Men's Basketball to Host Florida Southern for Exhibition

Nov. 5, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - On Tuesday, the UCF men's basketball team will play its final exhibition game before starting the regular season, hosting Florida Southern at the new UCF Arena. Tip-off for the contest at the state-of-the-art 10,000-seat facility is set for 7 p.m. and admission is free.

Free parking is available for the exhibition game in Garage D, which is located across from the arena.

Head coach Kirk Speraw's Knights are slated to open the regular-season campaign on Sunday against national power Nevada in the inaugural game at the new UCF Arena. UCF will play 16 regular-season games at the new arena this season.

The team played its preseason opener on Saturday, posting an 86-78 win over St. Leo at home. Junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) scored 28 points in the victory. Senior guard Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) connected on seven 3-pointers and finished with 22 points.

Taylor is the squad's leading returning scorer at 12.7 points per game. UCF returns nine letterwinners and three starters from last season's 22-9 team that finished second in Conference USA. Following the 2006-07 regular season, Speraw was named the C-USA Coach of the Year.

Florida Southern, a Division II program that competes in the Sunshine State Conference, returns its top three scorers from a year ago. Forward Andrei Grant averaged 13.3 points per game last season to go with 7.9 boards.

UCF and the Moccasins were former rivals in the Sunshine State Conference in the 1970s and 1980s. The teams have met on 26 occasions in regular-season play. The last meeting was in 1985 during the Knights' first campaign in Division I.

Speraw served as an assistant coach at Florida Southern from 1982-87. During his time in Lakeland, the Mocs posted a 109-46 overall record and made four appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament. After his time at Florida Southern, Speraw became the head coach at Pensacola Junior College.

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

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.

In addition to hosting Nevada, the Knights will also face nationally-recognized programs like Ole Miss and Connecticut in Orlando. During conference play, eight C-USA squads, including Houston and UAB, will play at the new arena.

Single-game tickets are also now on sale at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the UCF ticket office at Bright House Networks Stadium.

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.