Miami, UCF prepares to battle experienced teams

Miami, UCF prepares to battle experienced teams

Cameron McGusty is an experienced player Miami will count on on Saturday when the Hurricanes host the Central Florida Knights.

McGusty, who moved from Oklahoma in 2018, played 112 collegiate games, including 65 games.

On Tuesday night, he scored 20 points as the highest team and had 10 high rebounds in Miami’s 77-67 win over visiting Canisius. McGusty made 8 of 14 shots, including 4 of 7 attempts from outside the arc.

“Cam does everything,” Miami coach Jim Laranaga said. “He catches the ball like a goalkeeper, scores like a goalie and bounces like a striker.”

Coincidentally, it was one of McGusty’s previous 10 rebounds two years ago where he helped Miami beat the UCF Knights, 79-70. McGusty also scored a game-high 17 points in that match, which was played on November 12, 2019.

McGusty was joined in Miami’s current starting line-up by Isaiah Wong, who made the first-team All-ACC pre-season. Sam Wardenburg, who missed last season due to injury; Jordan Miller and Charlie Moore move on.

Meanwhile, the Knights, who defeated Robert Morris 69-59 on Wednesday night, are very optimistic about their team. The riders have an experienced team full of high jumps and hops.

The Knights have recovered nearly all of their goals and minutes from last season, when they finished 11-12.

The UCF, who scored a surprise win over Florida State last season, leads 6-2 guard Darius Perry, the team’s second choice in the All-American Athletic Conference.

Perry, who led the team in scoring last season (14.7), scored a game-high 18 points against Robert Morris, shooting 7 of 15 from the ground and making 4 of 7 three-pointers. He also had four assists.

The Knights also added a 6-11 move in Cheikh Mbaki Diong, a Senegalese national who was a team captain at UNLV. The center had a team high by five blocks against Robert Morris.

“He was dynamic,” UCF coach Johnny Dawkins said of Deong. “He’s a heck leader.”

All other UCF starters returned from the 2021-2022 Knights roster: Brandon Mahan, who averaged 12.3 points last season; Darren Green Jr., who averaged 11.3 points; and Isaiah Adams, an AAC All-Rookie, with an average of 8.9 points.

Mahan, named the AAC’s best shooter, made 91 percent of his free throws and 44 percent of his three-pointers last season.

The UCF seat is led by former Oregon five-star CJ Walker, who was named AAC’s Defensive Player of the Year in a pre-season poll. He had 12 points and eight rebounds against Robert Morris.

–Field Media Level

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