UCF Hosts No. 11 Memphis on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Jan. 30, 2007

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - UCF will host a nationally-ranked opponent at the UCF Arena for only the second time when the Golden Knights face No. 11 Memphis for a Conference USA contest on Wednesday. Tip-off for the game is set for 7 p.m.

The UCF Athletics Association announced on Monday that the game is a sellout. Memphis is the highest-ranked team to face UCF in Orlando.

The Golden Knights are 15-5 overall and 4-2 in C-USA play. UCF is 10-0 at home in 2006-07 and has claimed 12-straight overall at the UCF Arena. Memphis (17-3, 7-0) has won nine-consecutive contests.

Fans are encouraged to wear black to the game to support the Golden Knights. At halftime, one fan will be selected to participate in the "Get Coke Cash Crazy" in-game promotion. The fan, who will participate in a shooting contest, will have a shot at winning $10,000. The promotion is sponsored by Coca-Cola.

The UCF Student Government Association will select a student who exhibits the most school spirit as its "Fan of the Game." The student will receive a $250 scholarship.

The game is sponsored by Holler & Classic and prior to the contest, youngsters can participate in Knightro's Birthday Celebration. The event with UCF's mascot will feature an autograph session. UCF will honor its national champion spirit squad at the event.

UCF-Memphis will be televised live regionally on Comcast Sports South. Matt Stewart will handle the play-by-play duties and Tom Herrion will provide color commentary.

The contest can be heard on the UCF ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, WQTM 740 THE TEAM AM (Orlando). Marc Daniels will have the call from courtside. Live audio and statistics are also available at www.ucfathletics.com.

Tickets to all other UCF games are available by calling 407-839-3900 or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com.

Series History: Memphis has a 4-0 edge in the all-time series and the teams will be playing in Orlando for the first time. Last season, the squads met on Jan. 28, 2006 in Memphis and the third-ranked Tigers claimed a 94-61 win. The hosts led 42-30 at halftime. Mike O'Donnell and Dave Noel each scored 10 points for UCF. Rodney Carney hit five 3-pointers and paced Memphis with 26 points.

About Memphis: The Tigers have won nine-straight games and have not lost since Dec. 20. On Saturday, Memphis posted a 67-64 win over visiting Southern Miss. Jeremy Hunt led the hosts with 21 points and Joey Dorsey grabbed 16 rebounds in the win. Chris Douglas-Roberts paces the Tigers, averaging 14.8 points on the season. Dorsey is shooting 62.1 percent from the field and is first in Conference USA, averaging 10.4 boards. Memphis leads the league in scoring at 79.3 points per game and is shooting 45.8 percent overall.

UCF Last Time Out: Mike O'Donnell's 3-pointer with 2:19 to play proved to be the difference as UCF recorded a 67-64 victory at UTEP on Saturday. The Golden Knights handed the Miners their first league home loss since joining C-USA prior to the 2005-06 campaign. UTEP had a chance to send the game into overtime, but Kevin Henderson's 3-point field-goal attempt rimmed out with four seconds on the clock. Jermaine Taylor paced UCF with 15 points and seven rebounds and O'Donnell and Josh Peppers both finished with 13 points in the win. UCF recorded a season-high 12 steals and Mike O'Donnell registered five steals. UCF-Memphis Connections: Several Golden Knights have connections to the Memphis program. UCF's Josh Peppers attended Whitehaven High School in Memphis where he was a two-time all-metro selection. The senior forward is familiar with the Tiger program as he is the first cousin of former Memphis star Cedric Henderson. Henderson played for the Tigers from 1993-97 and was a second-round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. UCF freshman forward Andre Thornton is also from Memphis. He attended Mitchell High School.

Winning Mentality: UCF has already eclipsed its victory total from a year ago. In 2005-06, the Golden Knights went 14-15 overall.

Homecourt Advantage: Dating back to last season, UCF has won 12-straight contests at home. The Golden Knights are 10-0 this season at the UCF Arena.

Nationally-Ranked Teams at UCF: UCF will be hosting a nationally-ranked team on campus for only the second time. On Dec. 12, 2002, the Golden Knights hosted No. 25 College of Charleston for a non-league game at the UCF Arena. The Golden Knights shot 50 percent for the game and eased to an 82-64 victory.

UCF Against Ranked Teams: All-time, UCF is 1-15 against nationally-ranked opponents. Since the 2002-03 campaign, the Golden Knights have faced six ranked teams.

Getting Offensive: Last season, UCF scored more than 70 points in a contest only five times. In 2006-07, the Golden Knights have already scored at least 70 points 14 times in 20 games. After averaging just 63.3 points per game last season, the Golden Knights are scoring 75.4 points per contest this year. The squad eclipsed the 80-point mark only once a year ago, but has already scored more than 80 points in a game on seven occasions this season. UCF owns a +9.8 scoring margin.

Three the Easy Way: The Golden Knights are shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range this year. The mark paces Conference USA and ranks 17th nationally. UCF has two of the most accurate shooters from deep in the conference. Mike O'Donnell leads the league, shooting at a 47.4 percent clip. Making 45.7 percent of his 3-point field-goal attempts, Jermaine Taylor ranks third.

From Deep: UCF is 11-3 when making seven or more 3-pointers in 2006-07. The squad is averaging eight triples per game.

