Jan. 7, 2010
By Doug Richards
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - With his easily apparent confidence and gritty play on both ends of the floor, sophomore guard A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) has never been well liked by UCF's opponents. Rompza, who is quickly racking up steals this year, is now even more disdained due to his tough defense.
The point guard is ranked 10th nationally, averaging 2.9 steals an outing. He has recorded five steals five times this season, and totaled three swipes at No. 14 Ole Miss Tuesday.
Rompza registered 46 steals in 29 games as a freshman. He already has 40 steals in just 14 contests in 2009-10.
"A.J. has always been a tough defender," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "Now you see him getting in the gaps more and getting in the passing lanes. Plus he always makes it difficult on the player that he is guarding."
Rompza and the Knights will open Conference USA play Saturday, hosting Rice at 5 p.m. at the UCF Arena. A special "Pick Your Starting Five" ticket plan, which allows fans to select lower bowl tickets to five games of their choice for as little as $45, is currently available by calling (407) UCF-1000.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.
Notes: In addition to his three steals, Rompza recorded a career-best 16 points at Ole Miss. The performance marked the first time during his career that the point guard led the team in scoring... The contest versus Rice is the first of two-straight at home for the Knights. The team hosts Marshall on Wednesday.