UCF Set to Host Ole Miss Saturday

Dec. 7, 2007

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ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will continue its tough non-conference schedule on Saturday, hosting Ole Miss. Tip-off at the new UCF Arena is slated for 7 p.m.

Head coach Kirk Speraw's Knights (4-3) are off to a 3-0 start at the new UCF Arena. Ole Miss is 6-0 in 2007-08. The Rebels are currently receiving votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

The Knights will be hosting a Southeastern Conference program for the first time since 1997.

The Holler-Classic Automotive Group will serve as the presenting sponsor of the game. The first 2,500 fans who enter the arena will receive a complimentary UCF pennant courtesy of Holler-Classic.

The game will be televised live regionally on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast. Matt Stewart will handle the play-by-play duties and former college head coach Jan van Breda Koff will provide color commentary.

The broadcast will serve as the first telecast from the new arena.

Tickets for the game are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the UCF ticket office at Bright House Networks Stadium. On Saturday, tickets can be purchased at the new UCF Arena.

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 aired 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.

? Kirk Speraw (Iowa, 1980) is in his 15th season as UCF's head coach. He owns a 235-190 record at UCF. In his 18th year as a head coach, he has a 317-211 mark. In 2006-07, he was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year.
? Ole Miss is coached by Andy Kennedy (UAB, 1991), who is 27-13 in his second year at Ole Miss. In three seasons as a head coach, he is 48-26.

? UCF and Ole Miss will be meeting for the first time. The Knights are winless in 24 games all-time versus Southeastern Conference opponents. UCF last faced SEC programs during the 2005-06 campaign, playing at Florida and Kentucky.
? The Rebels are the first SEC program to visit Orlando since 1997, when UCF hosted Auburn for its season opener.
? All-time, UCF is 2-2 against programs from Mississippi. The Knights are 1-1 against Conference USA foe Southern Miss and 1-1 versus Alcorn State.
? The Knights have already met opponents from seven different states this season and the Rebels will make it eight. Through seven games a year ago, UCF played six programs from Florida and one from Minnesota.

? Ole Miss is off to its best start since 2000-01. On Dec. 1, the team defeated New Mexico, 85-77, in a matchup of two unbeaten squads.
Dwayne Curtis scored 20 points and added 10 boards in the victory.
? The Rebels, who are second nationally in scoring, averaging 94.5 points per game, boast a +22.2 scoring margin. They have scored at least 80 points in all six of their games this year and totaled over 100 points twice.
? The squad is shooting 51.8 percent from the floor, which ranks ninth in the country, and is limiting its foes to 72.3 points per contest. Five Rebels are averaging double-figures in scoring, led by Chris Warren (14.8).
? The Rebels will be playing a road game for the first time this season when they meet UCF.

? UCF will return to action on Tuesday, hosting Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns have an 8-0 edge in the all-time series, including a 4-0 mark in Orlando.
? The two programs were league opponents from 1990-92 in the American South and Sun Belt Conferences.

? Ole Miss is currently receiving four votes in the Associated Press Top 25. When UCF meets the Rebels, it will mark the fourth time this season that the Knights have faced a team that is nationally ranked or garnering votes.

? Three of UCF's first seven 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.
? Seven games into the season, UCF has already faced a pair of BIG EAST programs (Villanova, USF) and one team from the Big Ten (Penn State) and Big 12 (Kansas State).
? UCF's non-conference schedule will get no easier. Ole Miss participated in the NIT a year ago and UCF will play a return game at Nevada and host Connecticut before entering Conference USA play.

? A pair of close friends - UCF sophomore forward Tony Davis and Ole Miss sophomore guard Eniel Polynice - will meet on the hardwood on Saturday. The two players are both from Sarasota, Fla.
? In 2005-06, Davis (Riverview High School) and Polynice (Booker High School) shared Sarasota Herald-Tribune Player of the Year honors.
? While in high school, the pair played on the same AAU team for one year.

? Four Knights finished with double-figures in scoring, but it was not enough as UCF fell 75-67 at USF on Dec. 1. Jermaine Taylor paced the Knights with 20 points.
? The Bulls dominated the boards, finishing with a 45-33 rebounding edge. USF's Dominique Jones led all scorers with 30 points. The cross-state opponents were meeting for the first time since 2002.

? Tony Davis set a UCF single-game record with eight blocks at USF. The sophomore forward entered the contest with just 19 career swats.
? The last player to record at least six blocks in a game was Anthony Williams in 2005 versus South Dakota Sate. John Friday held the previous school single-game record with seven, which he achieved twice in 1987.
? The Knights totaled 10 blocks versus the Bulls, which tied for third on the school's single-game register.

? Tony Davis just missed a triple-double at USF, finishing with 10 points, 10 boards and eight blocks. Off of the bench, Davis played a career-high 35 minutes.
? Davis canned a pair of 3-pointers against the Bulls. The Sarasota native is averaging 7.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per contest in 2007-08.
? Last season, he appeared in all 31 games as a reserve and averaged 2.9 points and 3.8 boards.

? Jermaine Taylor has scored at least 20 points in four-consecutive games for the Knights. The junior paces the team in scoring at 17.4 points per game.
? Taylor has five 20-point performances in 2007-08. He 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).

? Three of UCF's four victories this season have come at the new UCF Arena. The Knights boast a +14.7 scoring margin at the new facility, compared to -1.7 away from campus.

? The Knights have won 10-consecutive contests at home. Dating back to the start of last season, UCF has claimed 11-straight non-conference games in Orlando.
? A year ago, UCF went 15-1 in its final campaign at the old UCF Arena. Since the start of the 2003-04 season, the Knights are 52-10 at home.

? The new UCF Arena is paying big dividends for the Knights. A school record 5,277 fans were on hand at the facility to watch the Knights top Norfolk State on Nov. 16. In the inaugural game at the arena on Nov. 11 versus Nevada, the fifth-largest crowd in school history was recorded (4,668).
? UCF is averaging 4,893 spectators at home this season.
? A year ago, UCF averaged 2,706 fans per game at the 5,100-seat old UCF Arena. That mark was the highest average attendance in program history. The Knights played at the old facility from 1991-2007.

? UCF's starting lineup features three guards - Dave Noel, Mike O'Donnell and Jermaine Taylor. The trio is combining to average 41 points per contest.
? The three perimeter players have made 44 of UCF's 52 3-pointers this year and have accounted for 58 percent of the team's total points.