Knights Seeking More C-USA Success at Tulsa

Jan. 24, 2012

="" 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

UCF at Tulsa
Date Wednesday, Jan. 25
Time 8 p.m. Eastern
Location Tulsa, Okla. | Reynolds Center
Television CBS Sports Network
Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
Internet Coverage Audio |
Game Notes UCF Notes
Social Media @UCF_MBasketball | Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will look to continue its strong start in Conference USA play Wednesday when the Knights face host Tulsa at the Reynolds Center at 8 p.m. Eastern. The Knights (15-4, 5-1 C-USA) are off their best start in league action since the program joined C-USA in 2005 and are receiving three votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

Wednesday's contest will air live nationally on CBS Sports Network. Tulsa is 11-9 overall and 4-2 in league games. The Golden Hurricane have won four-consecutive contests and are 6-0 all-time against the Knights at home.

Last week, UCF defeated a pair of C-USA programs for the first time. On Wednesday, junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) registered a 3-point play with four seconds remaining to lift the Knights to a 68-67 win over league power Memphis in front of a raucous crowd at the UCF Arena. UCF followed that performance with a 48-41 triumph at UAB. The Knights have won seven of their last eight games.

Clanton averaged 16.5 points on 59.1 percent shooting in the victories over Memphis and UAB and was recognized as the C-USA Player of the Week Monday. During the victory at UAB, he became UCF's career leader in blocked shots with 142. Senior guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) leads the conference in both assist-turnover ratio (3.6) and steals per game (4.2) in C-USA play.

Tulsa is led by Jordan Clarkson, who is averaging 15.4 points an outing.

On the CBS Sports Network broadcast, Dave Ryan will handle the play-by-play and will be joined by Pete Gillen.

UCF fans can listen to the game on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call from Tulsa. Live audio and statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

Series History
? Tulsa has a 7-5 edge in the all-time series with the Knights
? In Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane are 6-0 vs. UCF, with four of those victories coming since both programs joined Conference USA in 2005
? The last two matchups have been decided by a total of six points
? A year ago, the squads met in Orlando and UCF held on for a 58-57 victory on Feb. 12, 2011, that snapped the team's eight-game losing streak
? Tulsa led 29-25 at the break and after UCF took the lead, had the chance to win the game, but Scott Haralson's 3-point attempt at the buzzer was long
? Marcus Jordan scored 15 points and added seven assists and six rebounds and Keith Clanton totaled 16 points in the win
? In the last series matchup in Tulsa, the hosts claimed a 90-70 win over the Knights on Jan. 16, 2010

Last Time Out
? UCF built a big lead and then held on for a 48-41 victory at UAB Saturday
? The Knights led by as many as 14 points in the first half and after the Blazers grabbed a 3-point advantage with 5:12 to play, outscored UAB 10-0 to close the game
? The victory was the first in eight tries against the Blazers for UCF
? UCF raced out to a 12-0 lead and took a 24-15 advantage into the break
? Keith Clanton was the only Knight to finish with double digits in scoring with 10 points

Playing Its Best
? After an uncharacteristic 61-60 loss at Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 21, UCF has played its best basketball of the season
? The Knights have won seven of their last eight contests

A Super Start
? At 5-1, UCF is off to its best start in league play since joining Conference USA in 2005
? The start is the best for the program in conference games since the Knights began Atlantic Sun play with 11-straight victories in 2003-04

Taking Down Tourney Teams
? This season, UCF has defeated four squads that participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament
? In non-league play, the Knights topped defending national champion UConn and Old Dominion
? UCF has defeated both Memphis and UAB in C-USA action
? The team also owns wins over 2011 NIT squads College of Charleston and Bethune-Cookman

The Away Team
? UCF is 2-1 in Conference USA road games, having defeated both UAB and East Carolina
? If UCF tops Tulsa, the Knights will best their C-USA road win total from a year ago when they went 2-6

The Elusive Victories
? Last week, UCF defeated both Memphis and UAB, programs that the Knights had never beaten in numerous tries
? UCF topped Memphis for the first time in 11 meetings and then beat UAB for the first time in eight tries

Doing It With Defense
? Strong defensive play has been the key to UCF's 5-1 start in Conference USA as the Knights are limiting opponents to only 58.7 points per contest in league games
? UCF has held all six of its league foes to below 68 points
? On Saturday, the Knights limited UAB to only 41 points, the third-fewest points allowed by UCF since the program moved to the Division I level in 1984

It's Still Halftime
? UCF is 13-0 this season when leading at halftime
? All four of the team's losses have come after the team was down at the break

Junior League
? With Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton, UCF is the only team in Conference USA that has two players averaging at least 15.0 points per game overall
? Jordan is averaging a team-high 16.1 points, followed by Clanton with 15.4 points
? Jordan is fourth in the league in scoring, with Clanton ranking sixth
? In league play, Clanton paces the Knights at 14.8 points per game, followed by Jordan at 13.7
? Both players recently joined UCF's 1,000-career point club
? Clanton ranks 14th in program history with 1,073 points, while Jordan is 15th with 1,031 career points

A Block Party
? Keith Clanton recorded three blocks in Saturday's win at UAB and during the second half became the all-time leading shot blocker in UCF history
? The junior has 142 blocks, and passed Ken Leeks (141 from 1988-92) for the top spot on the list
? Clanton is averaging 1.9 blocks (fourth in C-USA) on the year, and 2.5 blocks (second in C-USA) in league play

Major Minutes
? Marcus Jordan leads Conference USA in minutes per game at 36.6 an outing
? He has logged at least 35 minutes in 15 of 17 games played this season

Handle with Care
? A.J. Rompza leads Conference USA with a 3.6 assist-turnover ratio in league play
? The senior has recorded 29 assists in conference contests with only eight turnovers
? Rompza is second in C-USA play, dishing out 4.8 assists per game

It Takes A Thief
? A.J. Rompza is averaging 4.2 steals in Conference USA games to lead the league
? He has 25 steals in six contests and no other league player has more than 13 steals in league games
? The senior ranks third in program history with 189 career steals

Triple Threat
? In UCF's first three conference games of the year, Tristan Spurlock shot 0-of-7 from 3-point range
? The sophomore forward has found his touch from deep as he shot 46.7 percent in the team's last three contests, making 7-of-15 attempts
? As a freshman at Virginia in 2009-10, Spurlock hit two 3-pointers in 13 contests
? This year, Spurlock is shooting 36.1 percent from deep and has made 22-of-61 attempts
? He is averaging 7.9 points this year after averaging 2.4 points as a rookie

Up Next
? UCF will return home to host Southern Miss Saturday in a game that will air on Bright House Sports Network in Orlando