Men's Basketball to Return to Action Tuesday Hosting Howard

Nov. 16, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After opening the 2009-10 campaign with a big win over Massachusetts last week, the UCF men's basketball team will return to action Tuesday, hosting Howard. The contest, which is part of the Glenn Wilkes Classic, is set to start at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena.

On Friday, head coach Kirk Speraw's Knights (1-0) rolled to an 84-67 win over visiting Massachusetts. Sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) led the hosts with 26 points. The game was played in front of 8,727 fans, the second-largest crowd in school history.

Howard is 0-1 after falling 83-60 at Indiana on Friday.

After facing the Bison, UCF will continue the Glenn Wilkes Classic with three games in Daytona Beach, starting with a Friday matchup with Auburn.

Season tickets, which begin at just $79, are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com. The UCF Arena box office will be open before Tuesday's game. UCF students are admitted free with a valid school ID.

The contest will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network, and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will provide play-by-play, and will be joined on the broadcast by Mike O'Donnell. Live video and statistics will be available on UCFAthletics.com.

Prior to the game, UCF's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be holding a canned food drive inside the front lobby of the arena.

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.

Series Information
? UCF and Howard will be meeting for the third time overall and for the first time since 1989
? The Bison have a 1-2 edge in the all-time series
? In the last series matchup, Howard posted an 81-65 win over the Knights on Dec. 16, 1989, as part of the McClendon Classic in Chicago
? Howard is one of two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference teams that the Knights will face this year at home
? On Dec. 12, UCF will meet Bethune-Cookman at the UCF Arena
? When the Knights meet the Bison, it will mark the fifth-straight season that UCF has hosted a MEAC program
? Last year, UCF opened the regular season with an 81-62 victory over visiting North Carolina A&T

? Howard is located in Washington, D.C., the hometown of UCF's Dave Diakite
? Diakite attended National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, Md.

Up Next for the Knights
? The Knights will face Auburn Friday at 6 p.m. at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach
? The Tigers have a 4-0 edge in the all-time series
? The teams will be meeting for the first time since 1998
? After facing Auburn, UCF will conclude the Glenn Wilkes Classic with games against Niagara and Drake

Last Time Out
? UCF opened the regular season in fine fashion, posting an 84-67 win over Massachusetts Friday at home
? Isaac Sosa hit six triples and finished with a game-high 26 points for UCF
? The Knights shot 54.5 percent overall and 58.6 percent from deep in the win
? UCF led 38-35 at halftime and outscored the Minutemen 46-32 after intermission

Flavor of the Month
? UCF has won 18-straight contests at home during the month of November
? The Knights' last home loss during the month came on Nov. 19, 1999, against Miami

Crowded House
? When the Knights hosted Massachusetts last Friday, 8,727 fans were on hand at the UCF Arena
? The attendance was the second-largest in program history, trailing only the 9,825 fans who saw UCF host Memphis a year ago
? A year ago, when the Knights opened the season against visiting North Carolina A&T, 3,508 fans were in attendance

Sure Shot
? Isaac Sosa's 26 points in the win over Massachusetts were a career high
? He shot 9-of-11 overall and 6-of-7 from 3-point range
? For his career, the sophomore has made 63-of-133 attempts from deep
? His career 3-point field goal percentage (47.4) is tied with Edsel Bester (1986-90) for first all-time at UCF
? This past summer, Sosa worked hard on his game when he helped Puerto Rico place sixth out of 16 teams at the FIBA U19 World Championship in New Zealand
? Sosa averaged 9.6 points in nine games and connected on 18-of-39 attempts from 3-point range, good for 46.2 percent, which ranked 10th among all players at the tournament

On Point
? A year ago, A.J. Rompza averaged 4.3 points as his main job was to get the ball to Jermaine Taylor, who ranked third nationally in scoring at 26.2 points per game
? With Taylor now playing for Houston in the National Basketball Association, Rompza is looking to score more
? Against Massachusetts, he shot 6-of-8 overall on his way to a career-best 13 points
? Rompza still excelled with his point guard duties, dishing out five assists with only one turnover in 31 minutes

Great Starts
? A pair of UCF forwards - Dave Diakite and P.J. Gaynor - made their first career starts in Friday's win over the Minutemen
? In 21 minutes, Diakite scored a career-best eight points and also grabbed seven boards
? Diakite only appeared in five games last season due to an injury, and earned a redshirt
? Gaynor logged 24 minutes and totaled 11 points and four rebounds and went 7-of-9 at the free-throw line
? The sophomore averaged 2.0 points and 1.9 boards in 2008-09

Grand Opening
? Heralded freshman Keith Clanton had a strong collegiate debut for the Knights
? In 27 minutes off of the bench against Massachusetts, the forward totaled nine points and a game-high eight rebounds

Losing Pays Off for Kuba
? During the offseason, Jakub Kusmieruk lost 40 pounds
? The 7-foot-4 sophomore, who is the second-tallest player in the country this season, went from 320 to 280 pounds
? His new physique helped him have a strong game against Massachusetts, as he matched his career-high with six points in the win
? In nine minutes, he also added a career-best three rebounds and one block
? Kusmieruk averaged 2.2 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.0 minutes per game a year ago

It Takes Teamwork
? Last season, the Knights led Conference USA, averaging 19.7 assists per outing
? In the season opener, UCF continued its trend of sharing the ball, recording 20 assists on 30 made field goals

The Good Care People
? UCF's two point guards, A.J. Rompza and Taylor Young, took good care of the ball Friday
? The duo combined for nine assists and only one turnover
? Last season, Young was 12th nationally in assist-turnover ratio (2.72) and Rompza ranked 23rd at 2.40

The Youngsters
? In the win over Massachusetts, underclassmen were responsible for 89.2 percent of UCF's scoring
? Freshmen and sophomores logged 80.5 percent of the team's minutes
? Five Knights made their collegiate debuts in the win