.

Last year, Dawkins guided the Knights to a 24-12 record and an appearance in the NIT Final Four. UCF doubled its win total from the previous year, the sixth biggest turnaround in NCAA Division I basketball last season.

Dawkins is a former Duke All-American who joined the Knights in 2016 after being fired at Stanford. His current contract pays him $1.1 million before incentives.

Central Florida lands a commitment from 7-foot-5 center

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Central Florida has landed a commitment from 7-foot-5 center Tacko Fall, NBCSports.com has confirmed. Fall is a three-star recruit, according to Rivals, that picked the Knights over Georgetown and Washington, among other.

ESPN.com first reported the story.

Fall is one of the more interesting prospects in the country simply because of his size. It goes without saying, but 7-foot-5 centers don’t come along that often. What makes Fall intriguing is that he isn’t just a stiff. He doesn’t have Allen Iverson’s athleticism, but he moves pretty well for his size. His offense is a work in progress, but that’s true for just about every big man that isn’t named Jahlil Okafor.

Where Fall will have a major impact is on the defensive end of the floor. Simply put, he’s massive, and he understands that he’s massive. He gets that all he really needs to do is to stand straight up around the rim and he’ll have a huge impact on a game.

Fall might not ever be an all-league player, but this is a really nice pickup for Donnie Jones. He joins three-star prospect Chad Brown, sharpshooter Chance McSpadden and JuCo transfer Tanksley Efianayi.

Luke Hancock back to form in Louisville’s 90-65 win over UCF?

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It’s been a difficult week for No. 14 Louisville.

The Cardinals suffered a 73-66 loss in Lexington to rival Kentucky. It only go worse on Monday when head coach Rick Pitino that forward Chane Behanan had been dismissed from the team. In addition to Behanan’s dismal, Pitino said junior guard Kevin Ware will likely redshirt this season.

Louisville responded to a challenging week with a 90-65 thrashing of Central Florida on the road to begin American Athletic Conference play on New Year’s Eve.

Russ Smith led all scorers with 24 points, connecting on six of Louisville’s season-high 14 threes. On the night, the Cards shot 52 percent from behind the arc against a pretty good perimeter defense. Smith had almost half of those threes with four more coming from Luke Hancock.

Hancock entered the game shooting a dismal 24 percent from behind the arc, including a 2-for-8 from deep against Kentucky. But the senior wing, who wore No. 32 for much of the game after his jersey was torn, connected on 4-of-9 from deep, scoring 16 points off the bench, the first time he registered double figures in five games.

He dealt with an injury for much of the preseason, which kept him out of the season opener. Despite struggling from behind the 3-point line, Hancock had remained aggressive offensively, drawing fouls, and getting to the free throw line. But when Hancock is stroking from deep, Louisville is a more dangerous team. Tuesday night was an indication that last season’s Final Four Most Outstanding Player is getting back to form.

Given the events of the last week, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Alex Owens decommits from Central Florida

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Less than two months after ending his recruitment early, four-star 2015 power forward Alex Owens is back on the boards.

The 6-foot-8 Owens committed to Central Florida back on Sept. 17, but on Tuesday morning, Buddy Collings of the Orlando Sentinel reported that he had decided to decommit from UCF.

“He came to my office this morning and said he wants to reopen his recruitment,” Owens’ coach Alex Jackson told Collings on Tuesday.

“He still likes UCF, but he wants to enjoy the process.”

In mid-September, the Orlando native mentioned he wanted a school that was close to home while UCF’s move to the American also played a role in his decision. At that time several other in-state schools such as Florida, Florida State and Miami had offered him. Cinnicinnati, Maryland, Missouri, N.C. State and Providence were also in the mix as well.

Louisville had also seen him weeks before he picked UCF.

This summer, Owens was on the Each 1 Teach 1 (Fla.) team that won the Nike EYBL Peach Jam. He averaged 9.0 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. He also represented USA South in the Nike Global Challenge, averaging 11.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per contest while also posting a pair of double-doubles in the showcase.

He is ranked No. 71 overall in the Class of 2015. Owens was the first member of the Golden Knights’ Class of 2015, but during his short commitment UCF has landed Deltona High (Fla.) power forward Chad Brown and Lakewood Senior High (Fla.) small forward Anthony Lawrence Jr.