Knights Return to the Hardwood on Wednesday

Nov. 27, 2007

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - After playing three games in four days against top competition at the Old Spice Classic at Disney's Wide World of Sports, the UCF men's basketball team will host Presbyterian on Wednesday. The game should start around 7:30 p.m., following a UCF women's contest at the new UCF Arena.

The Knights (3-2) played a pair of nationally-ranked teams at the eight-team Old Spice Classic and closed the tournament with an impressive win over Penn State on Sunday. Presbyterian enters the contest 0-7 this year.

Tickets for the game are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the UCF ticket office at Bright House Networks Stadium. Season tickets are currently available by calling 407-UCF-1000.

UCF students are admitted free to all home basketball games with a valid school ID.

The contest will be broadcast live on the UCF ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Team in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call during the broadcast. He will be joined courtside by Scott Adams. Live audio and statistics will be available at www.ucfathletics.com. A live video feed will also be available on the web site.

? Kirk Speraw (Iowa, 1980) is in his 15th season as UCF's head coach. He owns a 234-189 record at UCF. In his 18th year as a head coach, he has a 316-210 mark. In 2006-07, he was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year.
? Presbyterian is coached by Gregg Nibert (Marietta, 1979). He is in his 19th year at the school and his 19th season overall as a head coach. Nibbert is 227-213 during that span.

? UCF and Presbyterian will be meeting for the first time on the hardwood.
? All-time, UCF is 16-24 against programs from South Carolina. The last team from the Palmetto State that the Knights faced was The Citadel during the 2003-04 campaign.

? The Blue Hose are in their first campaign in Division I. Presbyterian is starting the season with eight-consecutive games away from home. The squad will face a difficult schedule in 2007-08, with contests at Ohio State, Georgia, Wake Forest, NC State, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Wright State and Ole Miss set for later in the year. Presbyterian has already played at Nebraska, New Mexico and Clemson.
? On Saturday, Presbyterian came close to its first victory at the Division I level, but fell 63-58 at Army.
? Presbyterian is allowing 74.6 points per game, while scoring just 60.9 points a contest. Opponents are shooting 50.7 percent against the Blue Hose.

? UCF will meet cross-state rival USF for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign on Saturday. The squads will play in Tampa at 7 p.m.
? The Bulls have a 17-4 edge in the all-time series. USF claimed the last meeting, 84-79, in Orlando on Jan. 29, 2002.
? The contest will serve as a homecoming for UCF's Mike O'Donnell, who hails from Largo, which is located just outside of Tampa.

? Presbyterian's leading scorer is guard Pat Kiscaden at 14.4 points per game. An Oviedo native, Kiscaden is familiar with the UCF program.
? His brother, Tim, was a walk-on guard for the Knights during the 2001-02 season. Tim appeared in six games for UCF that season.

? UCF did not have to travel far last week to compete in one of the nation's top tournaments. Playing in nearby Lake Buena Vista at Disney's Wide World of Sports, UCF faced programs from three of the nation's top conferences - Villanova (BIG EAST), Kansas State (Big 12) and Penn State (Big Ten) - at the Old Spice Classic.
? The Knights went 1-2 at the event, but closed the tournament with an impressive 70-59 victory over Penn State on Sunday.
? UCF's two losses came to two nationally-ranked squads - No. 19 Villanova and No. 18 Kansas State - by an average of five points.

? Jermaine Taylor scored a game-high 23 points on Sunday to lift UCF to a 70-59 win over Penn State at the Old Spice Classic. The Knights limited Penn State to a 36.2 shooting effort overall and just a 16.1 percent (5-of-31) showing from 3-point range.
? Five Knights grabbed at least six boards as UCF finished the game with a 44-32 advantage on the glass. Mike O'Donnell scored 16 points in the win.
? The victory marked UCF's first win over a Big Ten program in seven tries.

? Three of UCF's first five opponents in 2007-08 participated in the postseason a year ago. The Knights have already faced Nevada (NCAA), Villanova (NCAA) and Kansas State (NIT) this year.
? Villanova (No. 19) and Kansas State (No. 18) were both ranked when meeting the Knights. Nevada, the squad's season-opening opponent, was garnering votes in both national polls at the time.
? UCF's non-conference schedule will get no easier. The Knights will play a pair of BIG EAST squads (at USF, vs. Connecticut), host a Southeastern Conference team (Ole Miss) and play at return game at Nevada before entering Conference USA play.

