Knights to Head to Daytona for Glenn Wilkes Classic

Nov. 19, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Off to a 2-0 start this season, the UCF men's basketball team will be in action close to home this weekend when the Knights play three games at the Glenn Wilkes Classic at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach. UCF will begin the stretch Friday, facing Auburn at 6 p.m.

After meeting the Tigers, head coach Kirk Speraw's squad will play Niagara on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. and Drake Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

The Knights have opened the year in strong fashion, having posted wins over visiting Massachusetts and Howard. Through two games, sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) paces the squad in scoring at 20.0 points a contest. Freshman forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) is off to a good start as well. After a double-double in Tuesday's win over Howard, the local product is averaging 9.5 points and 9.0 boards.

UCF's games against Auburn and Drake will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels and Mike O'Donnell will have the call from the Ocean Center.

Saturday's contest with Niagara will air on UCFAthletics.com only, with Scott Adams on the call.

Stretch Internet will be offering live video of the tournament for a fee, and links can be found on UCFAthletics.com.

Tickets to the Glenn Wilkes Classic are available via Ticketmaster.

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.

UCF-Auburn Series Information
? UCF and Auburn have not met since Nov. 19, 1998, when the host Tigers posted a 77-42 win over the Knights
? Auburn has a 4-0 edge in the all-time series, and the teams will be meeting at a neutral site for the first time
? Head coach Kirk Speraw is 0-2 against Auburn
? The last time that the programs met in Florida, the Tigers escaped with a 70-63 win at the old UCF Arena on Nov. 14, 1997
? The Tigers are one of two SEC squads that UCF will face this season
? On Jan. 5, the Knights will play host Ole Miss
? Last season, UCF also played two SEC teams meeting Florida and Ole Miss

? The Tigers have one player from Florida on their roster - Ty Armstrong
? He hails from Gainesville and attended Florida Air Academy in nearby Melbourne
? Auburn's DeWayne Reed attended Wheatley High School in Houston, the same school that produced former UCF guard Chip Cartwright

UCF-Niagara Series Information
? The Knights will continue the Glenn Wilkes Classic Saturday, facing Niagara at 3:30 p.m.
? UCF has a 2-0 edge in the all-time series
? Kirk Speraw is 2-0 against Niagara
? In the last meeting, UCF posted a 69-67 win over host Niagara on Dec. 22, 2003, after Josh Bodden scored with less than a second remaining to break a 67-67 tie
? UCF and the Purple Eagles last met in Florida on Nov. 25, 2002, and the Knights rolled to a 94-69 victory at the old UCF Arena

? Niagara's Demetrius Williamson attended Whitney Young High School in Chicago
? UCF's Marcus Jordan and A.J. Rompza both went to Whitney Young
? Rompza and Williamson were teammates in 2004-05, when Rompza was a freshman and Williamson was a senior

UCF-Drake Series Information
? UCF will conclude the tournament Sunday versus Drake at 3:30 p.m.
? The programs will be meeting for the first time

? Drake is located in Des Moines, Iowa
? UCF head coach Kirk Speraw is an Iowa native
? He was raised in Sioux City and graduated from Iowa in 1980
? Speraw is not the only UCF coach with Iowa connections
? Associate head coach Mike Jaskulski served as the head coach at Loras College in Dubuque from 1984-88

Tournament Time
? The Glenn Wilkes Classic will mark the second time in three years that the Knights have participated in a three-day, in-season tournament close to campus
? In 2007, UCF faced Villanova, Kansas State and Penn State at the Old Spice Classic in Lake Buena Vista

Hitting the Beach
? Despite the close proximity, the Knights have not played a game in Daytona Beach since 1997
? On Nov. 25, 1997, UCF rolled to a 75-57 win over Bethune-Cookman at the Ocean Center

Staying Close to Home
? Last November, UCF headed to Mexico to participate in the Cancun Challenge
? The team will be staying close to home this week
? The Ocean Center in Daytona Beach is only 60 miles away from the UCF campus
? Since the inception of the Glenn Wilkes Classic in 2007, four other Florida programs have competed in Daytona Beach: Florida Atlantic, Florida State, Stetson and USF

Tough Draw
? All three of UCF's Glenn Wilkes Classic opponents played in the postseason a year ago
? Auburn and Niagara participated in the NIT, while Drake played in the CollegeInsider.com Tournament

Last Time Out
? Behind 15 points from Taylor Young, and double-doubles from Keith Clanton (10 pts., 10 reb.) and Dave Diakite (10 pts., 11 reb.), UCF opened the Glenn Wilkes Classic Tuesday with a 68-59 win over Howard
? Four Knights finished with double-figures in scoring against the Bison

Strong Start
? Thanks to strong shooting and tough defense, the Knights are off to a 2-0 start this season
? UCF is shooting 46.0 percent overall and 46.2 percent from 3-point range, while limiting its foes to a 36.9 percent effort overall, and a 30.2 percent clip from deep
? The Knights are also averaging 16.5 assists an outing

