UCF needed every point it could get from Daiquan Walker in Thursday’s win over Tulane, and the team will need even more from its outside shooters in the next two weeks.
Shooting guard Adonys Henriquez will be out at least two weeks after suffering a MCL sprain in the loss to Connecticut last weekend. Henriquez was averaging 10.1 points per game and a 52.0 percent effective field goal percentage. He was clearly the team’s best three-point shooter even if his scoring numbers had not leaped forward from his breakout freshman year when Henriquez was named to the All-American Conference Freshman team.
Henriquez has had an uncharacteristically low usage rate for the Knights so far this year, using only 16.1 percent of all possessions for UCF. He has essentially stayed in the background as a shooter with B.J. Taylor out. Other players like A.J. Davis and Justin McBride have had to step up as Henriquez continued his steady, but not stellar contributions.
With Henriquez out Thursday, the Knights started Tanksley Efianayi for the first time and relied on Daiquan Walker a lot more to score.
Walker delivered scoring a career-high 33 points and making six of eight 3-pointers. The Knights will certainly need more scoring balance and a lot more shooting help to make up for Henriquez’s absence.
Players like Efianayi and Chance McSpadden will play bigger roles in Henriquez’s absence for sure and will have to deliver. Taking out Henriquez’s 3-point shooting, UCF is hitting on just 33.9 percent of 3-pointers. That could spell trouble for UCF as it tries to stay above .500 in the American Conference.