Knights Return Home to Host Bethune-Cookman Saturday

Dec. 11, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will be looking to continue its dominance at home when the Knights host Bethune-Cookman Saturday. The Knights (6-2) and the Wildcats (5-3) will meet at 5 p.m. at the UCF Arena.

UCF is 4-0 at home this season. The Knights are averaging 77.0 points at the UCF Arena, and opened the campaign with an impressive 84-67 victory over Massachusetts on Nov. 13.

Sophomore guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) leads UCF in scoring at 12.3 points. Freshman forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) has played well of late and is averaging 9.1 points and 6.9 rebounds.

The first 3,000 fans to enter the arena Saturday will receive a complimentary UCF St. Pete Bowl poster.

A special "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.

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

Bright House Sports Network will televise the contest live in central Florida. Dave Baumann will provide play-by-play, and will be joined on the broadcast by former UCF standout guard Mike O'Donnell. The game will also be aired regionally in the southeast on CSS.

Marc Daniels will have the call from the arena on the UCF-ISP Sports Network's broadcast of the contest. In Orlando, fans can listen on 740 The Game.

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-Bethune-Cookman Series Information
? UCF has an 11-7 edge in the all-time series, and has claimed four-consecutive victories over the Wildcats
? Kirk Speraw is 5-1 against Bethune-Cookman
? In Orlando, UCF leads the series, 8-4
? The programs met 16 times from 1982-97, but have played just twice since then
? In the most recent meeting, UCF breezed to an 81-46 victory over the Wildcats at the old UCF Arena on Nov. 21, 2006
? Chip Cartwright paced the Knights with 12 points, and Josh Peppers and Jermaine Taylor both added 11 points in the win
? The Knights are 25-18 all-time against programs from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
? When the Knights meet the Wildcats, it will mark the fourth-straight season that UCF has hosted a MEAC squad

In-State Success
? The Knights have won 13-consecutive home games over in-state opponents
? UCF's last loss in Orlando to a school from Florida at home came on Jan. 20, 2005, against Florida Atlantic
? The Wildcats are one of two Florida programs on UCF's schedule this season (USF)

Up Next for the Knights
? The Knights will head across I-4 Wednesday to meet USF
? Last season, UCF picked up a 71-63 victory over the visiting Bulls

Last Time Out
? UCF shot 61.5 percent in the opening half, and was tied with host Notre Dame at intermission, before falling 90-72 to the Fighting Irish Sunday
? Notre Dame outscored the Knights 49-31 after the break

Streaking in Orlando
? Off to a 4-0 start at home this year, UCF has claimed 14-straight non-conference games at the UCF Arena
? The streak began on Dec. 30, 2007, when the Knights defeated NJIT to open the UCF Holiday Classic

House Party
? Since the UCF Arena opened prior to the 2007-08 campaign, the Knights are 29-7 at the 10,000-seat facility
? In non-league games, UCF is 18-2 at the arena

Full(er) House
? Thanks to a talented, young team that is fun to watch, attendance is up this season at the UCF Arena
? UCF is averaging 5,498 fans, compared to 4,390 a year ago

Big Wins to Start the Year
? UCF has started the campaign with several big wins, including triumphs over Auburn, Drake and Massachusetts
? Both Auburn (NIT) and Drake (CollegeInsider.com) participated in the postseason a year ago

Approaching History
? In his 17th year with the Knights, Kirk Speraw has 270 victories at UCF and needs only five to become the winningest coach in program history
? Torchy Clark, who coached the Knights from 1969-83, won 274 games in Orlando
? The 2006-07 Conference USA Coach of the Year, Speraw has led the Knights to the NCAA Tournament on four occasions
? He is one of only 14 coaches in the country who have spent at least 16-straight years at their current school

New Balance
? Last year, Jermaine Taylor averaged 26.2 points and led the Knights in scoring in 29 of the team's 31 games
? The All-America selection finished the campaign third nationally in scoring and was one of three UCF players (Isaac Sosa, A.J. Tyler) to pace the squad in points
? With Taylor playing in the NBA, UCF now features a more balanced offense
? Through eight games in 2009-10, five Knights have already led the team in points - Tyler (3), Sosa (2), Keith Clanton, Dave Diakite and Taylor Young
? Six UCF players are averaging at least 8.0 points an outing, and the team's leading scorer is Isaac Sosa at 12.3 points per game

Minute By Minute
? No UCF player is averaging more than 30 minutes a contest
? A.J. Rompza is logging the most time for the Knights, averaging 29.5 minutes
? Six players are averaging over 20 minutes, and eight are playing more than 15 minutes a contest

Bench Mob
? At Notre Dame last Sunday, UCF's bench outscored the Fighting Irish reserves, 34-8
? On the year, UCF reserves are averaging 26.3 points, compared to 16.9 for the Knights' opponents
? Two of the Knights' top-four scorers - Keith Clanton (9.1) and Taylor Young (8.8) - have yet to start a game

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 eight contests, the team is attempting 14.8 treys per game

The Youngsters
? Through seven games this year, UCF's underclassmen are responsible for 72.2 percent of the team's points
? Freshmen and sophomores have logged 75.3 percent of the squad's minutes

Follow the Leader
? Despite his diminutive stature, Chicago native A.J. Rompza is UCF's leader on and off the floor
? Rompza was a C-USA All-Freshman Team pick a year ago after averaging 5.2 assists
? His main job was to get the ball to league player of the year Jermaine Taylor, who averaged 26.2 points
? As a result, Rompza averaged just 4.3 points per game
? Without Taylor, the point guard is looking to score more this season and is averaging 8.3 points an outing

It Takes a Thief
? A.J. Rompza is 11th nationally, averaging 3.1 steals
? The sophomore has recorded 17 steals in UCF's last four games, including a five-steal effort at Notre Dame

Getting Better All the Time
? Keith Clanton had the best game of his young career Sunday at Notre Dame, totaling 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and a team-best seven rebounds in 28 minutes
? The Orlando native is third on the team in scoring at 9.1 points per game, and is tied for first in rebounds (6.9)
? Clanton is shooting 55.6 percent from the floor, and has recorded a team-best 14 blocked shots

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 is second in Conference USA, shooting 48.8 percent (21-of-43) from deep
? For his career, the sophomore has made 78-of-169 attempts from 3-point range
? His career 3-point field goal percentage (46.2) ranks second all-time at UCF (Edsel Bester, 47.4) and second in C-USA history

The Score
? A year ago, Taylor Young spent time at both guard spots, but his primary role was to distribute the ball
? The Orlando native averaged 3.4 assists and 3.3 points
? The junior worked on his offensive game over the summer, and the results have shown
? He is averaging 8.8 points in 2009-10
? Young has scored in double-figures on four occasions
? He entered the campaign having scored at least 10 points in a game only twice during his career
? Young is taking good care of the ball, as he ranks 22nd in the country in assist-turnover ratio (3.33)