2011-12 Review: Top Performances

March 26, 2012

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By Doug Richards

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF players recorded many impressive individual performances during the 2011-12 campaign. Whether it was double-figure scoring games from Keith Clanton, or a solid defensive effort from Isaiah Sykes, several Knights had big contests during the season.

Here is a look at the top individual performances of the year:

Honorable Mention
? Isaiah Sykes vs. UTEP: 23 points/11 rebounds
? Isaiah Sykes at East Carolina: 20 points/10 rebounds/10-of-15 shooting
? Tristan Spurlock at SMU: 15 points/3 3-pointers
? Marcus Jordan vs. Stetson: 26 points/3 assists/8-of-13 shooting/4-of-7 3-point shooting
? Isaiah Sykes vs. Hartford: 22 points/11 rebounds/9-of-14 shooting
? Kasey Wilson at Rice: 13 points/4 rebounds/4-of-5 shooting

10. Keith Clanton vs. No. 4 UConn
Clanton was one of the top performers at the Battle 4 Atlantis and his play in the Bahamas helped UCF finish second at the eight-team event. In the win over No. 4 UConn, Clanton gave the defending national champions' frontcourt, which featured 6-foot-10 Andre Drummond and 6-foot-9 Alex Oriakhi, trouble all day. The junior forward finished with 20 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. He shot 4-of-5 from 3-point range and his shots from deep forced Drummond and Oriakhi outside the paint, opening the lane for drives from Marcus Jordan and Isaiah Sykes.

9. Marcus Jordan vs. North Carolina A&T
Jordan was unstoppable offensively in UCF's early-season win over North Carolina A&T. The junior guard finished with 28 points on 5-of-12 shooting from deep. He logged 37 minutes and did much of his damage at the free-throw line, where he shot 7-of-10 for the contest.

8. A.J. Rompza vs. UAB
Following an emotional senior night ceremony, UCF fans would have forgiven Rompza if he was a little off his game against UAB. But as he had many other times during his career, the point guard came through for UCF fans, lifting the Knights to a victory that secured a third-place Conference USA finish for the squad. In 38 minutes, Rompza totaled 10 assists with only one turnover in the win over the Blazers. 7. Isaiah Sykes vs. Houston
In the win over the Cougars at the UCF Arena, Sykes had a monster game. He totaled 21 points, but was more impressive on the glass. The Detroit native finished with a career-high 14 rebounds, with an amazing 11 of the boards coming on the offensive end. As a team, Houston only recorded 13 offensive boards.

6. Keith Clanton vs. Memphis
Clanton was stellar all game long against the Tigers, finishing with 23 points and eight boards. But it was his play at the end of the contest that UCF fans will always remember. With the Knights trailing by two points with five seconds remaining, Clanton corralled an offensive rebound and scored inside the paint as he was fouled. The Orlando native calmly sank the free throw and seconds later, UCF's students were rushing the court after the Knights had their first victory in 10 tries over the Tigers.

5. Keith Clanton vs. Old Dominion
In leading UCF to another impressive non-conference win, Clanton was sensational against Old Dominion. He scored 23 points, totaled 16 rebounds, including seven offensive boards, and had four steals versus a team that was coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance. Clanton shot 8-of-14 in the win and made all three of his 3-point field goal attempts.

4. Marcus Jordan vs. No. 4 UConn
Jordan scored only three points in the first half against the defending national champions, but played well when it mattered most. In helping UCF overcome a 17-point second-half deficit, Jordan totaled 17 points after intermission. He continually took the ball to the basket in the second half, and his fearless play after the break led the Knights to one of the biggest victories in school history.

3. Isaiah Sykes at Southern Miss
Throughout the year, it was easy to see the improvement that Sykes made from his freshman to his sophomore season. His strides were no more evident though at Southern Miss. The Knights eventually fell to the Golden Eagles, but Sykes single-handedly kept UCF in the contest. He scored a career-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting and also added 10 rebounds and three assists.

2. A.J. Rompza at East Carolina
Rompza had perhaps the best game of his collegiate career in UCF's big victory over the host Pirates. In 39 minutes, Rompza totaled a season-best 16 points, matched a career-high with seven rebounds and recorded nine assists with only one turnover. And on the defensive end, he grabbed five steals. Thanks to Rompza, the Knights' offense was on point in the win as UCF scored 81 points, its second-highest total of the year.

1. Keith Clanton vs. College of Charleston
Clanton made sure that UCF opened the Battle 4 Atlantis in strong fashion, leading the Knights to an impressive victory over College of Charleston. Clanton scored in a variety of ways against the Cougars and finished with 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting. He connected on a pair of 3-pointers and also added 14 rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals.