Taylor Seeking Record When UCF Hosts Tulsa Saturday

Feb. 13, 2009

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) will be seeking a school record when the UCF men's basketball team hosts Tulsa at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena Saturday. Taylor needs just eight points to become the program's career scoring leader at the Division I level.

In his time in Orlando, the All-America candidate has totaled 1,756 points. Ken Leeks, who played at UCF from 1988-92, currently occupies the top spot on the D-I scoring list with 1,763 points. The program joined the D-I ranks prior to the 1984-85 season.

Taylor currently ranks sixth nationally in scoring at 24.5 points per game. The Knights are 15-9 overall and 5-5 in Conference USA play. Tulsa enters Saturday's contest 17-8 and 7-3.

With Valentine's Day set for Saturday, fans can purchase one ticket to the game, and receive a free ticket for their date. To purchase the UCF Valentine's Day promotion, call Ticketmaster at (407) 839-3900 or visit UCFAthletics.com. The evening at the arena will include Valentine's Day themed giveaways, including deals for dinner at Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grille in Waterford Lakes, and prizes from Fun Factory. The Edge apartment complex is the presenting sponsor of the game.

The UCF Arena box office will be open before the contest. All UCF students are admitted free with a valid school ID.

The game will be aired on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and 740 AM in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call and will be joined on the broadcast by former UCF star Mike O'Donnell. Pregame coverage will begin at 6:30 p.m. Live statistics and video will be available on 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 Tulsa
? Prior to falling 63-37 at No. 8 Memphis Wednesday, the Golden Hurricane had won five-consecutive contests. Tulsa is led by Ben Uzoh (14.4 points per game) and Jerome Jordan (14.2). One of the premier post players in the country, Jordan is shooting 58.5 percent overall and is averaging 9.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks.
? Tulsa is one of the top defensive teams in the nation. Opponents are averaging just 60.3 points versus the Golden Hurricane. The team ranks second nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.7).

Series Information
? The Golden Hurricane have a 4-3 edge in the all-time series, but the Knights are 2-0 versus Tulsa in Orlando. A year ago when the teams met for the inaugural Conference USA game at the UCF Arena on Jan. 12, the Knights prevailed with a 97-91 overtime win. Jermaine Taylor scored seven of his 28 points in the final extra session. Chip Cartwright hit a pair of free throws early in the third overtime to put the Knights ahead for good. Stanley Billings set career highs with 17 points and eight boards in the win. Mike O'Donnell, who scored 18 points for UCF, made two foul shots with seven seconds left in the second overtime to stretch the game into a third extra session. Ben Uzoh led Tulsa with 25 points. The contest was played in front of a then school record 7,097 fans.
? Last season, the teams also met on March 8 in Oklahoma and the hosts claimed a 71-53 win. Dave Noel led UCF with 17 points. The Knights were playing without O'Donnell, who was out with a foot injury.
? UCF and Tulsa's two meetings in Orlando have been decided by a combined seven points. In the first matchup, the Knights won 45-44 on Jan. 21, 2006.

Last Time Out
? Jermaine Taylor matched a career high with 38 points, but UTEP made 21 free throws in the second half to hang on for a 73-68 victory in El Paso Wednesday. The Knights were playing without starting point guard A.J. Rompza for the second-consecutive contest.

Up Next for the Knights
? The Knights are off on Wednesday will return to action Saturday at Houston. The Cougars have 6-2 advantage in the all-time series. On Feb. 4, Houston posted a 97-69 win over the Knights in Orlando. In Texas, the Cougars are 2-1 versus UCF.

Sweet 16
? When the Knights host Tulsa, UCF will be seeking its 16th victory of the year. In 2007-08, the Knights went 16-15 overall. UCF did not win its 16th game until March 1.

Home Happiness
? The Knights are clearly enjoying their home-court advantage at the UCF Arena. The squad is averaging 79.8 points per game at home, compared to 64.8 points away from Orlando. In 13 home contests, the Knights are shooting 50.6 percent overall and 40.6 percent from deep.

