UCF Looking to Continue Strong Start Tuesday

Nov. 30, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Looking to improve on its 5-1 record to start the season, the UCF men's basketball team will host Newberry Tuesday. Tip-off at the UCF Arena is set for 7 p.m.

The Knights are 3-0 at home this season, having already recorded wins over Massachusetts, Howard and Albany in Orlando. Head coach Kirk Speraw's young squad also has victories over Auburn and Drake.

Sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) leads UCF in scoring at 13.7 points per game. Redshirt freshman Dave Diakite (Washington, D.C.) is averaging 10.2 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds. Diakite totaled a career-high 21 points in the Knights' win over Albany Saturday.

Newberry (3-2) is coached by former UCF assistant Steve DeMeo.

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

A "Pick Your Starting Five" ticket plan is currently available. The plan allows fans to select tickets to five games of their choice for as little as $45. To purchase the "Pick Your Starting Five Plan" today, call (407) UCF-1000 or visit UCFAthletics.com.

At the game, fans will have the opportunity to reserve their tickets to UCF's football bowl game. Fans who reserve tickets will receive a free Knightmare t-shirt, while supplies last.

The contest will be televised live in central Florida on Bright House Sports Network. Bernie Guenther will handle the play-by-play and former UCF standout guard Mike O'Donnell will provide color commentary.

Locally, the game will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network, and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando with Marc Daniels on the call.

Live video and statistics 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.

UCF-Newberry Series Information
? UCF and Newberry will be meeting for the first time

? Newberry head coach Steve DeMeo spent the 2008-09 campaign as an assistant at UCF under Kirk Speraw
? DeMeo helped the Knights go 17-15 overall, and post big victories over New Mexico and USF

Up Next for the Knights
? UCF will leave Florida for the first time this season when the Knights head to Indiana to meet Notre Dame on Sunday
? The Fighting Irish are one of three (Connecticut, USF) BIG EAST programs on UCF's non-conference schedule this year

Last Time Out
? Dave Diakite scored a career-best 21 points as UCF held on for a 76-72 win over visiting Albany Saturday
? The Great Danes had multiple chances to tie the game, or take the lead, at the end of the contest, but the Knights made several defensive stops to post the victory

Facing the Teacher
? When UCF meets Newberry, it will mark the second time that Kirk Speraw has coached against one of his former assistant coaches
? In 2006, Speraw's Knights posted an 88-62 win over Texas-Pan Am as part of the UCF Holiday Classic
? The Broncs were coached by former UCF associate head coach Tom Schuberth, who served on the Knights' staff from 2002-06

From the Start
? UCF's 5-1 start is the best for the program since 2006-07, when the Knights began the campaign 6-0
? The Knights finished that year 22-9 overall
? After six contests last season, UCF was 3-3

New Balance
? Last year, Jermaine Taylor averaged 26.2 points and led the Knights in scoring in 29 of the team's 31 games
? He was one of three UCF players (Isaac Sosa, A.J. Tyler) to pace the squad in points
? With Taylor now in the NBA, UCF now features a balanced offense
? Through only six games in 2009-10, four Knights have already led the team in points - Sosa (2), Tyler (2), Dave Diakite and Taylor Young
? Five UCF players are averaging at least 8.0 points an outing

Approaching History
? Kirk Speraw is approaching history at UCF
? In his 17th year with the Knights, Speraw has 269 victories at UCF and needs only six to become the winningest coach in program history
? Torchy Clark, who coached the Knights from 1969-83, won 274 games in Orlando
? In his 20th year overall as a head coach, Speraw reached a milestone after Sunday's win over Drake
? The victory was the 350th of his career

Crowded House
? UCF is averaging 5,824 fans at home this season
? When the Knights hosted Massachusetts to open the year, 8,727 spectators were on hand, good for the second-largest crowd in UCF Arena history
? In 2008-09, UCF averaged 4,390 fans a contest

House Party
? Off to a 3-0 start this year at home, UCF has won 13-consecutive non-league games at the UCF Arena
? The streak began on Dec. 30, 2007, when the Knights defeated NJIT to open the UCF Holiday Classic

Winning Without the Three
? Last year, UCF attempted 20.5 3-point field goals per game
? In 2009-10, the Knights are relying less on the three-ball, and having more success in the win-loss column
? Through six contests, the team is attempting 15.3 3-pointers a contest

Welcome to the Show
? A year ago, Dave Diakite appeared in only five games at the start of the campaign 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 10.2 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds
? Diakite has already recorded a pair of double-doubles
? Most recently, he scored a career-high 21 points, and added a game-high eight rebounds, in UCF's win over Albany
? Diakite connected on his first career 3-pointer in the win

Facing the Best
? This past summer, Isaac 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
? Playing against the best young talent in the world has paid off for Sosa
? Through six games, he is averaging a team-high 13.7 points for the Knights
? In UCF's season-opening win over Massachusetts, he totaled a career-best 26 points
? 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
? This season, Sosa leads Conference USA, shooting 52.9 percent (18-of-34) from deep
? For his career, the sophomore has made 75-of-160 attempts from 3-point range
? His career 3-point field goal percentage (46.9) ranks second all-time at UCF (Edsel Bester, 47.4) and first in C-USA history

Rated Rookie
? Heralded freshman forward Keith Clanton has started his collegiate career in fine fashion
? Through six games, he is averaging 8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds in 23.5 minutes as a reserve
? The Orlando native is shooting 58.3 percent from the field