UCF to Conclude Non-League Slate at No. 14 Ole Miss

Jan. 4, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

OXFORD, Miss. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will conclude the non-conference portion of its schedule with a tough test Tuesday when the Knights meet 14th-ranked Ole Miss at 8 p.m. Eastern at Tad Smith Coliseum. The contest will serve as UCF's second game against an SEC opponent this season.

The Rebels enter the contest 11-2.

UCF (8-5) has received strong play as of late from freshman forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.). Clanton recorded his second double-double of the season last Wednesday during the Knights' contest with Jacksonville, finishing with 10 points and 11 rebounds. He is averaging 8.8 points and a team-high 7.3 boards.

The Rebels have already recorded big victories this year over Indiana, Kansas State and UTEP. Chris Warren is averaging a team-best 17.1 points.

The contest will not be televised, but fans can listen to the game on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call. Live audio will also 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-Ole Miss Series Information
? UCF and the Rebels will be meeting for the third-straight year
? Ole Miss has a 2-0 edge in the series
? On Nov. 26, 2008, David Huertas hit four 3-pointers and finished with 24 points as the host Rebels defeated UCF, 78-46
? The Knights raced out to a 24-12 lead 15 minutes into the contest, but Ole Miss rallied to take a 27-26 edge in halftime
? The hosts then outscored the Knights 51-20 after intermission
? Jermaine Taylor led UCF with 16 points
? The contest at Ole Miss will be one of two in the Magnolia State this season for the Knights
? The team will play a Conference USA game at Southern Miss on Feb. 20

Up Next for the Knights
? The Knights will open up Conference USA play on Saturday, hosting Rice at the UCF Arena
? UCF and the Owls split a pair of contests last year, with the road team taking both victories

Last Time Out
? Despite a double-double from Keith Clanton, UCF fell 61-51 to Jacksonville in the UCF Holiday Classic title game on Dec. 30
? Clanton, who garnered all-tournament team honors, totaled 10 points and 11 boards versus the Dolphins

? When UCF meets Ole Miss, two of the best prep players to come out of Orlando during the 2000s will square off
? UCF's Keith Clanton was the Orlando Sentinel Central Florida Player of the Year in 2008-09 and 2007-08 at Orlando Christian Prep
? As a senior at Dr. Phillips High School in 2006-07, Chris Warren of Ole Miss took the Sentinel's player of the year honors

Conference Call
? Ole Miss will serve as the Knights' second SEC opponent of the year
? On Nov. 20, UCF posted an 84-74 victory over Auburn at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in nearby Daytona Beach
? A.J. Tyler scored a career-high 19 points, and also had eight rebounds, to lead the Knights to the win
? The victory was the first in program history against an SEC squad
? UCF entered the contest 0-27 all-time against SEC schools

Tough Slate
? Despite having one of the nation's youngest teams, UCF is facing the toughest non-league schedule in program history
? The slate includes contests at three BIG EAST programs, plus two games (vs. Auburn, at Ole Miss) against SEC squads
? Eight of UCF's non-conference foes played in the postseason last spring
? UCF has already met one ranked team this season, facing No. 14 UConn on Dec. 20

Road Tests
? All three of UCF's true road games this season have come against BIG EAST opponents
? The three squads - Notre Dame, USF and No. 14 UConn - who defeated the Knights have a combined record of 32-9

On the Calendar
? The game at Ole Miss is serving as UCF's first contest of the decade
? UCF also began the 2000s on Jan. 5, recording an 83-77 victory over Mercer at the old UCF Arena on Jan. 5, 2000

Day Games
? UCF is 3-0 on Tuesday this season
? Despite Conference USA games usually being scheduled on Wednesday during the week, the Knights will play three league games on Tuesday

Non-Conference Nonsense
? Since UCF joined Conference USA in 2005, the Knights' non-league schedule has extended into early January
? The last time that UCF played at an SEC school also occurred in January, and was the team's last non-conference game before entering C-USA play
? On Jan. 3, 2006, UCF came up just short at Kentucky, falling 59-57 when Rajon Rondo scored the game-winning basket with less than two seconds to play

Approaching History
? In his 17th year with the Knights, Kirk Speraw has 272 victories at UCF and needs only three 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

The Orlando 500
? Kirk Speraw has coached in 493 contests during his time at UCF
? The Knights' Jan. 27 tilt at SMU will serve as his 500th game with the Knights

Throw Some D on It
? UCF limited its last five opponents to an average of just 59.6 points
? The foes, Bethune-Cookman, USF, No. 14 UConn, Liberty and Jacksonville, shot a combined 38.3 percent from the field versus the Knights
? On the year, the Knights have held four of their opponents to 60 or fewer points

Starting Stops
? Through 13 games a year ago, nine Knights appeared in the starting lineup
? UCF's lineup has been more consistent this season, as just six players have appeared in the starting lineup
? Four Knights - David Diakite, A.J. Rompza, Isaac Sosa and A.J. Tyler - have started all 13 contests

Immediate Impact
? Keith Clanton, considered to be the top recruit in program history, has made an immediate impact in his first year at UCF
? The Orlando native garnered all-tournament team honors at the UCF Holiday Classic last week after averaging 8.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 blocks in two contests at event
? In UCF's semifinal tilt with Liberty, the Orlando native grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds
? He concluded the tournament with 10 points and 11 rebounds versus Jacksonville for his second double-double of the year
? The power forward is averaging 8.8 points and a team-best 7.3 boards in 2009-10
? Clanton finished his senior campaign at Orlando Christian Prep as the 68th-best senior in the country according to Rivals.com

Swat Team
? A year ago, guard Jermaine Taylor led the Knights with 24 blocked shots
? In just 13 games this season, Keith Clanton has already registered 23 swats

It Takes a Thief
? A.J. Rompza ranks ninth nationally in steals, averaging 2.8 per game
? The sophomore totaled 46 steals in 29 games last year, and already has 37 swipes in 2009-10

Forward Pass
? A.J. Rompza is averaging 4.0 assists per game, good for ninth in Conference USA
? The sophomore has dished out 202 career assists at UCF
? During this season, Rompza should enter the top-10 all-time in the category at UCF
? Anthony Haynes (1989-91) and Calvin Lingelbach (1973-77) currently occupy the 10th spot with 244 assists

Rated Rookie
? After strong performances at USF and 14th-ranked UConn, Marcus Jordan garnered Conference USA Rookie of the Week accolades on Dec. 22
? He averaged 12.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals against the Bulls and Huskies
? The guard also shot 59.0 percent overall, and 60.0 percent from 3-point range
? Jordan has appeared in all 13 of the Knights' contests this year, and is averaging 4.8 points and 3.0 rebounds in 19.3 minutes as a reserve

Triple Trouble
? With 91 career triples, Isaac Sosa is on pace to enter the top-10 all-time at UCF towards the end of this season
? The other 14 players on UCF's roster have hit just 78 combined 3-pointers during their careers