UCF Looks for Fourth-Straight Win in Home Clash vs. SMU Wednesday

Jan. 27, 2009

UCF Game Notes in PDF Format

ORLANDO (UCFAthletics.com) - Last week proved to be very productive for the Knights' offense as it shot a combined 57.1 percent from the field in victories over Southern Miss and Marshall. UCF will now wrap up its three-game homestand when it hosts SMU at the UCF Arena Wednesday at 7 p.m., and it will air on Bright House Sports Network.

The Knights are 10-1 at home this season, and are 13-6 overall. They have climbed into a tie for third in Conference USA play with a 3-2 record, trailing only 5-0 Memphis and 3-1 Houston. The Black and Gold will battle Houston at home on CBS College Sports Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the game are available at Ticketmaster.com and at the UCF Arena box office. UCF students are admitted free with a valid school ID.

The contest will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and 740 AM in Orlando. Marc Daniels will provide the call from the UCF Arena. Pregame coverage will begin at 1:30 p.m.

Live video and statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

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.

About SMU
? Bringing in a 6-11 overall record into Wednesday's tilt, SMU stands at 1-4 in Conference USA with a home win over Tulane and losses to Rice, Marshall and East Carolina. In their most recent game vs. the Pirates in Dallas Jan. 24, the Mustangs held a 66-64 lead with less than eight minutes to play before ECU was able to score the next five points and hold on for an 80-74 win.
? SMU has three players averaging in double-figures, as Paul McCoy (13.4), Derek Williams (12.2) and Mouhammad Faye (11.0) all are posting at least 10 points a game.
? From the field, the Mustangs have produced a 44.9 field goal percentage but are 62.3 percent from the free throw line. They have outrebounded their opponents 599-572, while Bamba Fall ranks 12th in the nation with 2.8 blocks per game (47 blocks for the season).

Series Information
? UCF and SMU have played only once in each of the last three seasons, with the Mustangs holding a 2-1 series lead. SMU has never visited the new UCF Arena, as the only other time it ventured to Orlando was in a 64-56 Knight victory Jan. 17, 2007.
? In last year's 69-67 overtime win for the Mustangs, Jermaine Taylor drained a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left in regulation to send it into an extra session. Mike O'Donnell then made it 67-67 with a trey of his own with 46 ticks left in overtime, only to see Bamba Fall hit the game-winner in the paint with 23 seconds left.
? Taylor finished that game with 26 points, and UCF committed only nine turnovers in the contest.

Last Time Out
? It was a scoring fest in the first half of UCF's 87-69 home win over Marshall Jan. 25. The Knights hit 70.4 percent of their attempts in the opening frame but only had a 50-41 lead at the break. That was when their defense stepped up and forced the Thundering Herd to shoot just 36.0 percent in the second half as UCF quickly stormed away.
? The Knights went 11-for-15 behind the 3-point line, which ranked as the second-best performance in school history. Jermaine Taylor went 5-for-7 from deep and 9-for-18 overall for a game-high 27 points.
? From the free-throw line, Marshall went 8-for-17 while UCF completed its win 20-for-22.
? A.J. Rompza and Taylor Young each had seven assists. The Black and Gold had a total of 20 assists on 28 buckets.

Up Next for the Knights
? With its homestand completed, UCF has a trip to New Orleans on the docket when it meets Tulane Saturday at 3 p.m. It will be the only time this year that the two teams will clash on the hardwood in 2008-09.

Conference USA Success
? When UCF entered Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 campaign after dominating the Atlantic Sun Conference, members of the media who cover the league expected that it would take years for the program to be competitive in C-USA. Kirk Speraw and the Knights have proved the doubters wrong.
? Since joining the league, the Knights have won 29 conference contests, good for fourth among the 12 C-USA programs during that span. In all three of its campaigns in C-USA, UCF has finished in the top five in the final regular-season standings.
? UCF entered C-USA with five other programs and has won the most games among the new schools. With the move to C-USA from the A-Sun, the Knights have faced the biggest increase in competition. Rice, SMU, Tulsa and UTEP joined C-USA from the Western Athletic and Marshall came to the conference from the Mid-American.

Conference USA Victories Since the Start of the 2005-06 Season (through games of Jan. 25)
Memphis 50
UAB 34
Houston 33
UCF 30
Tulsa 26

Hometown Love
? After a pair of games on the road, the Knights are certainly happy to be at home. UCF's young squad has excelled at the UCF Arena this year. The team is averaging 81.7 points per game at home, compared to 59.8 points away from Orlando. In 11 home contests, the Knights are shooting 52.0 percent overall and 43.3 percent from deep.
? UCF is 10-1 at home this year. The team is enjoying a scoring margin of +16.1 at the UCF Arena. The Knights have scored over 80 points on seven occasions in Orlando.

