UCF Fastbreak - Nov. 14

Nov. 14, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After weeks of practices and closed-door intra-squad scrimmages, the start of the regular season is finally here for the Knights. Head coach Kirk Speraw's team will make its 2008-09 debut Sunday, hosting North Carolina A&T at the UCF Arena.

With seven true freshmen and 11 total underclassmen, the Knights have one of the youngest squads in the nation. As a result, Speraw expects UCF to show continued improvement during the season.

"I just know there's so many areas we need to improve in," he said following UCF's exhibition victory over Flagler on Tuesday. "It's not going to happen in a day, it's not going to happen in a week, it's not going to happen in a month, it's not going to happen in two months. It's a continuous learning process. It's all new to them and we've got to understand that and teach them the best we can."

With all of the new faces, it would appear that added pressure is now on senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.). The nation's 10th-leading returning scorer after averaging 20.8 points a year ago, Taylor was selected to the All-Conference USA Preseason Team by the league's head coaches.

A year ago, Taylor shared the spotlight, and the attention of opponents, with guards Dave Noel and Mike O'Donnell. Both players, who were seniors in 2007-08, averaged over 10 points per game.

Taylor disputes the fact that there is added pressure on him this season.

"Not really," he said when asked if he has to do more for the Knights to succeed. "I have enough confidence in my teammates. I think they are going to step up."

The contest with North Carolina A&T will be the only chance for UCF fans to see the Knights play at home in November. Following the game, the squad will play three-consecutive road tilts, and then head to Mexico for two games in the Cancun Challenge. The Knights' next home contest will come on Dec. 6 versus cross-state foe USF.

The season opener will also begin year two at the UCF Arena. The Knights enjoyed great success at the state-of-the-art facility in 2007-08, winning 12 contests and establishing several school attendance records.

Season tickets, which start at only $99, are currently available. To order your season tickets today, and to learn more about the Fastbreak Club and other premium seating opportunities, contact 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: The first 1,000 students to enter the UCF Arena Sunday will receive a free Knightmare headband... On Thursday, Speraw and Taylor both spoke with Jeff Sharon during interviews that will air on UCF SportsKnight next week. The program debuts each Tuesday on Sun Sports... The Knights will be meeting North Carolina A&T for the first time.