Men's Basketball to Conclude Homestand Against Marshall

Feb. 5, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will return to the hardwood on Wednesday, hosting Marshall for a Conference USA contest at the new UCF Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

The contest will conclude a three-game homestand for the Knights (11-10, 4-3 C-USA).

UCF is led by junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares), who ranks 14th nationally in scoring at 21.5 points per game. Taylor needs just 23 points to become the 14th 1,000-point scorer in school history.

Marshall is 11-9 overall and 3-4 in conference play this season.

Tickets for the game are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at the UCFAA Box Office at Bright House Networks Stadium. On Wednesday, tickets can be purchased at the new UCF Arena.

The Knights have four home games remaining in 2007-08 and the UCFAA is offering a special ticket package for the remaining contests. Call 407-UCF-1000 for more information about the ticket deal.

UCF students are admitted free to all home games with a valid school ID. On Wednesday, one lucky student from the Knightmare section will win an iPod, courtesy of Coca-Cola.

UCF-Marshall will be aired on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and 740 AM in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call from courtside.

Live audio, video 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 242-197 record at UCF. In his 18th year as a head coach, he has a 324-218 mark. In 2006-07, he was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year.
? Marshall's Donnie Jones (Pikeville, 1988) is 11-9 in his first year as a head coach.

? The all-time series is tied 2-2 as the Knights won both matchups a year ago.
? The squads last met on Feb. 10, 2007 in Orlando and the hosts took a 75-58 victory. Mike O'Donnell and Jermaine Taylor each scored 17 points in the win.
? In four career contests against the Thundering Herd, O'Donnell is averaging 12.5 points and 4.8 assists. He has drained 11 3-pointers versus Marshall.

? Under first-year head coach Donnie Jones, the Thundering Herd have nearly eclipsed their win total from last season (13). On Saturday, Marshall fell 74-55 at UAB, despite 17 points from Mark Dorris and a 15-point performance from Tyler Wilkerson.
? Markel Humphrey has been hobbled by an injury, but still paces the squad in scoring at 13.7 points per game. Tirell Baines is Marshall's top rebounder (6.3). The team is averaging 67.2 points an outing, while holding its foes to 65.2 points, which ranks third in Conference USA.

? The Knights play at No. 1 Memphis on Saturday in a contest that will be aired live nationally on CSTV. The Tigers have won both matchups since the UCF joined Conference USA in 2005 and have a 5-0 edge in the all-time series. The Tigers, who were ranked 11th-nationally at the time, posted an 87-65 win at the old UCF Arena in front of a facility-record 4,805 fans on Jan. 31, 2007 in the last series meeting.
? UCF will be facing a nationally-ranked opponent for the third time this season and for the 20th time in school history. The contest will mark the ninth time that the Knights have played a squad ranked in the top 10.

? Despite 31 points from Jermaine Taylor, UCF dropped a close Conference USA contest to visiting Houston on Saturday, falling 84-81. The Knights had the opportunity to send the game into overtime, but Mike O'Donnell's off-balanced 3-point attempt was no good as time expired.
? The Cougars made 16-of-42 3-point field goal attempts, led by Robert McKiver who connected on seven triples and recorded 31 points.

? Since joining Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 campaign, the Knights have won 22 league contests, a mark that ranks fourth among the 12 C-USA programs during that span. Memphis has won 36 C-USA games in the last three years, followed by Houston and UAB, who both have 24 wins.
? UCF entered C-USA with five other programs. Besides the Knights, UTEP (21) and Tulsa (17) have posted the most league victories among the new members.
? With the move to C-USA, the Knights have faced the biggest increase in competition among the new schools, having previously competed in the Atlantic Sun. In 2006-07, UCF went 11-5 in C-USA play to finish second in the 12-team league.

? UCF's nine losses this year have come by an average of 5.6 points. Five of the losses were by three points or less and three defeats have come in overtime.
? The Knights fell to No. 18 Kansas State and traditional power Connecticut by a combined five points.
? In Conference USA play, UCF's three defeats have come by an average of four points and one occurred in overtime.
? Thirteen of UCF's total games this season have been decided by 10 points or less.

? UCF boasts Conference USA's best offense in league games. The Knights are averaging a conference-best 79.7 points in C-USA contests. The team is averaging 74.3 points on the season.
? The Knights have scored over 90 points in two league games in 2007-08. A year ago, the squad did not eclipse the 80-point mark in C-USA play.
? Against league foes, UCF is shooting 47.5 percent overall, which ranks first in the conference. The team also paces C-USA in assists per game (16.4) in conference contests.

? In its last six games, UCF averaged 84.3 points per contest. The Knights shot 48.2 percent from the field during that span and averaged 17.2 assists.

? UCF is enjoying playing at home this season. The Knights are averaging 80.2 points in Orlando, compared to 64.8 on the road. UCF has scored at least 80 points at home on seven occasions in 2007-08.
? Inside the new UCF Arena, the Knights are shooting 47.8 percent overall. In away games, the team is shooting at a 40.8 percent clip.

? In the Knights' first campaign at the new UCF Arena, nine of the top-11 single-game attendance totals in program history have already been recorded. A school record 7,097 fans watched UCF defeat Tulsa on Jan. 12.
? On Saturday, 5,682 fans saw the Knights host Houston, which ranked fourth on the school's single-season register.
? UCF has played 12 home games and a school-record 59,435 fans have attended the contests. A year ago, a then-school record 43,296 fans watched the Knights in 16 home contests at the old UCF Arena.
? Among the 13 schools in Florida that sponsor Division I basketball, UCF's attendance average of 4,953 ranks third behind only Florida (11,004) and Florida State (7,944). The Knights are drawing more fans than USF of the BIG EAST (4,718) and Miami of the ACC (3,536).

