UCF Fastbreak - Nov. 18

Nov. 18, 2009

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Over the summer, sophomore guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) was asked which returning UCF player would surprise fans in 2009-10. Rompza stated that he expected redshirt freshman forward Dave Diakite (Washington, D.C.), who only appeared in a few games last year due to injury, to get considerable playing time and make a big impact for the Knights this season.

Through two games this year, Rompza has been accurate. After a double-double in UCF's win over Howard last night, Diakite is averaging 9.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. Against the Bison, he totaled 10 points and 11 boards, both season highs. Seven of his rebounds came on the offensive end.

Diakite wowed fans with a pair of plays in the first half - a big block of a Kyle Riley layup attempt on a fastbreak and a follow-up dunk after a missed UCF shot. A great leaper, Diakite is clearly the most athletic player on the team. He knows that he must work on his basketball skills - mainly ball-handling and shooting - to help the Knights have a successful year.

"I feel like that as of right now, being a freshman again, I just need to improve on my all-around game so I can contribute to the team better," he said. "[I want to] help our team get as many W's as possible."

UCF head coach Kirk Speraw says that Diakite has given the squad a lift at the start of the season. He thinks that with a more consistent effort, Diakite will have more opportunities to shine for the Knights.

"David has that kind of athleticism and toughness to him. We need to get him to do it consistently. He made some great moves and some great effort in some facets of the game, but was lackadaisical in different facets of the game. We've got to get him with that same intensity in all parts of the game."

UCF will return to action Friday, facing Auburn as part of the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach. Tip-off at the Ocean Center is set for 6 p.m. The Knights will also face Niagara (Saturday) and Drake (Sunday) at the event.

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: Through two games, sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) leads the Knights in scoring at 20.0 points per game. He is shooting 57.1 percent from deep, having hit 8-of-14 3-point attempts... Diakite was one of two UCF players with double-doubles against Howard as freshman forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) finished with 10 points and 10 boards. The performance of the two forwards marked the first time since Feb. 19, 2005 (Kingsley Edwards and Marcus Johnson against Georgia State), that two Knights had double-doubles in the same game.