Target Practice: The Golden Knights are the best shooting team in Conference USA, shooting 48.3 percent from the floor. The team ranks 31st nationally in the category. Jermaine Taylor is eighth in the league and 79th in the nation at 52 percent. Lavell Payne is 12th in C-USA (47.2 percent). UCF has shot 50 percent or better from the field on nine occasions this season. The Golden Knights are 9-0 in those contests.

The Sixth Sense: Jermaine Taylor leads UCF in scoring and is one of the top sixth men in the nation this season. A candidate for Conference USA's Sixth Man of the Year award, Taylor ranks second nationally in scoring among all reserves at 14.7 points per game. During his career at UCF, Taylor has never started a game. UMBC's Brian Hodges is the top scoring reserve in the country, averaging 15 points a contest. UCF-Memphis will feature two of the top sixth men in the country as the Tigers' Jeremy Hunt ranks fifth, scoring 13.9 points per contest.

Taylor-Made: A year ago, Jermaine Taylor scored 130 points as a freshman, seeing time in all 29 of UCF's games. In 20 contests in 2006-07, the sophomore has totaled 293 points and leads UCF at 14.7 points per game. He has paced UCF in scoring 10 times. A year ago as a freshman, the guard scored in double-figures just four times. In 2006-07, he has totaled double-digits in points in 15 of the Golden Knights' 20 games. He has made 48 triples this season after canning 17 a year ago. Last season, Taylor shot 39.5 percent overall and 30.4 percent from deep. He is currently hitting 52 percent of his field-goal attempts and is shooting 45.7 percent from behind-the-arc.

Happy to be Home: The Golden Knights are happy to be at home. Six of the team's nine games in January were on the road. UCF began the month with four-straight away games. The squad spent 13 of the first 14 days of the month on the road or travelling. In total, the team spent 19 of the first 28 days in January on the road or travelling. The Golden Knights spent plenty of time in the air, flying to Denver, Colo., Sioux Falls, S.D., Birmingham, Ala., Charleston, W.Va., Houston and El Paso, Texas. The team flew 7,857 total miles during the month.

Full House: Four of the largest crowds in UCF Arena history have already been recorded this season. In the Golden Knights' last home contest on Jan. 20 versus Rice, 3,807 fans were on hand to see UCF top the Owls. The attendance figure was the third-largest in program history. The seventh-largest (3,151 - Jan. 17 vs. SMU), 10th-largest (2,886 - Nov. 15 vs. Rollins) and 11th-largest (2,879 - Dec. 9 vs. Florida Atlantic) crowds have all been recorded this season. Through 10 home contests this year, UCF is averaging 2,347 fans. In 2005-06, the Golden Knights averaged 1,732 fans per game.

House of Payne: In six Conference USA games, Lavell Payne has been strong inside for the Golden Knights. He is averaging 10.8 points and five rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor. The senior forward had a career-high 26 points at Houston on Jan. 24. In the Golden Knights' 14 non-conference games, Payne averaged 8.4 points on 42.4 percent shooting.

Benchmark: At UTEP on Saturday, UCF's bench accounted for 27 points. Thanks to Jermaine Taylor who paces the squad at 14.7 points per game, the Golden Knights' reserves are averaging 29.1 points per contest. UCF's bench has outscored the opponent's reserves on 17 occasions in 2006-07.

Changing of the Guard: As the backup point guard last year, Dave Noel averaged just 2.8 points in 11.8 minutes an outing. Now starting at shooting guard, the junior is averaging 9.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He is shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 81.7 percent at the free-throw stripe. In Conference USA play, Noel is scoring 11.2 points a game and is averaging 4.5 boards and 3.7 assists. Against league foes, he has made 34-of-39 (87.2 percent) of his free-throw attempts.

Minutes Add Up for O'Donnell: In Conference USA play, Mike O'Donnell is averaging 35.3 minutes per game, which ranks sixth in the league. O'Donnell averaged 27.8 minutes in UCF's 14 non-conference games.

Windex Man: In limited minutes this season, freshman Tony Davis has proved that he can rebound. The forward is first on the squad, averaging five rebounds in 15.5 minutes per game. A candidate for the All-C-USA Freshman Team, he was the Florida Class 6A Player of the Year at Riverview High School in Sarasota.

The Veteran: Josh Peppers has appeared in 112 games while at UCF, good for eighth in program history. The senior forward has played in a pair of NCAA Tournament games at UCF and is on pace to break the school's all-time games played mark of 122.

This Date in UCF History: In 1977, Bo Clark recorded 70 points in UCF's 135-83 victory over Florida Memorial at home. Clark's 70 points are the most in a single game by a UCF player. He was 33-of-47 from the field.

Up Next: UCF concludes a two-game homestand on Saturday, hosting Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane have a 2-1 edge in the all-time series, but UCF won the lone Conference USA matchup last year. On Jan. 21, 2006, the host Golden Knights recorded a 45-44 win when Josh Peppers blocked a layup by Tulsa's Anthony Price at the end of the game. The 44 points scored by the Golden Hurricane are the second-fewest by a UCF opponent at the Division I level. Anthony Williams paced the hosts with 15 points against Tulsa. UCF shot just 33.3 percent overall, while the Golden Hurricane shot at a 38.3 percent clip.