UCF Men's Basketball Summer Preview

July 11, 2011

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By Doug Richards

Reserve your 2011-12 season tickets today

2011-12 UCF Men's Basketball Preseason Information

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Coming off one of the most memorable campaigns in program history last season, the UCF men's basketball team will feature plenty of new faces in 2011-12. With an influx of talent, plus the return of several talented players, the season could be another great year for the Knights, who are entering their second campaign under head coach Donnie Jones.

The UCF ticket sales office is currently accepting season-ticket deposits for the 2011-12 campaign at (407) UCF-1000 or online at UCFAthletics.com.

UCF Preseason Notebook

? The 2011-12 campaign will serve as year two for the Knights under head coach Donnie Jones
? UCF had an impressive season during Jones' first year in Orlando, winning 21 games in 2010-11
? The Knights went 13-0 against non-league opponents at the start of the year, posted wins over No. 16 Florida, Miami, Princeton and USF, entered the national rankings for the first time and earned an invitation to the postseason where the team won two contests in the College Basketball Invitational

? UCF returns 64.2 percent of its scoring from a year ago
? Three of the team's top-five scorers are back from 2010-11

? After winning 21 contests a year ago, the Knights will be hoping to record another 20-win campaign this season
? UCF has not posted back-to-back 20 win seasons since 2002-04

? The Knights return two of the top players in Conference USA in Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton
? Both players, who are entering their junior campaigns, garnered All-C-USA honors a year ago
? Jordan was selected to the All-C-USA Second Team, while Clanton earned a spot on the third team

? After showing much improvement as a sophomore, Marcus Jordan seems poised for a breakout year in 2011-12
? Jordan averaged 15.2 points last season, which led the Knights and ranked ninth in Conference USA
? He also paced the squad in assists at 3.3 per game
? Jordan began the campaign as UCF's starting shooting guard, but moved to point guard during the team's non-conference schedule
? The Chicago native scored in double figures in 27 contests and connected on a school single-season record 165 free throws
? He will enter the season as the third-leading returning scorer in C-USA

? Keith Clanton also made great strides during his sophomore campaign, as the Orlando native showed off a well-rounded game
? He averaged 14.2 points and a team-high 7.7 boards while shooting 52.9 percent from the floor, which ranked third in Conference USA
? Clanton averaged 1.8 blocks during the campaign, swatting 60 shots to rank third in the league
? The power forward also ranked third on the squad with 1.6 assists per game

? Thanks to three talented transfers, UCF had one of the nation's premier scout teams last year
? Due to NCAA rules, point guard Jeff Jordan, small forward Tristan Spurlock and center Josh Crittle all had to miss the season
? The three players are all eligible this year, and should make a positive impact on the court
? Spurlock, a sophomore who spent the 2009-10 season as a freshman at Virginia, is a candidate to crack the starting lineup
? Coming out of high school, he was listed as the 80th-best senior in the country by ESPNU
? Jordan will suit up alongside his younger brother Marcus
? He appeared in 92 career contests at Illinois from 2007-10, and is a solid defender
? A skilled big man, Crittle played in 51 contests at Oregon from 2008-10, and made five starts for the Ducks

? Donnie Jones and his staff have welcomed an impressive recruiting class to Orlando
? The class consists of three highly-touted in-state players
? Small forward Rod Days (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Sagemont School) and power forwards Wayne Martin (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence Christian) and Kasey Wilson (North Port, Fla./North Port) all signed National Letters of Intent with UCF in November
? Days, Martin and Wilson are all ranked among the top-60 nationally at their positions by ESPNU

? Much of UCF's leadership will come from A.J. Rompza, who is one of four seniors on the squad
? Rompza played in 31 games last season, making 19 starts and averaging 6.4 points and 3.2 assists
? He enters his senior season fourth in program history with 394 career assists and fifth in steals with 161

? UCF will also have the services of a pair of returning forwards in P.J. Gaynor and Isaiah Sykes
? Gaynor appeared in all 33 games as a junior last year, and made 13 starts at the end of the season at small forward
? He averaged 4.8 points and 3.2 boards while shooting 51.3 percent overall
? A defensive stopper on the perimeter, Sykes played in 32 games as a freshman in 2010-11 and averaged 4.0 points and 3.2 boards

? Dwight McCombs started 19 games at center last season in his first year in Orlando, and is working hard during the offseason to have a greater impact with the Knights as a senior
? McCombs averaged 3.1 points and 2.7 blocks in 12.1 minutes per game in 2010-11 after transferring from Moraine Valley Community College ? He shot 64.3 percent from the floor

? The Knights lose center Tom Herzog, who swatted 59 shots last season, but seem primed to again alter plenty of shots this year
? UCF blocked a school-record 190 shots in 2010-11, and ranked eighth in the country in blocks per game at 5.8
? Keith Clanton totaled 60 blocks last season, and Dwight McCombs added 25 swats in his first campaign in Orlando

? Keith Clanton enters the campaign fourth in program history with 105 blocked shots
? Clanton could move to the top of the career blocks list this season
? Ken Leeks, who starred for the Knights from 1988-92, is first with 141 swats

? In November, UCF will be one of eight teams competing in the inaugural Battle4Atlantis in November at the luxurious Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas
? The Knights will play three contests at the tournament, which is in its first year as an exempt event
? The impressive field also features defending national champion Connecticut, Harvard, Florida State, Utah, UMass, College of Charleston and UNC-Asheville
? In addition to Connecticut, Florida State and UNC-Asheville also participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament
? Harvard and College of Charleston both played in the postseason National Invitation Tournament

? With several notable returnees, plus some talented newcomers, UCF is again hoping for some packed crowds at the UCF Arena
? Last year, UCF averaged a school-best 6,370 fans at home
? The Knights played 19 times at home, and a total of 121,036 spectators watched the squad play, also good for a school record
? The season will serve as UCF's fifth year at the UCF Arena, as the 10,000-seat venue opened in fall 2007

? Mike O'Donnell, one of the most beloved players in UCF history, was named as the program's director of basketball operations in May
? O'Donnell played for the Knights from 2005-08, and now organizes team travel, manages the program's budget, helps monitor the Knights' academic progress, coordinate the team's community service initiatives and direct the program's summer camps