Knights to Face No. 16 Florida in First College Game at Amway Center

Nov. 30, 2010

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By Doug Richards

Complete Release in PDF Format

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team is off to a 5-0 start this season under new head coach Donnie Jones, and on Wednesday, the Knights will face a tough test when they meet No. 16 Florida in the Florida Citrus Sports Shootout at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando. Tip-off for the first collegiate contest at the new arena is set for 7 p.m.

Tickets for the game start at just $15 and can be purchased at Ticketmaster outlets and online at Ticketmaster.com.

UCF is off to an exceptional start in 2010-11. The Knights are averaging 85.8 points per game and rank second in the country in field-goal percentage (55.4). UCF boasts a +32.8 scoring margin, which also ranks second nationally, and has beaten four of its five opponents by over 25 points. Sophomore guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) is the squad's top scorer at 16.8 points per game, and sophomore forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) is averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds.

Jones is certainly familiar with the Gators (5-1). He spent 11 years at Florida working under Billy Donovan, helping Florida claim back-to-back national titles (2006, 2007). In nine of Jones' 11 seasons in Gainesville, Florida posted 20-victory campaigns and participated in the NCAA Tournament.

The Gators are coming off a 55-51 win at Florida State Sunday. An NCAA Tournament participant a year ago, Florida is averaging 75.3 points and shooting 48.9 percent from the floor. Kenny Boynton paces the team in points per game at 15.3.

The contest will be televised live statewide on Fox Sports Florida. Rich Waltz will handle the play-by-play on the broadcast, and will be joined by analyst Mark Wise.

UCF-Florida will air on the UCF Sports Network from IMG College and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call from courtside and former UCF guard Mike O'Donnell will provide color commentary.

Series Record Florida, 9-0
Last Meeting Florida 89, UCF 61 (Dec. 20, 2008 in Jacksonville)

? Florida has a 9-0 advantage in the all-time series with the Knights, but the programs have never met in Orlando
? The programs last met on Dec. 20, 2008 in Jacksonville, and the Gators posted an 89-61 victory
? Florida shot 52.4 percent for the game and were led by Alex Tyus with 20 points and 14 boards
? Jermaine Taylor paced the Knights with 13 points, and A.J. Rompza added 11 points, three assists and three steals in 21 minutes
? All-time, UCF is 1-28 against SEC programs, with the lone win coming last season against Auburn, 84-74, at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach

Last Time Out
? The Knights shot 56.6 percent and overcame a slow start to roll to an 84-48 victory over Alabama State Saturday at the UCF Arena
? The Hornets led 7-2 early, but the Knights used a 24-8 run in the opening half to grab the lead and pull away
? Four Knights finished with double-figures in scoring, led by Marcus Jordan with 18 points

Repeating History
? On Wednesday, UCF and Florida will participate in the first collegiate contest at the new Amway Center
? In 1989, both schools were part of the first sporting event (college or pro) at the old Amway Arena in downtown Orlando
? On Feb. 4, 1989, Florida met Stanford, and then UCF and cross-town foe Rollins concluded the doubleheader
? The following fall, the expansion Orlando Magic made their debut at the arena

Close to Home
? The contest against the Gators will serve as UCF's first game in downtown Orlando since 1990 when the Knights played Stanford and DePaul in the Red Lobster Classic
? UCF appeared in four total games at the old arena
? In recent years, the Knights have played more neutral site games in central Florida
? UCF participated in the Old Spice Classic at ESPN's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista in 2007, and competed at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach a year ago

Big 80s
? The Knights have scored at least 80 points in four of their five games this season
? A year ago, UCF totaled 80 or more points only five times in 32 contests

Field Day
? Ranking second nationally in the category, the Knights are shooting 55.4 percent from the field this season
? UCF has shot better than 50.0 percent in four contests in 2010-11

Three's Company
? UCF has connected on at least seven triples in all five of its outings in 2010-11
? Eight Knights have hit at least one 3-pointer this season

Super Starts
? The Knights have outscored their opponents 216-120 in the first half
? UCF is shooting 59.3 percent in the opening session and has not trailed at halftime this year

Follow the Leader
? While posting blowout win after blowout win, the Knights have hardly trailed this season
? UCF has trailed for only 5:10 this year, all in the first half
? The Knights have not been down after the 14:31 mark of the opening stanza

Super Sophomore
? Keith Clanton had a solid rookie year as the Orlando native was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.7 points and 6.8 boards
? The forward worked hard on his game, and also gained 18 pounds of muscle during the offseason, and has shined early during the 2010-11 campaign
? Clanton is averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 rebounds and has already recorded two double-doubles
? He has made 26-of-38 (68.4 percent) of his field goals and 24-of-32 (75.0 percent) of his free-throw attempts
? Clanton shot 66.4 percent at the charity stripe a year ago

Show and Improve
? Marcus Jordan averaged 8.0 points last year and joined Keith Clanton on the conference all-freshman squad
? Like Clanton, he was diligent during the offseason, and his hard work has paid off
? Averaging a team-best 16.8 points, the guard is shooting 56.4 percent from the floor, 52.4 percent from 3-point range and 85.3 percent at the free-throw line
? The Chicago native shot 41.3 percent overall, 27.6 percent from deep and 69.8 percent from the line last year

A Better Start
? Thanks to his strong shooting, Marcus Jordan is off to a good start as a sophomore
? His start in 2010-11 is just the opposite of the beginning of his college career
? Jordan was hampered by injuries last preseason and after five games as a rookie, was averaging 2.6 points on 28.6 percent shooting in 17.0 minutes per contest

On Line
? Marcus Jordan knows how to get to the basket, and the sophomore also knows how to draw contact
? Jordan is averaging 6.8 free-throw attempts per game, compared to 3.3 attempts in 2009-10

Moving Up the Ladder
? A.J. Rompza ranks sixth on the UCF career assists register with 317 and could move to fifth against Florida
? Current UCF radio color commentator Mike O'Donnell is fifth on the list (319 assists from 2005-08)

Up Next
? On Saturday, UCF will host Southeastern Louisiana at 5 p.m. at the UCF Arena
? UCF has a 5-3 edge in the all-time series and the programs will be meeting for the first time since 1997