Back in Orlando, Knights to Host Memphis Wednesday

Feb. 8, 2011

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By Doug Richards

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After a long week on the road, the UCF men's basketball team is back home to host Conference USA power Memphis Wednesday at the UCF Arena. Tipoff for the contest, which is presented by Holler-Classic, is set for 7 p.m.

A limited number of tickets for the game are available at Ticketmaster.com and UCFAthletics.com. UCF students are admitted free with a valid school ID. The Knights have won 10 games at the UCF Arena this year, and have already established a school single-season attendance record as 85,854 spectators have watched the team play at home.

The contest will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports.

The Tigers (17-6, 5-3 C-USA) are coming off of an impressive road victory at Gonzaga Saturday. Memphis boasts some of the top freshmen in the league, including leading scorer Will Barton, who is averaging 13.0 points per game.

UCF (14-7, 1-7) is led by sophomore guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.), who is averaging 16.0 points. On Saturday at East Carolina, he poured in a game-high 24 points.

On the CBS College Sports broadcast, Tom McCarthy will have the call, and former Virginia, Providence and Xavier head coach Pete Gillen will provide color commentary.

Fans in Orlando can listen to the game on the UCF Sports Network from IMG College and its flagship station, 740 The Game. Marc Daniels will handle the play-by-play, and will be joined by former UCF standout guard Mike O'Donnell. Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. Live statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

Halftime will feature a special performance from The Dueling Pianos from Howl at the Moon.

A large crowd is expected for the game, and numerous evening classes are scheduled for Wednesday, so fans should arrive early on campus. UCF Athletics would like to remind its patrons on the following parking notes for when they come to the UCF Arena to watch the Knights play:

? UCF basketball patrons can now go on-line at UCFAthletics.com and pre-purchase a parking pass, for quicker entry into parking facilities.
? In an effort to improve traffic flow directly in front of the arena, additional parking will be available in the E parking lots located on the east side of Bright House Networks Stadium starting at 5:30 p.m.
? Golden Knights Club Donor parking is still located in Garage F. If Garage F reaches capacity, the baseball outfield parking lot will open and serve as overflow donor parking.

Series Record Memphis, 9-0
Last Meeting Memphis 77, UCF 61 (Jan. 26, 2010 in Memphis, Tenn.)

? The Knights and Memphis will be meeting in Orlando for only the third time
? In the lone series matchup at the UCF Arena, 24 points from UCF star guard Jermaine Taylor were not enough as the Tigers held on for a 73-66 win on Jan. 10, 2009, in front of a school-record 9,825 fans
? The Knights led by as many as eight points after intermission, but Memphis got 15 points each from Antonio Anderson, Robert Dozier and Tyreke Evans to take the lead and hold on for the win
? The squads met on Jan. 26 at the FedEx Forum and Memphis used a big run to close the first half and roll to a 77-61 victory over the Knights
? The Tigers, who were receiving votes in both national polls, closed the opening half with a 22-8 run and took a 19-point advantage into intermission
? UCF played better in the second half, outscoring the hosts 33-30
? Memphis shot 48.5 percent overall and forced a season-high 22 UCF turnovers
? Marcus Jordan led UCF with 13 points, and P.J. Gaynor scored 10 points, all in the second half, off the bench
? In two career contests versus the Tigers, Jordan is averaging 11.5 points and 5.0 assists

Thousands of Miles, Just One Game
? The Knights experienced an unusual few days last week
? The squad traveled nearly 4,000 miles through the air and spent parts of six days away from home, but played just one game
? On Tuesday, UCF left Orlando and made the 1,711-mile trip to El Paso to meet UTEP Wednesday
? Due to the effects of a winter storm in El Paso, the contest was postponed
? Without playing a game, UCF left El Paso and made the longest trip in Conference USA, 1,898 miles to Greenville, N.C.
? The team met East Carolina Saturday, and returned to the UCF campus Sunday morning

Full House
? With four home games remaining on its schedule, UCF has already established a school single-season attendance record as 85,854 fans have watched the Knights play 13 contests at the UCF Arena in 2010-11
? The previous single-season mark was set last season when 81,161 spectators attended 15 games
? UCF is averaging 6,604 fans, up from 5,411 a year ago
? Five of the top-10 crowds in program history have been recorded this year, including the third (9,347 vs. Rice on Jan. 22) and fourth (9,094 vs. Marshall on Jan. 5) largest crowds

