Jan. 2, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Junior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla./Tavares) was nearly unstoppable offensively in the Knights' last four games. He averaged 24.5 points during the span.
Taylor has led UCF in scoring in 10-straight games, which is what head coach Kirk Speraw wants him to do. UCF lost two of its top three scorers from a year ago in Josh Peppers and Lavell Payne and Taylor has been happy to pick up the scoring slack.
Starting for the first time as a collegiate player, he is averaging 19.8 points, which ranks fourth in Conference USA.
"I just knew that I had a task before me, coming in as a starter," Taylor said. "I knew I had to score. I talked with coach and he told me that since Pepp (Peppers) and Lavell are gone, he needed me scoring and that is what I am doing."
Taylor has scored at least 18 points in 10-consecutive games. After averaging 25.2 points in games against Connecticut (career-high 30 points) and NJIT, he was named the C-USA Player of the Week on Monday.
"He played very, very well against UConn with a good pace and tempo. We are glad he was rewarded," Speraw said.
UCF's next game is slated for Saturday at Sam Houston State. After facing the Bearkats in Huntsville, Texas, the Knights will stay on the road and play Southern Miss on Tuesday. The contest will serve as the Conference USA openers for both squads.
The Knights will return to Orlando for a Jan. 12 contest against Tulsa at the new UCF Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel, log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out www.ucfphotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
Notes: When Taylor was named the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday, it marked the second time in three seasons that a UCF player earned the award. Last February, Peppers garnered the honor after averaging 19 points in a pair of wins for the Knights... The Knights practiced inside the new UCF Arena for three hours on Wednesday morning.