Exhibition Game Set for Saturday

Nov. 2, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After practicing inside the facility for a few months, the UCF men's basketball team will have its first opportunity to play a game inside the new UCF Arena on Saturday when the Knights host St. Leo for an exhibition contest. Admission to the game, which begins at 11 a.m., is free.

The game will be played before UCF's football Homecoming contest with Marshall at Bright House Networks Stadium. On Saturday, the school's football parking plan will be in effect. Free parking is available in all blue and red zone lots.

The game will also serve as a select-a-seat event for prospective season-ticket holders. The UCF sales staff will be on hand to offer information about the Knights' inaugural season at the new arena.

One of the finest facilities in the country, the 10,000-seat arena features numerous amenities, including luxury suites, club seating, a scoreboard with four video screens and several concession options.

Head coach Kirk Speraw's Knights went 22-9 in 2006-07 and finished second in only its second campaign in Conference USA. Following the regular season, Speraw was named the league's coach of the year, joining an impressive list of coaches who have won the award, including Denny Crum, Bob Huggins and Rick Pitino.

UCF returns nine letterwiners from last season's squad, including three starters. Seniors Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) and Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) are both back to start in the backcourt.

One of the top point guards in C-USA, O'Donnell averaged 10.3 points and 3.7 assists last year. He connected on 68 3-pointers during the season. A defensive stopper, Noel showed great improvement offensively, averaging 9.1 points to go with 3.8 rebounds.

Junior guard/forward Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) is the team's top returning scorer. He averaged 12.7 points as a reserve in 2006-07.

UCF was one of the better shooting teams in the country last season, pacing C-USA in field-goal (47), 3-point field goal (39.4) and free-throw percentage (72.4). The Knights averaged 72.8 points, while limiting their foes to 65.2.

In its final campaign at the old UCF Arena last year, UCF won a school-record 15 games in Orlando.

A Division II institution, St. Leo went 13-15 overall in 2006-07. The Lions return four of their top five scorers.

UCF hosted St. Leo for an exhibition game prior to last season and the Knights claimed a 102-54 victory.

Live statistics for the game will be available at www.ucfathletics.com.

After facing St. Leo, UCF will play Florida Southern in an exhibition contest in Orlando on Tuesday.

The Knights will play their inaugural regular-season game at the new arena on Nov. 11 against national power Nevada. UCF is set to play 16 contests at home this season, including tilts against Ole Miss and Connecticut.

Season tickets are currently available by calling 407-UCF-1000. One lucky season ticket holder 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 automatically entered into a drawing to win the Mazda CX-9.

Single-game tickets are also on sale.

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.