Men's Basketball Hosts UAB on Saturday

Feb. 2, 2006

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ORLANDO - The UCF men's basketball team will face one of the top teams in Conference USA on Saturday when it hosts UAB. Tip-off at Torchy Clark Court at UCF Arena is slated for 3 p.m.

The Golden Knights enter the game with a 9-9 overall mark and a 3-2 league record and will be looking to for their eighth win at home this year. UAB (15-4, 5-1) has won 11 of its last 12 games.

The contest will be broadcast on CSTV and will serve as the first nationally-televised regular season home game in UCF history. Jonathan Coachman will handle the play-by-play and former Providence and Virginia head coach Pete Gillen will provide the color commentary.

Head coach Kirk Speraw and the Golden Knights are encouraging UCF fans to "BlackOut" the UCF Arena. All fans attending the game are urged to show their support for the Golden Knights by wearing black.

At halftime, the UCF Athletics Association will honor head coach George O'Leary and the Golden Knight football squad. UCF posted an 8-5 overall record and claimed the C-USA Eastern Division Championship in 2005. The Golden Knights participated in a bowl game for the first time, heading to Honolulu for the Hawaii Bowl.

Tickets for the game are still available. Call (407) UCF-GOLD for more information or to purchase tickets.

The contest will be aired live on the UCF ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, WQTM - 740 THE TEAM. Marc Daniels will have the call from courtside. Audio of the contest is also available on www.UCFathletics.com as part of the "Golden Knights All-Access" package.

UCF LAST TIME OUT UCF had a solid first-half showing, but third-ranked Memphis was too much for the Golden Knights, posting a 94-61 home win at the FedEx Forum last Saturday. The Golden Knights grabbed a 20-18 lead nine minutes into the contest on a three-pointer from Josh Peppers, but the Tigers closed the first half on a 23-8 run. For the game, Memphis shot 50.9 percent overall and connected on 10 three-pointers.

UCF committed 21 turnovers and shot 40 percent from the floor. Dave Noel and Mike O'Donnell each scored 10 points in the losing effort. The Golden Knights were facing a team ranked in the top-five for the first time since playing No. 2 Florida on Dec. 4, 2003.

ABOUT UAB The Blazers have won 11 of their last 12 games and are receiving votes in both national polls. Their only loss during the 12-contest span came on Jan. 26 at No. 3 Memphis (73-66). In its last game on Jan. 28, UAB made 12 three-pointers and committed only seven turnovers on its way to an 87-73 home win over Southern Miss. Derrick Broom led the squad with 19 points.

UAB features one of the top point guards in the nation in Squeaky Johnson. He is averaging 6.3 assists per game and his 3.64 assist/turnover ratio ranks first in Conference USA. Marvett McDonald is fourth in the league with a 14.9 points per game average. The team paces C-USA in field-goal percentage (46.1). UAB has recorded 227 steals on the year as its opponents are averaging 22.6 turnovers per game.

SERIES HISTORY UAB and UCF will be meeting for the first time. The Golden Knights have already faced one squad from the state of Alabama this season (Birmingham-Southern).

UCF-UAB CONNECTIONS UCF associate head coach Tom Schuberth served as an assistant coach with the Blazers during the 2001-02 season under Murry Bartow.

UAB senior forward Brandon Tobias attended Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale, the same school that produced UCF junior forward Lavell Payne.

BROADCAST HISTORY UAB-UCF will be broadcast live on CSTV and will serve as the first nationally-televised home game in UCF history. Last Saturday, the Golden Knights' game at No. 3 Memphis was also aired on CSTV. Part of the CBS Corporation, CSTV has nearly 15 million subscribers nationwide.

SCHEDULE UPGRADE This season, UCF has already faced three nationally-ranked teams (Florida, Kentucky, Memphis). Last year, the Golden Knights played only one ranked team and that came against Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2005-06, UCF has already faced five squads - Florida, Kentucky, Houston, Memphis and Western Kentucky - that participated in the postseason last year.

HOME COOKING Dating back to the start of the 2001-02 season, the Golden Knights are 50-13 in games played at UCF Arena. In 2004-05, the team went 12-3 at home, the second-best home win total in program history (14 in 1993-94). This season, the squad is 7-3 in Orlando.

THREE-POINT SPECIALIST Senior guard Troy Lindbeck is leaving his mark in the UCF record books. Lindbeck has connected on 108 three-point field goals, good for eighth all-time at the school. His 312 three-point attempts are also good for eighth in the UCF annals.

MORE FROM DEEP With one triple at Memphis on Jan. 28, junior forward Josh Peppers became the 12th player in UCF history to hit 100 career three-pointers. His 100 three-pointers rank 12th all-time at UCF.

RESERVES MAKE AN IMPACT Against No. 3 Memphis on Jan. 28, UCF's reserves combined for 29 points. Dave Noel recorded a season-best 10 points off of the bench and Marcus Johnson and Adam Gill totaled eight and six points, respectively. Jermaine Taylor scored five points in 10 minutes versus the Tigers. This season, the Golden Knight reserves are averaging 17.5 points per game.

MOVING UP THE CHARTS When Troy Lindbeck entered the game against Norfolk State on Dec. 16, the contest marked the 100th game of his collegiate career. The senior guard has played in 111 games in a UCF uniform, which ranks eighth in school history. Jason Thornton (1998-02) appeared in 121 contests during his career and is UCF's all-time leader in the category.

THIS DATE IN UCF HISTORY D'Quarius Stewart led a balanced offensive attack with 17 points as UCF posted a 69-64 victory at home over Mercer on Feb. 4, 1999. Jason Thornton added 14 points and Cory Perry chipped in with 10 points for the Golden Knights.

UP NEXT On Wednesday, UCF travels to Hattiesburg, Miss. to face Southern Miss. Tip-off for the Conference USA contest at Reed Green Coliseum is slated for 8 p.m. Eastern... The teams will be meeting for the first time... The Golden Knights will be competing in Mississippi for the first time since March 5, 1992 when they played New Orleans at the Sun Belt Tournament in Biloxi.