The War on I-4 rivalry series continues Wednesday when the UCF men’s basketball team hosts the USF Bulls at CFE Arena.
The Knights have been preparing to face a Bulls team that has greatly improved over the past year.
“They’re 17-6, they're playing really good basketball,” guard Aubrey Dawkins said. “There’s a lot of good things on the court. We want to be on top of that.”
The Knights have had luck with games at home, with both Dawkins and forward Collin Smith crediting Knight Nation for giving them a strong home-court advantage — something they’ll need Wednesday night.
“When the fans come out here, they give us another energy boost,” Smith said. “It's like having a big brother out there telling you ‘keep on going, keep on going.’ I’m happy to have our fans out here.”
UCF has won its last six games against USF. With the improvements the Bulls have seen this year, UCF head coach Johnny Dawkins said that the Knights have to tighten up their defense.
"They're a big, physical team," he said. "That puts you in a compromising position defensively."
The Knights said they are relying on fans to give them that same home-court advantage Wednesday night against the rival Bulls. Aubrey Dawkins said the fan base being in attendance is paramount to a Knight victory.
“It’s everything," he said. "We need our fans here to support us; it’s a big game. We want to see a lot of UCF in the crowd and hopefully not too much USF.”
The game starts at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNews.