Knights Open Postseason Wednesday vs. St. Bonaventure

March 15, 2011

="" alt="Knight Head" border="0" class="imported"> Read John Denton's Knights Insider | ="" alt="Twitter Logo" border="0" class="imported">Follow us on Twitter | ="" alt="Facebook Logo" border="0" class="imported">Get social with the Knights on Facebook

By Doug Richards

Complete Release in PDF Format

Purchase Tickets

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Having received the first at-large invitation to the postseason in school history, the UCF men's basketball team will host St. Bonaventure Wednesday in the first round of the 2011 CBI presented by Zebra Pen. The contest at the UCF Arena begins at 8 p.m.

Under new head coach Donnie Jones, the Knights (19-11) will be seeking their 20th victory of the campaign. The invitation to the CBI has allowed UCF to continue its impressive campaign, which has featured several milestones, including a victory over No. 16 Florida. UCF's 19 wins are the most for the program since the 2006-07 season.

The team's top-two scorers - sophomores Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) and Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) - both earned All-Conference USA accolades last week. Jordan was selected to the All-C-USA Second Team, while Clanton was an all-league third team pick.

Tickets for the postseason contest are available at Ticketmaster.com and UCFAthletics.com, and a special $5 lower-level baseline ticket is now available. On gameday, fans can purchase tickets at the UCF Arena box office.

Jones has also provided 1,000 tickets for UCF students. The student tickets will be distributed starting tonight at UCF's baseball game against rival USF at 6:30 p.m. at the UCF baseball complex.

The postseason bid is just the fifth for UCF since the school moved to the Division I level in 1984, and is the first at-large invitation for the Knights. UCF is one of 16 squads competing in the CBI. The winner of the UCF-St. Bonaventure game will advance to the CBI quarterfinals to meet either Miami (Ohio) or Rhode Island next Monday.

St. Bonaventure is 16-14 overall in 2010-11, and posted an 8-8 mark in the Atlantic 10. The Bonnies picked up a signature win in December when they defeated host St. John's. The team is led by forward Andrew Nicholson, who is averaging 20.8 points and 7.4 rebounds.

In its fourth year, the CBI is a single-elimination tournament up until the championship series, with all games played at campus sites. The championship series is a best-of-three series.

UCF-St. Bonaventure will air on the UCF Sports Network from IMG College and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will lead the broadcast, and former UCF star guard Mike O'Donnell will provide color commentary. Live audio and statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

HDNet will broadcast the game nationally. Kenny Rice will handle the play-by-play, and will be joined by former Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer.

Series Record First Meeting

? UCF and St. Bonaventure will be meeting for the first time
? The Bonnies are a member of the Atlantic 10, and the Knights defeated A-10 program UMass, 64-59, on Dec. 22 in Amherst
? A year ago, UCF rolled to an 84-67 victory over the Minutemen at the UCF Arena
? Last year, Donnie Jones led his Marshall team to an 80-61 victory over the Bonnies in Huntington, W.Va.

Last Time Out
? East Carolina used a big second half to post a 75-60 victory over the Knights on March 9 in the opening round of the Conference USA Championship in El Paso, Texas
? After UCF led 39-34 at the break, the Pirates shot 56.0 percent after intermission, when they outscored the Knights 41-21
? UCF shot just 28.0 percent in the second half, and was led by Keith Clanton's 15 points

? Having recorded 19 victories in 2010-11 under new head coach Donnie Jones, UCF has already won four more games than the Knights did a year ago
? UCF's victory at Tulane on Feb. 16 allowed the Knights to surpass their victory total from a year ago
? Last year, UCF went 15-17 and did not win its 15th game until March 10 at the Conference USA Championship

Turnaround Time
? After the Knights had a difficult stretch in January and early February that included an eight-game losing streak, head coach Donnie Jones got his team back on track
? UCF concluded the regular season by winning five of its last seven games
? The Knights went 1-6 in January, but recovered to go 4-3 in February

Seeking a Milestone
? Despite having a new head coach who has introduced a new style of play, the Knights need just one victory to reach the 20-win mark for the season
? Since joining the Division I ranks in 1984, UCF has recorded just five 20-win campaigns
? The last 20-win season came in 2006-07 when the Knights went 22-9, and is the only 20-victory campaign since the program moved to Conference USA prior to the 2005-06 academic year

Honor Roll
? On March 7, sophomores Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton earned All-Conference USA honors
? Jordan earned a spot on the All-C-USA Second Team, while Clanton was named to the third team
? The pair of honorees marks the first time that two UCF players have been all-league selections in the same year since 2004-05 when Gary Johnson and Josh Peppers were named to the All-Atlantic Sun Second Team

