UCF Picked Seventh in C-USA Poll

Oct. 18, 2006

Irving, Texas (www.ucfathletics.com) - Conference USA announced its 2006-07 men's basketball preseason poll on Wednesday and UCF was selected seventh by the league's head coaches. Head coach Kirk Speraw's squad is entering its second season in C-USA.

UCF went 14-15 overall and 7-7 in league play a year ago to finish fifth in the regular-season standings.

Memphis, a team that advanced to the Elite Eight in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, was picked to win the league title. Houston was selected second, followed by UAB. Rice and UTEP tied for fourth and Tulsa was tabbed sixth.

The Golden Knights return eight letterwinners from last season's team. Senior forward Josh Peppers (Memphis, Tenn./Whitehaven HS) and junior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo HS) are both back for Speraw. Peppers is one of the top offensive players in C-USA after averaging a team-best 13.7 points last year. O'Donnell started all 29 games at point guard and connected on 52 3-pointers a year ago.

In 2005-06, the top four teams in the conference - Memphis, UAB, UTEP and Houston - combined to lose just three games to the league's other eight teams. The Golden Knights recorded two of those victories, topping Houston and UTEP - two squads that participated in the postseason NIT.

SMU followed the Golden Knights in the poll. Tulane was picked ninth, followed by Marshall, Southern Miss and East Carolina. C-USA will hold its media day in Memphis, Tenn. tomorrow.

UCF opens its regular-season schedule on Nov. 15 at home against cross-town foe Rollins. This year will mark the program's final campaign in the UCF Arena. The team will move into the new Convocation Center on campus prior to next year.

The Golden Knights' first C-USA home game is set for Jan. 17 versus SMU. UCF will play eight conference contests in Orlando, including a Jan. 31 tilt versus Memphis.

Dating back to the start of the 2002-03 season, UCF has won 84 games, a mark that ranks 39th nationally and second among all Florida programs during that span. The Golden Knights have played in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments.

Season tickets are currently on sale by calling 407-UCF-1000. For the latest news and information on the Golden Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF athletics.

2006-07 C-USA Preseason Poll
1. Memphis
2. Houston
3. UAB
4. Rice
UTEP (tie)
6. Tulsa
7. UCF
8. SMU
9. Tulane
10. Marshall
11. Southern Miss
12. East Carolina

Preseason Player of the Year
Morris Almond, Rice, G, 6-6, Sr.

Preseason All-Conference Team
Oliver Lafayette, Houston, G, 6-3, Sr.
Lanny Smith, Houston, G, 6-2, Sr.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, G, 6-5, So.
Joey Dorsey, Memphis, F, 6-9, Jr.
Morris Almond, Rice, G, 6-6, Sr.