Golden Knights Back in Action

July 29, 2005

ORLANDO - The setting was not quite like midnight madness, but the UCF men's basketball team spent some late-night time on the hardwood on Friday evening at UCF Arena, kicking off its preparations for an upcoming European tour with a two-hour practice.

The evening practice was the team's first official meeting since playing in the NCAA Tournament on March 18. The squad will practice nine more times on campus before departing for Holland on Aug. 8. In Europe, the Golden Knights will play five exhibition contests against foreign professional teams.

At its first practice, UCF focused on fundamentals and conditioning. The players worked on ball handling, defensive stances and half-court offense in addition to some light running.

"It is a different time of year for everybody to be ready to play on a competitive level," said Speraw. "Our guys are not in the best of shape, but they had good focus and picked up our offensive and defensive schemes pretty well. We will keep adding things each day and work on some individual areas and team items over the course of the next 10 days."

UCF's seven returning letterwinners participated in the session, along with sophomore guards Dave Noel and Mike O'Donnell, who both sat out last season after transferring. The nine players will make the trip overseas.

The Golden Knights continue preparations for their foreign trip with a practice on Saturday evening.