UCF Fastbreak - Oct. 19

Oct. 19, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Despite his 7-foot-4, 300-pound frame, freshman center Jakub Kusmieruk (Sokolow Podlaski, Poland) never excelled in the weight room while in high school. Thanks to assistance from strength and conditioning coach B.J. Faulk, Kusmieruk is making strides physically.

Since arriving on campus in June, Kusmieruk has improved in all areas in the weight room. Over the summer, the Knights lifted two to three times per week under Faulk's supervision.

"I was horrible in bench (before UCF)," Kusmieruk said. "I started off at 140. Right now I am at 215. I have improved greatly."

For the first time, the Knights have been able to utilize their own weight room, which is located inside the program's practice facility. The team also has access to the weight room inside the Wayne Densch Sports Center.

Kusmieruk is not the only newcomer who has gained strength since becoming a Knight. Guard Dave Diakite (Washington, D.C.) has added 55 pounds to his bench-press level. He credits Faulk for pushing the team to succeed in the weight room.

"The toughest part about college has been the amount of lifting," Diakite said. "It will help us a lot once the season starts."

The Knights will get the regular season underway on Nov. 16, hosting North Carolina A&T at the new UCF Arena. The team is slated to play 16 contests at the state-of-the-art facility in 2008-09. The slate includes a non-conference showdown with cross-state foe USF and a Conference USA game with national power Memphis.

Season tickets are currently on sale. To order your season tickets today, or to learn about the new Fastbreak Club and other premium seating options, call the UCF ticket sales office at (407) UCF-1000.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.

Notes: Kusmieruk is the tallest player in school history. He is just the third 7-footer at UCF, joining Ben Stout (7-foot-1, 2003-04) and Eric Bethea (7-foot, 1984-85)... The Knights had their first practice of the season on Friday evening. Highlights from the session will appear on UCF SportsKnight, which airs Tuesday on Sun Sports and several times per week on UCF TV.