On Offense, UCF Basketball is Offensive

By John Weis  1/27/15

I get that the Cincinnati Bearcats are a marvelous defensive team. I also get that the Knights were missing leading scorer B.J. Taylor for all but 11 minutes of the game. But I’ve been to enough games this season to know that Sunday’s game against Cincy, from an offensive standpoint, was the same old UCF song and dance.

You know the drill because you’ve seen it all year, just like me. Most possessions, UCF lets the shot clock tick down to about 10 without making a meaningful move toward the hoop. Then, the player with the ball is stuck with trying to get the best shot possible before it reaches zero. Oftentimes, the shot isn’t a good one at all.

Their unwillingness to attack the basket earlier in each possession is the reason the Knights had just six assists all game against the Bearcats, and why they attempted just two free throws after halftime. When you don’t take the ball strong to the basket, you typically don’t get many assists or go to the free-throw line often.

In an effort to keep the number of possessions down and the score low, it appears UCF Head Coach Donnie Jones has opted to employ this strategy, believing it gives his team the best chance to be competitive. It can be effective when you have a guy or two capable of breaking down a defense and getting his own shot, but this year’s Knights team doesn’t have anyone who consistently qualifies.

UCF is now 2-6 in The American and could easily be 0-8 absent a few heroic overtime baskets. Is it time for a new strategy, or is this the best we can expect this year? Unless there is a dramatic turnaround prior to the season’s end, Donnie Jones will find himself on the proverbial coaching hot seat.