UCF Fastbreak - Feb. 28

Feb. 28, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - When the Knights face Rice on Saturday evening at the new UCF Arena, the contest will serve as the final home game for the squad's five seniors. Prior to the 7 p.m. tipoff, head coach Kirk Speraw and the UCF program will honor the seniors, who will be playing in front of the home crowd for the final time.

Guards Mike Battle (Waldorf, Md./Southern Maryland Christian), Chip Cartwright (Houston, Texas/Phillis Wheatley), Dave Noel (Boynton Beach, Fla./Boynton Beach) and Mike O'Donnell (Largo, Fla./Largo) and center Stanley Billings (Orlando, Fla.) make up the squad's senior class.

Noel and O'Donnell have spent four campaigns with the program, having both transferred to UCF in 2004. Battle has been a Knight since 2005, while Billings and Cartwright have spent two years on campus.

The five players have helped make the transition from the Atlantic Sun to Conference USA a smooth one for the program. In three years in the conference, UCF has won 26 league games, a mark that ranks fourth among the 12 C-USA programs.

Following his team's 80-63 victory over Tulane last night, Speraw spoke about his senior's accomplishments.

"They've led the transition into Conference USA. I think you need to give these guys a tremendous amount of credit for what they've done... not only to make that transition, but to have more wins in the league than everybody but Memphis, UAB and Houston. For us to be in that position was totally unexpected, and you need to credit those guys for their leadership and competitiveness."

According to Battle, his time at UCF went by quickly. He expects to have several family members from Maryland attend the game on Saturday.

"It came kind of quick, actually way too fast," he said. "Hopefully it will be a special night. It will be emotional for me. It will be my last time playing here in front of the fans, and I will miss the atmosphere."

The Knights are 15-12 overall and 8-5 in league play. With three regular-season contests remaining, UCF is fourth in the C-USA standings. The top four squads in the league receive a first-round bye at the C-USA Championship.

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 UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Notes: Taylor Young started for the first time in the win over Tulane. His appearance in the starting lineup marked the first time since the 2002-03 campaign that a freshman started for the Knights... The squad has played seven C-USA contests at the new UCF Arena this season and is averaging 90.7 points in those games... UCF faced Rice on Feb. 16 in Houston and posted a 60-53 win over the Owls.