Like most of America, the UCF men's basketball team will have to watch the NCAA's March Madness tournament on a TV screen.
The final chapter of the Knights' 2014-15 season (12-18) came to a close with an 81-80 overtime loss to East Carolina in the first round of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
The team's 2014 campaign saw freshmen B.J. Taylor and Adonys Henriquez combine for six AAC Rookie of the Week awards and two of five spots on the All-Rookie Team in program history. Keith Clanton (2009-10), Marcus Jordan (2009-10) and A.J. Rompza (2008-09) are the only other Knights who have earned a spot on the All-Rookie Team while UCF was still a part of Conference USA.
"I've asked so much from them this year as a coach, as freshmen, and those guys have been as consistent as anybody, not only on our team, but probably any two freshmen in the country," head coach Donnie Jones said. "Every day in practice with their work ethic, their attitude, their belief in coming here to help change this culture as we move forward at UCF.
"They've been two of the most coachable guys that I've ever coached."
Taylor led the Knights in scoring with 12.8 points per game, and Henriquez was a close second with 10.8. Each averaged more than 32.5 minutes per game — out of 40 possible in regulation.
"I think I learned a lot from all the games I played this year … Just going against all the different teams in the league, watching film on all those teams," Taylor said. "I saw a lot of different teams do a lot of different stuff, so I think it was just a great learning experience."
Jones has high hopes for the freshmen duo.
"Obviously I think the future is very bright, not only for them, but for our program as we bring these guys back next season," Jones said.
UCF will lose just two seniors, Kasey Wilson and Myles Davis, for the 2015-16 campaign.
"Both those guys have played their last game here at UCF, and [I] just appreciate the way those guys have handled themselves on the floor as well as off the floor. They have been a huge part of help growing our culture at UCF," Jones said. "I want to thank both those guys."
Experienced seniors cannot be easily replaced, but the Knights look to take a step in the right direction with two highly touted recruits and a redshirt sophomore.
They will add Tacko Fall, the tallest high school basketball player in the nation at 7-foot-6 out of Tavares, and Chad Brown, a 6-foot-9 forward out of Deltona, to the 2015-16 roster.
A.J. Davis, son of former 13-year NBA veteran Antonio Davis, will also see his first action as a Knight next season after sitting out the entire season due to NCAA transfer rules. Davis played in 25 games as a freshman with the University of Tennessee before transferring.
Jarrod Heil is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Find him on Twitter@JHeil11.