Men's Basketball to Face Challenge Wednesday at Memphis

Feb. 9, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format

By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will face a big challenge Wednesday when the Knights face host Memphis for a Conference USA contest. Tip-off from the FedEx Forum is set for 7 p.m. Eastern, and the game will air on CSS and Bright House Sports Network.

The Knights (11-11, 3-5 C-USA) have not played since posting a 67-56 victory over host East Carolina on Feb. 2. Junior guard Taylor Young (Orlando, Fla.) scored a career-high 16 points in the win. Junior forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) is the team's top scorer at 10.1 points, and freshman forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) paces the Knights in scoring in conference play (10.4).

Memphis (16-7, 6-2) is 12-3 at home in 2009-10. Eliot Williams, a transfer from Duke, paces the Tigers in points per game at 19.6. On Saturday, the Tigers came up just short against No. 13 Gonzaga, falling 66-58.

CSS is broadcasting the contest throughout the southeast, with Bright House Sports Network picking up the feed in central Florida. Matt Stewart is slated to handle the play-by-play, and will be joined on the broadcast by Brian Oliver.

The game will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will call all of the action from courtside. Live audio and statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

After meeting the Tigers, UCF will return to Orlando to host Tulane this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the UCF Arena.

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-Memphis Series Information
? The Knights will be seeking their first victory over Memphis when they meet the Tigers
? Memphis has a 7-0 edge in the all-time series, and is 4-0 versus UCF since the Knights joined Conference USA in 2005
? The Tigers are 5-0 at home against the Knights, including a 2-0 mark at FedEx Forum
? The teams last met on Jan. 10, 2009, in Orlando and the Knights nearly broke the Tigers' then-34-game league winning streak before falling 73-66
? The Knights led by as many as eight points after intermission, but Memphis got some big baskets late from Tyreke Evans, who finished with 15 points and five assists, to rally for the win
? Jermaine Taylor led all players with 24 points as the game was played in front of a school-record 9,825 fans at the UCF Arena
? UCF last met Memphis at the FedEx Forum on Feb. 9, 2008, and the No. 1 Tigers took an 85-64 victory
? Five Tigers scored in double-figures, led by Derrick Rose with 15 points, while Mike O'Donnell (15 points) paced the Knights, who trailed 43-35 at halftime

Up Next for the Knights
? UCF will return to Orlando to host Tulane on Saturday in the Knights' first home game since Jan. 30
? The contest will be televised live nationally on CBS College Sports

Last Time Out
? Taylor Young scored a career-high 16 points to help the Knights post a 67-56 victory at East Carolina on Feb. 2
? UCF made 15-of-18 (83.3 percent) of its tries at the free-throw line for the game
? The Knights also made 8-of-18 (44.4) attempts from 3-point range, and forced 20 East Carolina turnovers

Road Trippin
? The game against the Tigers will serve as the fourth of four-straight mid-week road games for the Knights
? Since Conference USA play began, UCF has played just one mid-week home contest (Jan. 13 vs. Marshall)
? The team has only played back-to-back home games once in league action this year

UCF-Memphis Connections
? Both Kirk Speraw and Josh Pastner played collegiately under and worked for Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson
? Speraw attended Iowa from 1975-79, and then worked for Olson as a graduate assistant on the Hawkeyes' 1979-80 Final Four team
? Pastner played at Arizona from 1996-00, and then served on Olson's staff from 2000-08

Making History
? UCF's win at East Carolina provided Kirk Speraw with victory No. 275 at the school
? The number is significant because it made Speraw the winningest coach in program history
? Speraw, who is in his 17th year at UCF, passed legendary head coach Torchy Clark (1969-83) on the all-time victories register
? Speraw coached in his 500th contest at UCF when the Knights met host SMU on Jan. 27

Sharing the Wealth
? UCF's balance offensively was evident in the win at East Carolina last week as Taylor Young (16), Isaac Sosa (14) and A.J. Tyler (10) all finished with double-figures in points
? In the Knights' previous game (Jan. 30 vs. Tulsa), none of the three players scored in double-digits

Fab Freshmen
? A freshman has paced UCF in scoring in six of the squad's eight Conference USA contests this year
? Keith Clanton has led the team in points on four occasions, with Marcus Jordan leading in the other two games
? On the year, a rookie has led UCF in points nine times

Steady Hand
? A.J. Tyler has been solid for the Knights all season long as the junior is averaging a team-best 10.1 points on 47.6 percent shooting from the floor
? Tyler has started all 22 of UCF's contests this year
? In 2008-09, his first year competing with the Knights after transferring from Clemson, Tyler made nine starts and averaged 7.1 points

From the Start
? Making his second start of the campaign, Taylor Young totaled a career-best 16 points at East Carolina last week
? Young shot 4-of-6 from the field and made all three of his attempts from 3-point range
? Young is no stranger to the starting linuep as the redshirt junior made 27 starts in 2008-09
? He is averaging 6.1 points this season, after averaging 3.1 points a year ago

Welcome Back
? Isaac Sosa struggled with his shooting touch in January, as he shot just 21.4 percent from 3-point range and averaged 5.5 points during the month
? The 3-point specialist started February in fine fashion, shooting 4-of-8 from behind-the-arc and scoring 14 points at East Carolina last week
? Sosa, who is averaging 9.8 points, has made 44-of-106 (41.5 percent) of his 3-point tries in 2009-10
? With his four triples against the Pirates, Sosa went over the 100-mark for his career
? The sophomore has made 101-of-232 (43.5 percent) of his 3-point attempts as a Knight

The Rookie Rebounds
? Keith Clanton currently leads the Knights on the glass, averaging 6.4 rebounds per game
? His 141 boards place him third on the UCF freshman single-season Division I rebounds list, trailing Ken Leeks (268, 1990-91) and Darryl Davis (163, 1991-92)

Get Away
? Unlike most freshmen, Marcus Jordan has excelled on the road, where he is averaging 11.1 points
? In Orlando, Jordan is averaging just 5.1 points
? In road contests he is shooting 56.6 percent overall, and 43.8 percent from 3-point range
? Four of Jordan's six double-figure scoring performances have come on the road

Stat Stuffer
? As a freshman, Marcus Jordan is doing more than just scoring for the Knights
? The Chicago native is second on the squad with 27 steals, and ranks third among all Knights with 41 assists and nine blocked shots

Man of Steal
? A.J. Rompza has been racking up the steals as a sophomore
? The point guard ranks sixth nationally in steals per game at 2.8
? He has recorded at least four steals in a game on eight occasions
? Rompza totaled 46 steals in 29 games last year, and already has 61 this season
? He needs just three steals to enter the top-10 on the UCF single-season chart
? Cory Perry (1999-00) and Sinua Phillips (1990-91) currently occupy the 10th spot with 64 steals