Happy at Home
? UCF is certainly happy to be facing St. Bonaventure at home as the squad is 13-4 at the UCF Arena this year
? The Knights are 9-0 against non-league opponents at home this year
? The team has won three-straight games overall in Orlando, having topped Tulsa, Southern Miss and SMU towards the end of the regular season

Crowded House
? UCF has set program single-season attendance records this year as 114,142 spectators have watched the team play at the UCF Arena for an average of 6,714 fans per game
? The previous records (81,161/5,411) were established last season
? In 2010-11, 10 of the top-15 crowds in school history have been recorded

Fair or Foul
? The Knights have done a good job of getting to the free-throw line this season
? The squad has attempted 727 foul shots in 30 games, compared to 644 in 32 contests in 2009-10
? This season, 24.3 percent of UCF's points have come from the free-throw line

Swat Team
? UCF has established a school single-season blocks record with 177 swats in 30 contests
? After totaling just 95 blocks in 32 games last year, the Knights are fifth nationally, averaging 5.9 blocks
? The previous UCF single-season blocks record was 143 in 2004-05
? Tom Herzog (55 blocks) is second in Conference USA and is 44th in the country with 2.1 blocks per game, and Keith Clanton (57 blocks) is third in the conference at 1.9

Non-League Review
? For the first time in program history, UCF went unbeaten during non-conference play, going 13-0
? After joining the Division I ranks in 1984, UCF recorded only three victories over schools from "power conferences" (ACC, Big 12, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Pac-10, SEC) in 26 years
? In Donnie Jones' first year at UCF, the Knights matched that number, having topped a BIG EAST program in USF, an SEC squad in 16th-ranked Florida and an ACC team in Miami
? The victory over Florida was just the second win over a nationally-ranked program in UCF history

In the Ranks
? Starting Dec. 20, UCF spent four weeks as a nationally-ranked team, moving as high as 18th in the coaches poll and 19th in the AP Top 25 on Jan. 3
? The Knights earned a national ranking for the first time in program history on Dec. 20 when they were listed at No. 24 in the AP poll; before this season, UCF had only received top-25 votes twice in its history

The Future Looks Brighter
? Although the Knights have already achieved many accomplishments this season, including a earning a spot in the postseason, 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 85.6 percent of its scoring and 83.7 percent 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)

Free Trade
? Marcus Jordan has connected on 160 free throws, good enough for a UCF single-season record
? Jordan leads Conference USA with 200 free-throw attempts and ranks seventh in the league in free-throw percentage (80.0)
? In UCF's last eight games, which included five victories, Jordan made 47-of-56 (83.9 percent) of his free-throw attempts

Settle the Score
? Marcus Jordan has scored in double figures in 26 of UCF's 30 games this season, and has totaled at least 20 points eight times
? As a freshman, he had 11 double-digit scoring performances, with one over 20 points

Better Than Before
? Marcus Jordan averaged 8.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting last year, good enough numbers to earn him a spot on the Conference USA All-Freshman Team
? Jordan has made great strides as a sophomore, as he leads the squad and ranks seventh in C-USA in scoring at 15.6 points per game
? He has led the Knights in scoring 13 times this year, compared to three as a freshman
? The Chicago native also leads UCF in assists per game at 3.4

Board Work
? Keith Clanton ranks fifth in Conference USA in rebounds per game, grabbing 8.1 each contest
? Clanton has 243 boards on the season after totaling 217 in 32 games as a freshman, and needs just one rebound to move into the top 10 on the school single-season register

Show and Improve
? The lone Knight to start every contest in 2010-11, Keith Clanton is showing off a well-improved game this season
? After earning Conference USA All-Freshman Team honors a year ago, Clanton is averaging 14.0 points and 8.1 boards per game while shooting 52.0 percent from the floor, good for seventh in the league

Trey Songz
? Isaac Sosa is quickly moving up the UCF career 3-pointers register and is now fourth in program history with 189 triples, trailing Mike O'Donnell (2005-08), who is third with 195 career treys
? This year, Sosa has connected on 59 triples, and is seventh in Conference USA in 3-point field-goal percentage at 40.1

Smart Guy
? For the second-consecutive season, Isaac Sosa has earned a spot on the five-man Conference USA Men's Basketball All-Academic Team
? A finance major, Sosa boasts a 3.55 grade point average

From the Start
? P.J. Gaynor is averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 boards in 17.4 minutes per game on the year
? But since entering the starting lineup at small forward 11 games ago (he did not start against SMU due to senior night), Gaynor has taken his game to another level
? In the 10 games as a starter, Gaynor averaged 6.3 points and 4.1 rebounds in 25.6 minutes

Up Next
? If UCF defeats St. Bonaventure, the team will meet the winner of the Miami (Ohio)-Rhode Island game March 21 in the CBI quarterfinals
? The Knights have never faced the RedHawks or the Rams