Old to the New
? UCF is 2-0 despite the fact that the Knights lost 63.9 percent of its scoring from a year ago
? This season, seven newcomers have seen time for the Knights

Going for Three
? The Knights will be seeking a 3-0 start for the first time since 2006-07
? That season, UCF began the campaign 6-0 and went on to go 22-9 overall

? When Keith Clanton (10 pts., 10 reb.) and Dave Diakite (10 pts., 11 reb.) both recorded double-doubles in Tuesday's win over Howard, it marked the first time since 2005 that two Knights posted double-doubles in the same game
? On Feb. 19, 2005, Kingsley Edwards (12 pts., 11 reb.) and Marcus Johnson (12 pts., 11 reb.) achieved the feat against Georgia State

Balancing Act
? Last season, Jermaine Taylor ranked third nationally in scoring at 26.2 points per game
? The senior All-America pick handled the majority of the scoring duties for the Knights
? He led the squad in points in 29 of the Knights' 31 games
? UCF is clearly more balanced offensively this year
? Through two games, five Knights are averaging at least 8.0 points
? Two different Knights - Isaac Sosa vs. UMass and Taylor Young vs. Howard - have paced the squad in scoring

Sensational Sophomore
? Isaac Sosa is off to a sensational start this season, averaging 20.0 points
? The shooting guard is shooting 57.1 percent from 3-point range, having made 8-of-14 attempts from deep
? In UCF's season-opening win over Massachusetts, he totaled a career-best 26 points
? He shot 9-of-11 overall and 6-of-7 from 3-point range, and was named the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday
? 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
? As a freshman, he made eight starts and averaged 8.2 points

Going Deep
? He might not get much recognition nationally, but Isaac Sosa is one of the premier 3-point shooters in the country
? For his career, the sophomore has made 65-of-140 attempts from deep
? His career 3-point field goal percentage (46.4) ranks second all-time at UCF and is also second in Conference USA history

Taking the 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
? The Chicago native dished out 150 assists and was named to the Conference USA All-Rookie Team
? 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 against the Minutemen
? He is averaging 8.0 points on the year, to go with 5.0 assists and 3.0 steals

Going Forward
? A year ago, Dave Diakite appeared in only five games at the start of the season before suffering a season-ending knee injury
? The redshirt freshman is now healthy, and is off to a strong start this season
? The small forward is averaging 9.0 points and 9.0 boards
? Eight of his 18 rebounds have come on the offensive end
? He has started both of UCF's contests and is averaging 24.5 minutes per outing

Rated Rookie
? Heralded freshman forward Keith Clanton has started his collegiate career in fine fashion
? In two games, he is averaging 9.5 points and 9.0 boards in 26.0 minutes as a reserve
? Clanton is shooting 61.5 percent overall and also has four blocked shots
? Considered by some to be the top recruit in school history, the Orlando Christian Prep product was rated as the 68th-best senior in the nation last year according to Rivals.com
? The Florida Class 1A Player of the Year, he averaged 18.2 points and 12.5 boards in leading his high school to its second-straight state title in 2008-09

Looking to Score
? Taylor Young averaged 3.3 points per game last year for the Knights
? The junior worked on his offensive game over the summer, and the results have shown
? The Orlando native is averaging 11.0 points in 2009-10
? In the win over Howard, he led UCF with a career-best 15 points
? The guard is also taking good care of the ball, dishing out seven assists with no turnovers
? A year ago, he ranked 12th nationally in assist-turnover ratio (2.72)

Busy Month
? The Knights will begin the season by playing five games in 10 days
? The squad began the stretch on Nov. 13, hosting Massachusetts in its season opener
? UCF hosted Howard on Tuesday, and will play three games in Daytona Beach
? After meeting Drake on Sunday, the Knights will have a long break, as their next game is set for Saturday, Nov. 28 against Albany in Orlando

The Youngsters
? Through three games this year, UCF's underclassmen are responsible for 78.9 percent of the team's points
? Freshmen and sophomores have logged 79.5 percent of the squad's minutes
? Underclassmen have been responsible for 88.0 percent of the Knights' rebounds

The Future Starts Now
? Earlier this week, Kirk Speraw announced the Kevin Brown, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound guard from Houston, has signed a National Letter of Intent and will join the Knights next fall
? As a junior at Elsik High School, Brown averaged 16.0 points, 5.1 assists and 2.1 steals
? After the regular season, he earned All-District 18-5A First Team honors

A Winning Tradition
? Kirk Speraw is one of the nation's longest-tenured coaches as he is in his 17th year with the Knights
? Speraw has 266 victories at UCF
? He needs only 9 victories to become the winningest coach in program history
? Torchy Clark, who coached the Knights from 1969-83, won 274 games in Orlando