? Mike O'Donnell was one of the top 3-point shooters in Conference USA a year ago and this season has been no different. He is shooting 41.5 percent from deep in 2007-08.
? This year, 17 of O'Donnell's 21 made field goals have been from 3-point range.
? The senior guard averaged a team-high 18 points at the Old Spice Classic. He hit 12 treys in three games at the eight-team event.
? In just his third season with the Knights after transferring from NC State, O'Donnell has made 137 triples, good for eighth all-time at UCF. Gary Johnson (2003-05) is seventh on the career register (142).

? Through five games this season, Jermaine Taylor leads the Knights in scoring at 16 points per game. The junior recorded a pair of 20-point games at the Old Spice Classic and averaged 17.3 points at the tournament.
? Taylor is starting for the first time in his collegiate career. Last season, he came off of the bench in all 31 of UCF's games and was second on the team in scoring (12.7).

? Mike O'Donnell is spending little time on the bench this season. The senior guard is averaging 37.2 minutes per contest.
? O'Donnell averaged 39.7 minutes at the Old Spice Classic last week. He played a career-high 43 minutes in UCF's 73-71 overtime loss to No. 19 Kansas State at the tournament.
? At the event, O'Donnell was on the floor for 119 of the 125 minutes that UCF played. He is one of three Knights averaging over 33 minutes a game.
? A year ago, no Knight averaged more than 31 minutes a contest.

? The Knights' scoring is coming from the perimeter this season as UCF's guards have totaled 76.2 percent of the team's scoring this year. The perimeter players - Mike Battle, Chip Cartwright, Dave Noel and Mike O'Donnell - are averaging 53.4 points per game. As a team, UCF is averaging 70 points.

? Considered UCF's defensive stopper, Dave Noel has been getting it done on the other side of the court as well. This year, he is averaging 12.8 points per game.
? The senior guard is shooting 53.5 percent overall and 53.8 percent from 3-point range.
? Last year, Noel played off the ball for the first time at UCF and averaged 9.1 points. In 2005-06, Noel made his debut at UCF after transferring from UNC-Wilmington and averaged 2.8 points as a backup point guard.

? Opponents are struggling from behind-the-arc against the Knights as UCF is limiting foes to a 30.1 percent showing from 3-point range this season. In three games at the Old Spice Classic last week, UCF's opponents shot just 26.7 percent from deep, compared to 39.7 percent for the Knights.

? After a slow start to the season, Stanley Billings was solid in the post for the Knights at the Old Spice Classic. Billings averaged 6.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in 18 minutes at the tournament.
? The center shot 61.5 percent (8-of-13) in three contests at the event.

? UCF's guards are getting to the glass this season as the team's perimeter players account for 52 percent of the squad's boards. Shooting guard Dave Noel paces the Knights in rebounding at 7.2 per game. Guard/forward Jermaine Taylor is third on the team (5.8).

? Reserve point guard Chip Cartwright is playing major minutes for the Knights. In 30 minutes per game, the senior is averaging 8.0 points, a team-best 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds. Last season, Cartwright averaged 2.5 points and 1.9 boards in 12.4 minutes per contest.

? Listed at 6-foot and 165 pounds, Chip Cartwright is usually the smallest player on the court. The backup point guard has played big for the Knights in 2007-08. He leads the team with five blocked shots.
? Against No. 19 Villanova at the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 22, Cartwright totaled a career-high three blocks. He also paced the Knights with a career-high seven boards.

? Prior to falling to 19th-ranked Villanova at the Old Spice Classic on Thursday, UCF had won 16-straight contests during the month of November. That streak is now over, but another impressive mark is still alive for the Knights.
? UCF has won 17-consecutive home games in November. The program's last loss in Orlando during the month happened in 1999 versus Miami.

? UCF has won 10-consecutive home games against non-conference foes. UCF went 8-0 in Orlando in 2006-07 before starting Conference USA play and is 2-0 this year.

? The Knights have claimed nine-straight games overall at home. UCF's last loss in Orlando came on Jan. 31, 2007, versus No. 11 Memphis.
? A year ago, the squad went 15-1 at home. The 15 victories were good for a school single-season record.

? UCF's defensive intensity picked up last week at the Old Spice Classic. The team entered the eight-team tournament with just one block in two games, but recorded 18 swats in three games at the event.

? Tony Davis made his season debut against No. 19 Villanova at the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 22. The sophomore forward averaged 18.3 minutes in three games at the event. Davis averaged 4.0 points, 3.3 boards and a block.
? He played well in UCF's 70-59 win over Penn State at the tournament, finishing with five points and six rebounds. Davis averaged 2.9 points and 3.8 rebounds as a rookie in 2007-08. He played in all 31 of UCF's games as a reserve.