UCF Fastbreak - Oct. 24

Oct. 24, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - There were many words that visitors used to describe the old UCF Arena. Many of the words are not suitable for print.

One adjective that was frequently used by visiting players and coaches was dark. The lighting inside the arena was unlike any other building in the nation.

It was virtually non-existent. The dark brown seats did not help either.

The Knights' new home has ample lighting. The 10,000-seat new UCF Arena is bright. With mostly yellow seats and dozens of lights shining on the floor, the new venue is refreshing for the Knights.

"I love the atmosphere. I love shooting here," said senior guard Mike Battle (Waldorf, Md./Southern Maryland Christian Academy). "It is a lot easier to shoot here."

One major difference between the buildings is the shooting sight lines. Walls were located behind the baskets in the old buildings. The new arena features seats behind the baskets.

An accurate shooter from 3-point range, Battle likes shooting with fans behind the basket as opposed to the wall.

At least one Knight enjoyed shooting at the old arena. A year ago as a junior, guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) shot 46.5 from 3-point range at home. One player's trash is another's treasure.

"I loved shooting at the old arena because it reminded me of high school," O'Donnell said. "We had about three lights that worked at Largo High School. I was kind of used to that."

Although he will miss the old building, O'Donnell is still excited about the inaugural campaign inside the new UCF Arena.

"I am a huge fan of bright arenas. It keeps everybody in tune and aware of what is going on."

The Knights will open the regular season at the new arena on Nov. 11, hosting Nevada. The squad will play 16 regular-season contests at home this year.

The Knights will play a pair of exhibition contests at home: Nov. 3 versus St. Leo and Nov. 6 against Florida Southern.

Season tickets are currently available by calling 407-UCF-1000. One lucky season ticket holder for will get to drive home from the new UCF Arena in a brand new 2008 UCF edition Mazda CX-9, courtesy of Classic Mazda, the presenting sponsor of this year's season ticket drive. UCF fans who purchase two season tickets be entered into a drawing to win the Mazda CX-9.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Notes: For the second-straight season, UCF's roster features nine players from the Sunshine State. The nine Floridians on the roster last year was the most from the state since nine competed during the 2000-01 campaign... The Knights practiced for three hours on Tuesday afternoon.