Full House
? Playing inside the cozy old UCF Arena in 2006-07, the Knights averaged 2,706 spectators per game. Two years later, UCF has one of the nation's finest facilities in the new UCF Arena and is playing in front of an average of 4,411 fans. That mark ranks third among the 13 Division I programs in Florida. UCF trails only Florida and Florida State and is averaging more spectators than Miami (4,261) and USF (3,860).

The Missing Piece
? UCF's current three-game losing skid could be traced back to the first half of the Knights' contest with Houston on Feb. 4, when A.J. Rompza severely sprained his ankle. UCF has struggled without its point guard, who has missed the last two contests.
? In seven Conference USA contests with a healthy Rompza in the lineup, UCF averaged 72.0 points, shot 49.2 percent overall and averaged 17.0 assists. In three games (including Houston) without the services of the Chicago native, the Knights averaged 70.7 points, shot 38.2 percent from the field and dished out 13.0 assists a contest.

Board Work
? UCF was active on the glass during its last three games, finishing with an edge on the boards in each contest. The squad posted a +9.0 rebounding advantage in the games. The Knights actually recorded more offensive rebounds (62) than defensive boards (56) during the span. UCF averaged 39.3 rebounds in contests against Houston, East Carolina and UTEP.

Get One Free
? The fact that UCF currently leads Conference USA by shooting 79.8 percent at the free-throw line in league games should come as a surprise to those who watched the team play during the non-conference portion of its schedule. UCF shot 70.1 percent at the line against non-league foes.
? UCF especially struggled at the charity stripe at the start of the season. The Knights played six games in November and shot just 61.1 percent from the charity stripe during the month.
? On the year, the Knights are shooting 73.6 percent at the line, which ranks second in C-USA.

Foot Loose
? Before the 2008-09 campaign, the 3-point line was moved back a foot. The change has had no impact on the Knights. In fact, UCF is shooting better from deep this season compared to a year ago. After shooting 36.3 percent from 3-point range in 2007-08, the team is making 36.9 percent of its attempts from behind-the-arc this year.
? Last season, Jermaine Taylor went 79-of-215 (36.7 percent) from deep. This year, the senior has made 70-of-168 (41.7 percent) of his attempts.

Dirty Dozen
? Tony Davis has been active on the glass in Conference USA play. He ranks third in the league, averaging 9.1 boards against league opponents. His 3.9 offensive rebounds per game average paces the conference.
? Davis has recorded at least 12 rebounds in three-consecutive games. He just missed posting his third-straight double-double in Wednesday's contest at UTEP. The junior finished with 12 rebounds and nine points.
? On the year, Davis is second on the team in scoring (9.8) and paces the squad on the glass (6.8).

Senior Moments
? As his collegiate career nears its completion, Kenrick Zondervan has been solid for the Knights in Conference USA play. The center is averaging 9.1 points and 5.2 boards against league opponents. During the non-conference slate, he averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds.
? He had the best offensive performance of his career on Feb. 7 at East Carolina. The senior totaled a career-best 19 points versus the Pirates. Zondervan shot 7-of-14 from the field and made all five of his free-throw attempts.
? In league action, Zondervan is shooting 86.4 percent at the line, making 19-of-22 attempts.

Handle with Care
? UCF's starting shooting guard, Taylor Young, is first in Conference USA and among the top-10 nationally with a 3.13 assist/turnover ratio. The redshirt sophomore has recorded 94 assists with just 30 turnovers this year.
? Young has been extra careful in C-USA play. In 10 games, he has totaled 52 assists with only 12 turnovers, and holds a 4.33 assist/turnover ratio.
? In C-USA games, he is averaging 5.2 assists, good for third in the conference.

Sharing the Rock
? Thanks to A.J. Rompza and Taylor Young, the Knights pace Conference USA and rank in the top-30 nationally in assists, averaging 16.0 a contest. Four Knights have dished out over 30 assists on the year, led by Rompza with 111.
? In C-USA play, the Knights are averaging a conference-best 15.8 assists.