Group Home
? The Knights have enjoyed great success at the UCF Arena since the facility opened in fall 2007. UCF is 22-5 at the venue. Before the team fell to Memphis on Jan. 10, the Knights had won 12-consecutive contests at the UCF Arena.

Return of the Knightmare
? The contest with Southern Miss served as the Knights' first tilt at the UCF Arena since the squad hosted Memphis on Jan. 10 in front of a school record 9,825 fans. The previous high attendance was 7,097 versus Tulsa on Jan. 12, 2007.
? UCF is averaging 4,288 fans this season. That mark ranks third among the 13 Division I programs in the Sunshine State, trailing only Florida (10,690) and Florida State (6,832). The Knights rank ahead of Miami (4,133) and USF (3,756).

Sure Shot
? Since UCF has joined Conference USA, the Knights have annually been among the top shooting teams in the league. This season is no different. UCF ranks first in the conference in field-goal percentage (46.7) and is also tops from 3-point range, shooting 38.2 percent from deep.
? UCF is connecting on 7.6 3-pointers per contest.
? The Knights also lead the conference in field goal percentage (51.6) in league games.

Tough Love
? In five Conference USA games, UCF has made it tough on its opponents on the offensive end. Despite the fact that UCF has faced two of the top conference teams in Memphis and UAB, C-USA foes are averaging just 63.0 points on 40.7 percent shooting.
? From behind-the-arc, league teams are connecting on just 29.7 percent of their attempts versus the Knights.

Conference Confidence
? Tony Davis has excelled for the Knights in Conference USA play. Against league foes, he is averaging 11.0 points and 7.4 rebounds. Davis has shot 56.8 percent overall in UCF's five conference contests. In league games, he ranks fourth in field-goal percentage, sixth in rebounding and third in blocks per game (1.75).
? Fourteen of Davis' 23 rebounds in league play have come on the offensive end.

Off the Blocks
? Tony Davis ranks eighth in UCF history with 67 career swats. Jeff Dorschner (1980-82) is seventh on the list with 83 blocked shots. Davis has totaled 16 blocks in 16 games played this season.

Sharing the Rock
? Thanks to A.J. Rompza and Taylor Young, the Knights pace Conference USA in assists, averaging 16.4 a contest. Four Knights have dished out over 20 assists on the year, led by Rompza with 94.

Handle with Care
? UCF's starting shooting guard, Taylor Young, leads Conference USA and ranks third in the nation with a 3.50 assist/turnover ratio. The redshirt sophomore has recorded 70 assists with just 20 turnovers.
? Young has been extra careful in C-USA play. In five games, he has totaled 28 assists with just two turnovers, including a nine-assist, zero-turnover performance vs. Southern Miss Jan. 21.

Pass it On
? A.J. Rompza is third in Conference USA, recording 5.0 assists per game. His 2.14 assist/turnover ratio is good for fifth in the league. He has registered at least five assists 11 times.

On Point
? UCF's starting center, Kenrick Zondervan, rarely shoots, but when the native of Holland does have a field-goal attempt, he is accurate. The senior is shooting 65.6 percent from the floor this year. He has connected on 42-of-64 shots from the field and is averaging 5.6 points per contest. At the free-throw line, he is shooting 81.5 percent (22-of-27).
? Zondervan totaled 12 points in UCF's win at Rice and 10 more vs. Southern Miss Jan. 21. He is averaging 8.4 points in C-USA play. The senior is 8-of-8 at the free-throw line in league contests.

Transfer of Power
? A.J. Tyler, who is in his first year competing for the Knights after transferring from Clemson, is shooting 72.7 percent overall in Conference USA play. The sophomore forward has made 16-of-22 attempts and is averaging 8.4 points in league games.
? In the 87-69 win over Marshall Jan. 25, Tyler notched season-highs when he posted 15 points off the bench and pulled down seven rebounds. From the field, he went 5-for-6 overall and 2-for-3 from 3-point land.

Welcome Freshman
? One of the youngest members of the UCF squad has been proving that Jermaine Taylor is not the Knights' only offensive threat. Isaac Sosa ranks third on the team in scoring at 8.7 points per game. The freshman shooting guard is averaging 19.1 minutes. He has scored in double figures on seven occasions.