Last Time Out
? Despite a game-high 24 points from Marcus Jordan, UCF was not able to record a road win Saturday as East Carolina used a big second half to post a 68-61 victory over the Knights in Greenville
? The Knights led by five points at the break, but the Pirates used a 13-1 run midway through the second half to take the lead and claim the victory

The Injured Reserve
? The Knights played their last two games without a pair of starters - point guard A.J. Rompza and small forward David Diakite
? Both players are battling injuries, and their return to the lineup is unknown
? Rompza is averaging 5.9 points and 3.4 assists in 24.7 minutes per game, and Diakite is averaging 4.0 points and 2.8 boards in 12.7 minutes
? As a result of the injuries, two Knights are starting at positions that they are not accustomed to playing: Marcus Jordan has shifted from shooting guard to point guard, and backup power forward P.J. Gaynor has entered the lineup at small forward

In-State Support
? Averaging 6,604 fans per contest, the Knights rank third among the 13 Division I programs in Florida in attendance
? Only Florida (9,735) and Florida State (8,840) are averaging more fans than the Knights, who rank ahead of Miami of the ACC (4,929) and USF of the BIG EAST (3,882)

Match Point
? UCF needs just one victory to match its win total from a year ago
? Last year, UCF did not win its 15th game until March 10 at the Conference USA Championship
? On Feb. 2 of last year, UCF was 11-11 overall
? The Knights started this year with 14-straight victories to record the best start at UCF since the program moved to the Division I ranks in 1984
? UCF was one of the final six remaining unbeaten squads in the country

Sensational Sophomores
? UCF's most consistent players on offense this season have been sophomores Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan
? Jordan paces the squad in scoring at 16.0 points per game, followed by Clanton at 14.6
? Clanton is the team's top rebounder (8.8), while Jordan paces UCF in assists per game (3.3)
? Either Clanton or Jordan has led the Knights in points in 14 of the squad's 21 games in 2010-11

The Future Looks Brighter
? Although the Knights have already achieved many accomplishments this season, the future looks even brighter for head coach Donnie Jones' program
? UCF's top-two players, Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan, are sophomores, and the team will return 87.1 percent of its scoring and 84.6 of its rebounding next season after losing just three seniors
? Next year, the Knights will have the services of three high-profile transfers who are sitting out this season due to NCAA rules - center Josh Crittle (Oregon), point guard Jeff Jordan (Illinois) and small forward Tristan Spurlock (Virginia)
? Jones has already assembled a recruiting class that includes three of the top prep players in Florida: small forward Rod Days (Weston/Sagemont), power forward Wayne Martin (Jacksonville/Providence Christian) and power forward Kasey Wilson (North Port/North Port)
? The class has been rated as one of the best in the country by both ESPN.com and Scout.com

Board Work
? UCF has outrebounded its last three opponents, averaging 41.0 boards compared to 32.3 rebounds for its foes during the span
? After averaging 32.1 rebounds per game in 2009-10, the squad is averaging 37.5 boards this year, which ranks third in Conference USA

Making a Contribution
? Keith Clanton has scored at least 10 points in 18 of UCF's 21 games this year
? But even when Clanton is not scoring, he is still making a contribution to the team because in all three of the contests where he did not score in double digits, he grabbed at least nine rebounds

Seventh Heaven
? Keith Clanton, who leads UCF and ranks fourth in Conference USA in rebounds per game at 8.8, has grabbed at least seven boards in 18-consecutive games
? Clanton has six double-digit rebounding performances on the year
? On Saturday at East Carolina, he recorded nine rebounds

Point Production
? Marcus Jordan has scored in double figures in 19 of UCF's 21 games this season, and has scored at least 20 points six times
? As a freshman, he had 11 double-digit scoring performances, with one over 20 points

Feeling Free
? Marcus Jordan leads Conference USA with 136 free-throw attempts
? Jordan has made 107 of his foul shots, and is shooting 78.7 percent at the line, good for 11th in the league

Block Party
? Tom Herzog has blocked 48 shots this season, and already ranks sixth on the school single-season blocks register
? Although he is in his first and only year in Orlando, he needs just six blocks to enter the top 10 on the UCF career blocks list
? Herzog has blocked at least three shots seven times this season

Up Next
? The Knights will conclude their two-game homestand Saturday against Tulsa at 7 p.m. at the UCF Arena
? The contest will serve as the only matchup this season between the teams
? Tulsa has a 7-4 edge in the all-time series