Knights Seeking 20th Victory of 2011-12 Wednesday at Rice

Feb. 21, 2012

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By Doug Richards

UCF at Rice
Date Wednesday, Feb. 22
Time 9 p.m. Eastern
Location Houston, Texas | Tudor Fieldhouse
Television CSS/Bright House Sports Network
Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
Internet Coverage Video/Audio |
Game Notes UCF Notes
Social Media @UCF_MBasketball | Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF men's basketball team will seek its 20th victory of the season Wednesday when the Knights meet Rice in Houston. Tipoff for the Conference USA contest at Tudor Fieldhouse is 9 p.m. Eastern.

The game will be televised throughout the southeast on CSS and in central Florida on Bright House Sports Network.

UCF (19-7, 8-4 C-USA) is aiming to record its second-straight 20-win campaign under head coach Donnie Jones. Since joining the Division I ranks in 1984, the Knights have posted only six 20-win seasons.

UCF has won four of its last five contests. Junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) is averaging a team-high 14.5 points in C-USA play.

Rice is 15-12 overall and 6-6 in the league. The Owls are led by Arsalan Kazemi, one of the most talented post players in the nation. He is averaging 12.1 points and 10.6 rebounds.

Mike Morgan will handle play-by-play on the CSS broadcast and will be joined by former Georgia Tech guard Brian Oliver.

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 Houston. Live audio, video and statistics will be available at UCFAthletics.com.

After facing the Owls, UCF will return to home to play UTEP Saturday evening at 8 p.m.

Series History
? UCF is 8-4 all-time against Rice and 4-0 against the Owls in Houston since both programs joined Conference USA in 2005
? The teams met last season in Orlando and the Owls held on for a 57-50 victory over the Knights on Jan. 22, 2011
? UCF led by two points at halftime before Rice outscored the hosts 32-23 after the break
? Keith Clanton led UCF with 18 points
? The programs last played in Houston on March 6, 2010, and Taylor Young scored 14 points to help the Knights to a 66-59 victory
? During his time as the head coach at Marshall, Donnie Jones went 3-1 vs. Rice
? UCF will be making its second trip to Texas this year when it meets the Owls as the Knights defeated SMU, 59-52, in Dallas on Feb. 4

Last Time Out
? UCF completed the series sweep over East Carolina Saturday with a 64-55 win over the Pirates
? Keith Clanton led all players with 16 points and added seven boards in the win
? The Knights, who shot 50.0 percent from the field, led 33-25 at halftime
? East Carolina shot 38.3 percent overall and just 16.7 percent from 3-point range
? The series sweep of a Conference USA opponent was the first for the Knights since UCF defeated Rice twice in 2009-10

20-20 Vision
? The Knights need one win to post their second-consecutive 20-victory campaign under Donnie Jones
? UCF went 21-12 a year ago, and recorded 19 of the victories during the regular season
? This year, UCF is seeking only the seventh 20-win campaign since the school moved to the Division I level in 1984-85
? The Knights have not had back-to-back 20-victory seasons since 2002-03 - 2004-05, a three-year stretch

Winning Ways
? With four league games remaining, UCF has already topped its Conference USA victory total from a year ago as the Knights are 8-4 in the conference
? UCF went 6-10 against C-USA foes in 2010-11 and also went 6-10 in the league in 2009-10
? Last season, with four conference games left on its schedule, UCF was 4-9 in the league

Hitting the Road
? UCF is seeking its fourth Conference USA road win as the Knights are 3-3 in league away games
? Last season, the Knights went 2-6 on the road in league play
? If UCF defeats Rice, the Knights will tie the 2006-07 squad for the most league road victories since the program joined C-USA in 2005

New Balance
? UCF has enjoyed great balance offensively as three Knights - Marcus Jordan (15.1), Keith Clanton (15.0) and Isaiah Sykes (12.0) - are averaging double-digits in scoring
? The Knights have not had three players finish a campaign averaging double figures in points since 2007-08: Jermaine Taylor (20.8), Dave Noel (13.3) and Mike O'Donnell (11.9)

Follow the Leader
? The Knights are following the lead of Isaiah Sykes this season as the squad is 14-2 this year when Sykes scores in double figures

Getting to the Glass
? Keith Clanton, who is fifth in Conference USA at 8.7 rebounds per game this season, needs only two boards to reach the 700-rebound mark for his career
? The junior is tied for third in program history with 698 boards

Welcome Back
? A.J. Rompza scored 11 points in the win over East Carolina to post his first double-digit scoring game since Jan. 25 at Tulsa
? In UCF's last two games, Rompza shot 46.7 percent overall and averaged 10.0 points
? The point guard shot just 17.9 percent (5-of-28) and averaged 3.8 points in the team's previous four games

Handle with Care
? A.J. Rompza leads Conference USA with a 3.3 assist-turnover ratio in league play
? The senior has recorded 49 assists in conference contests with only 15 turnovers

Feeling Fresh
? In only 12 minutes in the win over East Carolina, freshman Kasey Wilson scored nine points and added a career-best six rebounds
? The forward averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 boards in only 12.0 minutes in UCF's last two games
? Wilson is averaging 2.8 points and 1.9 boards in league play while shooting 62.5 percent from the floor
? He has logged over six minutes on nine occasions this year, and averaged 5.7 points and 2.9 rebounds in those contests

Up Next
? The Knights are slated to host UTEP Saturday evening in a contest that will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network
? UCF is 3-1 all-time against the Miners in Orlando