? UCF is starting three guards in 2007-08 and the trio of perimeter players - Mike O'Donnell, Dave Noel and Jermaine Taylor - have accounted for 61.2 percent of the Knights' points. Taylor (21.5) paces the Knights in scoring, followed by Noel (12.8) and O'Donnell (11.2).
? The three players have combined to make 135 of UCF's 157 3-pointers this season.

? With starter Stanley Billings out of the lineup with an injury, a pair of players have excelled for the Knights in the post. Without Billings for the last three games, Kenrick Zondervan has started at center and Jean Michel Yotio has seen time in the middle off of the bench.
? In the last three games, the pair combined to average 10.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per contest. Additionally, the duo is shooting a combined 57.6 percent from the floor.
? Zondervan had a complete game against Houston on Saturday, scoring eight points to go with a team-high seven rebounds. His game-high six assists were good for a career high.
? In Conference USA play, Billings was averaging 7.8 points and 4.5 boards. He was shooting 57.1 percent overall and averaging 27.3 minutes per outing.

? Averaging 1.9 steals per game, Mike O'Donnell is currently first in Conference USA in the category. O'Donnell has 39 steals on the year. He paced the Knights in steals last season with 48.

? Tony Davis has started four games this season at power forward and has excelled in his starting role. He is averaging eight points and 7.3 boards as a starter. Davis has started the Knights' last three contests.

? The Knights have recorded at least 15 assists in five of their last six games. Against Houston on Saturday, UCF dished out 19 assists on 26 field goals.
? On the year, UCF ranks second in Conference USA in assists, averaging 15.4 an outing.

? In addition to being one of the top defensive players in Conference USA, Dave Noel has exhibited a well-rounded offensive game this season as well. The senior guard is second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game.
? He is ninth in C-USA in field-goal percentage (50.9) and ranks second in 3-point field-goal percentage, making 45.5 of his attempts from deep.
? He has shown great improvement offensively while with the Knights. A year ago, Noel averaged 9.1 points. In his first campaign with the Knights after transferring from UNC-Wilmington, Noel totaled 2.8 points per game as the team's backup point guard in 2005-06.

? In his third campaign with the Knights, Dave Noel ranks third in program history in free-throw percentage, shooting at an 83.1 percent clip. Cleveland Jackson (1977-79) is the school's leader in the category at 83.8 percent.
? This year, Noel is fifth in Conference USA, shooting 82.9 percent from the line.

? A look at UCF's statistics shows that Kenrick Zondervan has benefited from the Knights' move into the new UCF Arena. At home this season, the post player is averaging seven points while shooting 58.3 percent from the floor.
? On the road, Zondervan is averaging 1.5 points on 19.0 percent shooting.

? UCF averaged just 11.8 turnovers in its last four contests. In Conference USA play, the Knights are second in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.21), trailing only top-ranked Memphis (1.29).

? In just his third season in Orlando after transferring from NC State, Mike O'Donnell is making his mark in the UCF record book. He is currently listed in five career statistical categories: 3-point field goals (174-5th), 3-point field goal attempts (444-6th), 3-point field goal percentage (.392-7th), assists (296-6th) and steals (132-9th).

? Mike Battle missed 11 games in non-league play due to an injury. He saw limited time once returning to action on Jan. 5 at Sam Houston State, but has played well in UCF's last two games.
? The shooting guard, who has also seen time at small forward, averaged seven points in 14 minutes in the last two games. He connected on four 3-pointers in the contests against UAB and Houston.

Jermaine Taylor NOTABLES

? Jermaine Taylor is second in Conference USA and 14th nationally in scoring, averaging 21.5 points per game. The junior has paced the Knights in points in 18 of UCF's 21 games this season and has scored at least 20 points on 15 occasions.
? Prior to this year, a UCF player had not scored at least 30 points in a game since the 2004-05 campaign. Taylor has achieved the feat on three occasions this season.

? Jermaine Taylor needs only 23 points to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career. In 81 games with the Knights, Taylor has recorded 977 points.
? He is on pace to become the 14th 1,000-point scorer in school history. A year ago as a senior, Josh Peppers achieved the feat. The small forward finished his career with 1,376 points.
? Taylor is looking to become the second member of his family to join the 1,000-point club at UCF. His first cousin, Darryl Davis, scored 1,540 points with the Knights from 1991-95. Davis played for head coach Kirk Speraw for two seasons.

? In UCF's last five games, Jermaine Taylor averaged 26.4 points. During that time, he shot 56.8 percent from the floor and 83.9 percent at the free-throw line.

? Jermaine Taylor is averaging 24.7 points in Conference USA games. Against league foes, Taylor is shooting 53.1 percent overall and 85 percent at the free-throw line.
? His field-goal percentage ranks eighth in C-USA and his free-throw percentage is seventh.
? The junior has exhibited his all-around game in league play as well, averaging 5.9 boards, which ranks 11th. On the defensive end in conference games, he is averaging 1.9 steals, which ties him for third in the league.

? Not only does Jermaine Taylor rank 14th nationally in scoring, he is tops among all players in Florida as well. Thirteen schools in Florida sponsor Division I basketball and Taylor's average is first among all players from those programs. Kentrel Gransberry (16.7) of USF is second in scoring in the Sunshine State.

? A year ago, Josh Peppers was the Knights' leading scorer. In 31 games, he totaled 442 points for a 14.3 average. In just 21 contests this season, Jermaine Taylor has already scored 452 points.