As a junior in 2012-13, Isaiah Sykes developed into one of the most versatile players in the country. Sykes led the nation with two triple-doubles and put up impressive stat lines nearly every game.
The Detroit native finished the year by averaging 16.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals in 35.4 minutes an outing. The dynamic Sykes played nearly every position on the floor, including ample time at point guard.
Playing the position for the first time on the collegiate level, the 6-foot-5 Sykes did his best each night and carried the Knights many games. He scored in double figures 27 times and had 12 20-point performances.
Sykes was recognized for his stellar all-around play with All-Conference USA First Team, NABC All-District 11 First Team and C-USA All-Defensive Team honors.
Following the season, Sykes declared for the NBA Draft, but withdrew his name for consideration in April. What is next for him as a Knight?
For starters, he will have the chance to showcase his game and abilities on a larger stage. When the Knights make their debut in the American Athletic Conference in 2013-14, UCF will face the toughest schedule in program history with contests against defending national champion Louisville, UConn, Cincinnati, Memphis and Temple. The team will play on television more often and a national audience will learn more about Sykes.
Additionally, he will have the opportunity to continue to handle the ball and show off his play-making abilities. Daiquan Walker is back for his sophomore year and will handle most of the point-guard duties, but Sykes will again have the chance to log time with the ball in his hands. He recorded 141 assists a year ago, but is working to cut down on his turnovers (109).
Finally, Sykes will have the chance to finish his career as one of the greatest players (and winners) in school history. Since the program moved to the Division I level in 1984, no Knight has been a member of four-straight 20-win teams. Sykes has that opportunity.
And with Sykes back, the Knights have the opportunity to make some noise in their first year in The American.