UCF Men's Basketball Heading to Canada Wednesday

Aug. 8, 2011

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By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Just over four months ago, the UCF men's basketball team concluded one of the most memorable campaigns in program history. On Wednesday, the Knights will seek to start the 2011-12 season on a positive note when they begin their exhibition trip to Canada.

Head coach Donnie Jones' Knights, who won 21 games last year and entered the national rankings for the first time, will play three games in four days this week. The slate begins Wednesday evening with a contest against a professional all-star squad outside of Montreal. UCF will also face a pair of college teams - Carleton in Ottawa on Thursday and McGill in Montreal on Saturday. Carleton has won seven of the last nine Canadian national championships.

NCAA rules allow programs to take foreign summer tours every four years. The Knights last left the country for a summer trip in 2005 (Belgium, France, Holland). UCF will practice 10 times before leaving Orlando, and those sessions should be beneficial for the Knights as they prepare for the upcoming campaign.

"Having the opportunity to practice 10 times before going to Canada is huge for our team," Jones said. "We are hoping that this really gives us a head start once practices officially begin in October. We will face some good competition in Canada, and our guys will also be spending a lot of time together, which will help with team chemistry."

UCF's six returning letterwinners, three now-eligible transfers and three freshmen will make the trip to Canada. The Knights are led by juniors Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) and Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.), who both earned All-Conference USA honors a year ago. Jordan averaged a team-high 15.2 points, and Clanton led the team in rebounds per game (7.7) while averaging 14.2 points per contest.

In Jones' first year at UCF, the Knights enjoyed great success last season. The team began the campaign 14-0, posted big non-league wins over No. 16 Florida, Miami, USF and Princeton and participated in the postseason College Basketball Invitational. The Knights were ranked as high as 18th nationally during the campaign.

Fans looking to follow the Knights in Canada should visit UCFAthletics.com each day and follow the program on Twitter.

UCF's 2011-12 schedule should be announced within the next month. Fans can make sure they don't miss any of the exciting action at the UCF Arena by reserving their season tickets by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com.