Pass it On
? A.J. Rompza is third in Conference USA, recording 5.1 assists per game. His 2.18 assist/turnover ratio is good for fifth in the league. He has registered at least five assists 13 times. On three occasions in 2008-09, the Chicago native has recorded at least 10 assists.
? Rompza has played in 22 of UCF's games and has already registered 111 assists. A year ago, Chip Cartwright paced the squad with 107 assists on the season.

League Love
? A.J. Tyler has been nearly perfect at the free-throw line in Conference USA contests. The sophomore, who is in his first campaign competing for the Knights after transferring from Clemson, is shooting a league-best 95.7 percent at the charity stripe. He has made 22-of-23 attempts.

Jermaine Taylor Notes
Scoring Machine
? One of the premier players in the country, Jermaine Taylor ranks sixth nationally and first in Conference USA in scoring at 24.5 points per game. The shooting guard has led the Knights in scoring in 23 of the team's 24 contests in 2008-09. Taylor has paced the squad in points in 19-consecutive games. He has recorded six 30-point showings. In each of UCF's last eight games, Taylor has scored at least 20 points.

The Number One Spot
? Taylor needs just eight points to become UCF's all-time leading scorer at the Division I level. After totaling 38 points at UTEP Wednesday, he has 1,756 points for his career. Ken Leeks (1988-92) currently occupies the top spot as he scored 1,763 points as Knight.
? UCF joined the Division I ranks prior to the 1984-85 campaign. Taylor is fifth all-time on the school's overall career scoring list. Bo Clark (1975-77, 78-80) is the school's career leader with 2,866 points.

30 Something
? Taylor matched a career high with 38 points Wednesday at UTEP. He scored 19 points in each stanza. The senior shot 13-of-22 overall, made four treys and went 8-of-9 at the free-throw line. The performance served as his sixth 30-point game of the year and the 10th of his career.

Major League
? Taylor is averaging 25.8 points in Conference USA play. He has scored at least 18 points in each of UCF's league contests. If the season ended today, his conference scoring average would be a league record. Houston's Robert McKiver holds the C-USA mark after averaging 25.4 points a year ago.

Shot Caller
? Taylor, who is shooting 49.9 percent from the field, has been extremely accurate this season. He ranks sixth in Conference USA in field goal percentage and is the only player listed in the top 15 who has attempted more than 350 shots (437).

Triple Trouble
? Taylor is shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range, good for fourth in the conference. The mark also places in him the top-30 nationally.
? In Conference USA play, he is shooting 44.4 percent from deep. Taylor leads the league with a 3.6 triples per game average in conference games.

Third Base
? Against Houston on Feb. 4, Taylor hit three triples to become UCF's career leader in 3-pointers. He has made 229 triples at UCF. Jason Thornton was the all-time leader in the category. From 1998-02, he made 220 treys.
? Taylor has attempted a school record 591 3-pointers during his career. The fact that he has developed into one of the top long distance shooters in program history is especially impressive considering that he made just 17-of-57 (30.4 percent) of his tries from 3-point range as a freshman in 2005-06.

Welcome Home
? After two-straight road games, Taylor is happy to be at home. He is averaging 28.2 points at the UCF Arena this year. In Orlando, Taylor is shooting 55.3 percent overall, 45.6 percent from deep and 83.1 percent at the line.

The Score
? Taylor currently ranks ninth on the Conference USA career scoring list. DeMarco Johnson, who scored 1,763 points for Charlotte from 1996-98, is eighth.
? UTEP senior Stefon Jackson is the league's all-time leader in points with 2,068. Some of the big names on the C-USA top-15 list include Rodney Carney (Memphis), Travis Diener (Marquette) and Jason Maxiell (Cincinnati).

More with Less
? Last season, Taylor averaged a team-high 20.8 points in 33.5 minutes per game. This season, he has been more productive despite playing fewer minutes. He is averaging 24.5 points in only 30.9 minutes per contest.
? Among the players listed in the top-10 in the country in scoring, Taylor is last in minutes per game. The other nine players on the list are all averaging at least 33.3 minutes an outing.