Marc Daniels' From the Press Box: Jordan Just Another Freshman

Jan. 14, 2010

By Marc Daniels

He is the son of the most famous basketball player ever. Now that we have taken care of that, Marcus Jordan is indeed another one of the young players on Kirk Speraw's team.

Like his fellow rookies, he has had to adjust to life in college. He has had to do laundry, cook a meal and get to class. He mingles with fellow students, checks his phone for messages and listens to music on his headset. Drop him in a group of other UCF students headed from one side of the campus to the other and he is... just another freshman.

Jordan was the biggest recruit in UCF history because of the guy who wore "23" for the Bulls all those years, but one of the many great qualities about Marcus is that he truly is a normal guy.

When he arrived on campus, Jordan went to work to learn the UCF system and battle for playing time. Expectations may have been off the chart for some, but UCF's version of MJ has the makings of a solid player.

His defensive skills are better than most coming out of high school. Ask Marcus why that is the case and his answer with a smile is "because everyone wants to score on Michael Jordan's son." But he also has a knack for getting to the basket and lowering his shoulder and driving on some of the biggest and best big men in the country. Jordan's best games have come against UCF's best opponents in Ole Miss, Connecticut, USF and Notre Dame.

Wednesday versus Marshall, he was UCF's top offensive player, making three 3-pointers and finishing with a season-high 19 points.

"He is a true student of the game and as he matures as a player, Marcus will get better and better and be a very solid player for us," says Speraw.

I compare him to former UCF guard Dave Noel. Noel became UCF's best defender and best player in driving to the basket.

For now, Marcus has blended in well with his teammates on the floor. His familiarity with former high school teammate A.J. Rompza has been a big help. "No doubt that A.J. has helped me learn the system and we just know each other's game so well," says Marcus.

He is part of the young core at UCF that makes the future so bright. Along with fellow freshmen Keith Clanton, David Diakite and a developing RJ Scott and sophomores in Rompza and Isaac Sosa, the Knights are poised for success.

And Marcus Jordan is more than happy to be part of a group, not needing the spotlight to shine on him. He certainly has had a national spotlight on him before the season for reasons we all know. But here is where some of his dad's handling of the media rubbed off. Marcus didn't let national media who have never met him, yet wanted to criticize him, affect his focus on playing for the Knights.

He embraces his family's name and he should. But Marcus Jordan is developing into a solid college basketball player with his own identity, and that's just fine with him.

Marc Daniels' From the Press Box runs several times per month on UCFAthletics.com. Listen to Marc during UCF football, men's basketball and baseball radio broadcasts on the UCF-ISP Sports Network. Each weekday, Marc hosts "The Beat of Sports" on ESPN 1080 in Orlando from 9-11 a.m.