After Memorable Debut, Men's Basketball Hosts Jackson State

Nov. 14, 2010

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By Doug Richards

Complete Release in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After opening the Donnie Jones era in impressive fashion last week, the UCF men's basketball team will return to the court Monday, hosting Jackson State at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena. In their season debut, and Jones' first game as UCF's head coach, the Knights clobbered West Florida, 115-61, Friday.

Following his arrival at UCF in late March, Jones introduced an up-tempo style of play to the Knights and that style was evident in the win over the Argonauts. UCF raced out to a huge early lead and eventually led by 60 points in the second half. The Knights shot 66.7 percent overall in the victory, and also registered 25 assists.

UCF sophomores Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) and Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) both recorded career highs in the win. Jordan hit five 3-pointers and totaled 28 points and Clanton shot 9-of-9 from the field and finished with 24 points.

Jackson State, a postseason NIT participant a year ago, is 0-1 after falling to host TCU Friday.

Season tickets, which include a free Knightmare t-shirt, are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com. On Monday, fans can purchase tickets to the contest against Jackson State at the UCF Arena box office. A large crowd is expected as a limited number of free Knightmare t-shirts will be distributed to UCF students near the student entrance off of West Plaza Drive. All UCF students are admitted free to all home games with a valid school ID.

The game will air on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will provide play-by-play and will be joined on the broadcast by former UCF guard Mike O'Donnell. Video of the contest will be available on UCFAthletics.com.

Prior to the game, members of the UCF Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be collecting canned food items to help those in need this holiday season.

Series Record: First Meeting

? UCF and Jackson State will be meeting for the first time on the hardwood
? The Tigers are one of two SWAC programs that the Knights will host this season as the squad will face Alabama State on Nov. 27
? UCF is 1-4 all-time against SWAC schools, but the Knights have not met a SWAC team since facing Southern in 1993

A Memorable Debut
? The Knights made new head coach Donnie Jones' debut a memorable on Friday as UCF crushed visiting West Florida, 115-61
? Jones became just the third coach in UCF history to win his inaugural game at the school, joining Torchy Clark and Kirk Speraw

A Familiar Number
? The 115 points that the Knights scored were the most for UCF in a non-overtime game since the program joined the Division I ranks in 1984
? UCF's scoring output matched the 115 points that the Knights scored last season in a triple overtime loss at Marshall
? The Thundering Herd were coached by current UCF head coach Donnie Jones

Numbers Game
? During Donnie Jones' three years at Marshall, the Thundering Herd only scored at least 115 points three times
? All three occasions came during the 2009-10 campaign, his final year at Marshall

On the Run
? After taking over the helm of the program in late March, Donnie Jones introduced an up-tempo style of play at UCF
? Jones wants his team to push the tempo on both ends of the floor, and his squad achieved those goals versus West Florida
? UCF raced out to a 16-3 advantage less than four minutes into the contest and never trailed during the game
? The Knights' full-court press was successful, and helped force 23 West Florida turnovers

The Half of It
? UCF registered 59 points in the second half in the win over West Florida
? The 59 points were more than the amount of points that the Knights totaled for the entire contest in nine games last year

Going Deep
? Donnie Jones raved about his team's depth during the preseason
? UCF's strength in numbers was evident versus West Florida as the Knights' bench was responsible for 51 points

Sensational Sophomores
? In 2009-10, Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan were both named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team
? The pair started their second collegiate seasons in strong fashion, combing for 52 points on 17-of-20 shooting from the field in the win over West Florida
? The sophomore both established career highs for scoring as Jordan recorded 28 points, and Clanton scored 24 points

Sure Shot
? Marcus Jordan worked hard during the offseason to improve his shooting touch
? Jordan was accurate versus West Florida, making 8-of-11 attempts from the field, 5-of-7 tries from 3-point range and 7-of-8 attempts at the line
? As a freshman, he shot 41.3 percent overall, 27.6 percent from deep and 69.8 percent at the line

No Turnover
? Although he played just 15 minutes Friday, A.J. Rompza dished out nine assists
? The point guard took great care of the ball as he did not record a turnover
? The junior averaged 4.6 assists last year

A Big Impact
? Donnie Jones added a pair of talented transfer post players during the summer, and both Tom Herzog and Dwight McCombs had solid UCF debuts against West Florida
? The duo combined for 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks versus the Argonauts
? In a team-high 21 minutes, McCombs, a junior college transfer, scored 11 points, grabbed five boards and swatted two shots
? Herzog, a fifth-year senior who spent the last four years at Michigan State, started and scored six points, totaled five rebounds and blocked four shots in 15 minutes

Welcome Freshman
? One of two true freshmen on the UCF roster, Isaiah Sykes had a strong performance in his UCF debut
? The Detroit native logged just 13 minutes, but scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field
? The shooting guard added five rebounds and two steals

Moving Up the Ladder
? Thanks to nine assists in the season opener, A.J. Rompza moved to sixth on the UCF career assists register with 303
? Current UCF radio color commentator Mike O'Donnell is fifth on the list (319 assists from 2005-08)

Up Next
? The Knights will conclude their three-game home stretch to start the season on Thursday, hosting USF
? The Bulls have a 5-19 edge in the all-time series, and topped UCF 66-59 in Tampa a year ago
? CBS College Sports will air the game to a national television audience