Men's Basketball to Open Battle 4 Atlantis in Bahamas Thursday

Nov. 22, 2011

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By Doug Richards

UCF vs. College of Charleston
Date Thursday, Nov. 24
Time 2 p.m.
Location Paradise Island, Bahamas | Imperial Arena
Television Versus
Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
Internet Coverage All-Access |
Game Notes
Social Media @UCF_MBasketball | Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will begin play in the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas Thursday afternoon with a contest against a talented College of Charleston squad at 2 p.m. The game from the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort will begin at 2 p.m. and will be televised nationally on Versus.

UCF (2-1) is one of eight teams competing in the three-day event that is shaping up to be one of the premier early-season tournaments in the country. The field includes a pair of nationally-ranked squads in No. 4 UConn and No. 20 Florida State. College of Charleston, who the Knights will meet on Thanksgiving, is 3-0 and coming off of a victory at Clemson.

On Friday, UCF will play either defending national champion UConn or UNC-Asheville, a 2011 NCAA Tournament squad. If the Knights defeat College of Charleston, their Friday game will begin at 2 p.m. UCF will play at 7 p.m. Friday if it cannot get past the Cougars.

Harvard, UMass and Utah are also competing in the event. Every game at the tournament will be televised nationally on Versus or HDNet.

In its last outing, UCF defeated visiting High Point, 84-72, last Friday behind 21 points from junior guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) and 20 points and 15 boards from junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.). The Knights received big contributions off the bench from junior center Josh Crittle (Chicago, Ill.) and senior forward P.J. Gaynor (Jacksonville, Fla.). Crittle totaled 10 points and five boards in his UCF debut, and Gaynor added eight points and four rebounds.

UCF will be playing outside of the United States for the third time in the last five years. The Knights also spent time out of the country this summer when they visited Canada for an exhibition tour.

College of Charleston participated in the postseason NIT a year ago and is led by Antwaine Wiggins, who is averaging 19.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. He recorded 22 points in Saturday's win at Clemson.

The game against the Cougars will air on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Scott Adams will handle play-by-play duties during the tournament. Live statistics and audio will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

Series History
? UCF and College of Charleston will be meeting for the 16th time when the teams square off in the Bahamas
? The Cougars have a 12-3 edge in the all-time series
? The two programs were both members of the Atlantic Sun Conference in the 1990s
? In the last series matchup, the host Cougars posted a 72-63 victory over the Knights on Nov. 26, 2003
? One year earlier, on Dec. 12, 2002, UCF rolled to an 82-64 victory over No. 25 College of Charleston in Orlando to give the Knights their first win over a nationally-ranked team in school history
? The contest was played at the old UCF Arena, and Ed Dotson led the Knights with 18 points
? Last season, head coach Donnie Jones and the Knights picked up their second win over a ranked team when the Knights defeated No. 16 Florida at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando
? Despite spending time together in the Atlantic Sun, UCF and College of Charleston will be meeting at a neutral site for the first time

Last Time Out
? Four Knights finished with double figures in scoring as UCF improved to 2-1 on the year with an 84-72 victory over visiting High Point Friday
? Marcus Jordan totaled a game-high 21 points and Keith Clanton added 20 points and matched a career high with 15 rebounds in the win
? UCF led 36-31 at the break, and pulled away from the Panthers thanks to a 13-0 run that started with seven minutes left in the contest
? The Knights shot 80.0 percent from the free-throw line, making 24-of-30 attempts
? High Point was coming off of a two-point loss at Purdue

World Tour
? When the Knights head to the Bahamas, they will be competing outside the United States for the third time in the last five years
? In 2008, UCF went to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge, where the Knights met South Dakota State and Morehead State
? UCF played its first game outside the country in 2006 at the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico
? The Knights enjoyed success at the event, picking up victories over Utah and Tennessee Tech
? The event in the Bahamas will serve as the program's fourth overall tournament outside the continental United States as UCF also played at the BP Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2004, and the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Tournament in Kapolei in 2000

Conquering the Continent
? UCF will be playing outside the United States for the second time in three months
? In August, the Knights got a head start on the 2011-12 season when they traveled to Canada for three exhibition games
? UCF visited Montreal and Ottawa and went 3-0 during the trip
? The Knights faced a team of professionals, defending Canadian national champion Carleton and McGill
? Programs are allowed to take foreign tours every four years, and the Knights were taking a trip for the first time since 2005

Non-Conference Dominance
? UCF has enjoyed great success against non-league opponents since Donnie Jones took over the helm of the program prior to last season ? The Knights are 17-2 under Jones versus non-conference foes
? UCF's lone losses against non-Conference USA opponents have both come on the road: at Creighton in the CBI semifinals last season and at No. 24 Florida State on Nov. 14

Moving Forward
? A Preseason All-Conference USA selection, Keith Clanton enters the Battle 4 Atlantis coming off of an excellent performance against High Point last Friday
? The junior forward totaled a 20 points and matched a career high with 15 rebounds, including seven on the offensive end
? Clanton has scored in double figures in all three of UCF's contests in 2010-11 and leads the team in points per game (16.3) and rebounds per game (8.7)

Grab a Rebound
? Keith Clanton needs only three rebounds to become the 11th player in UCF history with at least 500 career boards
? He has led the team on the glass in each of his two previous campaigns, and has increased his rebounds per game average each year
? The Orlando native averaged 6.8 boards as a freshman before recording 7.7 rebounds per game last year

Showing Improvement
? As a freshman last season, Isaiah Sykes saw time in 32 games and averaged 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per contest
? The Detroit native, who is now playing at both shooting and point guard, has shown major improvement early on this year
? Sykes is averaged 11.0 points through three games, and is also second on the team in rebounds per game at 5.7
? Despite standing only 6-foot-5, Sykes has 17 rebounds on the year, with 10 of the boards coming on the offensive end
? Last year he scored in double figures only once, but he has totaled at least 10 points in two of the Knights' games this season
? During UCF's summer exhibition trip to Canada, he averaged 12.0 points, 4.7 boards and 3.0 assists in 26.7 minutes per game

Block it Out
? After establishing a school record with 190 swats a year ago, the Knights are continuing to block shots at an impressive rate
? UCF is averaging 8.0 blocks per game in 2011-12 and ranks in the top-10 nationally in the category
? The Knights have recorded 24 blocks, compared to only 11 for their opponents
? Keith Clanton leads the way with nine blocks on the year, and Tristan Spurlock has five blocks
? A junior, Clanton ranks third in program history with 114 career blocks
? Ken Leeks, who played for the Knights from 1988-92, is first with 141 swats

Up Next
? UCF will meet either defending national champion UConn or UNC-Asheville Friday
? UCF and UConn have played three times since 2005, and the Huskies have claimed each matchup
? All three games have been competitive, and UConn has won by an average of only six points
? The programs last faced each other on Dec. 20, 2009, in Hartford, and the 14th-ranked Huskies escaped with a 60-51 win
? The Knights have a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with UNC-Asheville, but the programs have not met since 1990