Knights to Take Perfect Record to Nearby Stetson Tuesday

Nov. 22, 2010

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By Doug Richards

Complete Release in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Off to a sensational 3-0 start under new head coach Donnie Jones, the UCF men's basketball team will play its first road game of the season Tuesday when the Knights meet host Stetson in nearby DeLand. Tip-off at the Edmunds Center is 7 p.m. and the contest can be heard live on the UCF Sports Network from IMG College and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando.

The Knights, who will be playing at Stetson (1-1) for the first time since 2005, are coming off a 65-59 victory over cross-state rival USF last Thursday at the UCF Arena. Junior guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) led UCF to a win over the BIG EAST's Bulls, totaling 15 points, five rebounds and four assists. Fellow junior guard Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) added 13 points in the victory.

UCF enters the game versus Stetson averaging 86.7 points on 55.8 percent shooting. The Knights have an incredible +33.7 scoring margin.

The Hatters began the season with an impressive 89-79 win at Wake Forest. Ridge Graham led the Hatters with 21 points and 12 boards against the ACC program. On the year, Graham is averaging a team-best 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds.

Radio coverage from DeLand will begin at 6:30 p.m. Marc Daniels will have the call, and will be joined by former UCF guard Mike O'Donnell on the broadcast.

After facing the Hatters, UCF will return home to host Alabama State Saturday at 5 p.m.

Series Record UCF, 21-15
Last Meeting UCF 73, Stetson 60 (Nov. 18, 2006 in Orlando)

? Despite being located just 45 miles apart, UCF and Stetson will meet for the first time since 2006 Tuesday
? The Knights have a 21-15 edge in the all-time series, and have won the last 10 matchups
? Stetson serves as the second-most frequent opponent for the Knights, as the 36 contests against the Hatters trail UCF's 41 games versus Rollins
? In the last series matchup, UCF topped the Hatters, 73-60, on Nov. 18, 2006, at the old UCF Arena
? Jermaine Taylor led the Knights with a game-high 23 points
? The last contest in DeLand came during the 2004-05 campaign, UCF's final year in the Atlantic Sun Conference
? UCF got 19 points from Josh Peppers to post a 71-62 win over the host Hatters on Feb. 10, 2005, in front of 4,228 fans at the Edmunds Center
? The emotional contest included a scuffle in the second half as both UCF's Marcus Johnson and Stetson's Borislav Djordjic were ejected
? The start of the game, originally slated for 8:15 p.m. after a Stetson women's contest, was delayed for an hour after the first-half of the doubleheader went into four overtimes
? Stetson's starting point guard, sophomore Tyshawn Patterson, was a teammate with UCF's Keith Clanton at Orlando Christian Prep, and the pair helped the Warriors win Florida Class 1A state titles in both 2006-07 and 2007-08

A Sensational Start
? UCF has started its first campaign under new head coach Donnie Jones in fine fashion
? The Knights are 3-0 after picking up three home wins in six days to begin the year
? Last week, UCF beat a pair of teams that participated in the postseason NIT last spring
? Jones' squad blasted Jackson State, 80-39, and then defeated cross-state rival USF, 65-59

Four Sure
? The Knights are seeking their first 4-0 start to a season since 2006-07
? UCF went 22-9 that year and finished second in Conference USA after going 11-5 versus league foes
? In 2007-08, Marshall began Donnie Jones' tenure at the school by going 3-0 to open the season

Offensive Excellence
? Through three games, UCF's offense has been spectacular, as the Knights are averaging 86.7 points on 55.8 percent shooting from the floor
? The Knights have scored 80 or more points twice, and are making 42.1 percent of their attempts from 3-point range
? UCF enters the contest against Stetson with an incredible +33.7 scoring margin

Last Time Out
? A.J. Rompza recorded 15 points, five rebounds and four assists as UCF defeated cross-state rival USF, 65-59, Thursday in front of 7,653 fans at the UCF Arena
? The Knights led 38-29 at the break, but held off the Bulls late in the game to pickup the win
? The victory was just the sixth in 25 tries for UCF against the Bulls

The Best Defense
? The Knights' pressing defense is a big reason why UCF is limiting its foes to just 53.0 points per game on 31.7 percent shooting this season
? Only one of UCF's opponents, West Florida (61), has scored more than 60 points this season
? Opponents are making just 30.2 percent of their 3-point tries against the Knights
? UCF is forcing 18.7 turnovers per game in 2010-11

Road to the Riches
? The contest against the Hatters will serve as UCF's first road game of the season
? The Knights have not won their first away contest of the year since the 2004-05 campaign
? That season, UCF topped UMKC, 57-56, on Dec. 18, 2004, in the Knights' first road game

Sunshine Staters
? Tuesday's game is one of three in-state tilts for the Knights away from the UCF Arena in 2010-11
? In addition to facing the Hatters, the Knights will play Florida at the new Amway Center in downtown Orlando on Dec. 1 and will meet Miami on Dec. 18 in Sunrise as part of the Orange Bowl Classic

Time for a Change
? UCF players should be well rested as no Knight is averaging more than 22.0 minutes per contest this year
? Twelve Knights are averaging over 10.0 minutes
? A year ago, A.J. Rompza averaged a team-high 31.5 minutes
? This year the point guard is averaging just 21.0 minutes each game

Fair or Foul
? The Knights have committed 58 fouls this year, compared to 78 for their opponents
? As a result, UCF is averaging 31.7 free-throw attempts per game, and is making 21.3 free throws each contest
? UCF's opponents are averaging just 18.0 free-throw attempts

Deep Cover
? Donnie Jones has raved about his team's depth early in the season for good reason
? UCF's bench is averaging 37.7 points, 21.7 boards and 8.7 assists per game
? Five reserves are averaging at least 5.7 points

Triple Trouble
? The Knights shot just 33.8 percent from 3-point range last season, but have already shown improvement in 2010-11
? UCF is shooting 42.1 percent from deep this year, and is averaging 8.0 triples made per game
? Seven Knights have hit at least two treys

Shot Caller
? After making 47.5 percent of his field-goal attempts as a freshman, Keith Clanton spent ample time in the gym this summer putting up shots
? His hard work has paid off as the forward has made 14-of-19 (73.7 percent) of his attempts this year
? Clanton has also improved his stroke at the free-throw line, where he is 17-of-22 (77.3 percent)
? He made 66.4 of his foul shots last season

Still Active
? Despite averaging just 13.7 minutes, P.J. Gaynor ranks fifth on the squad in scoring at 6.7 points per game
? Gaynor has given the Knights great activity off the bench, and is shooting 66.7 percent from the floor
? He scored five points, including a big 3-pointer, in just seven minutes in the triumph over USF

Up Next
? UCF will return home to face Alabama State Saturday
? The programs have never met, but UCF has already picked up a win over a SWAC program this year as the Knights topped Jackson State, 80-39, on Nov. 15, in Orlando