Men's Basketball Set for C-USA Showdown at Marshall

GO KNIGHTS Marcus Jordan needs only seven points to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Marcus Jordan needs only seven points to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Jan. 13, 2012

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By Doug Richards

UCF at Marshall
 Date Saturday, Jan. 14
 Time 7 p.m.
 Location Huntington, W.Va. | Cam Henderson Center
 Television None
 Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
 Internet Coverage   Video/Audio | Live Stats
 Game Notes   UCF Notes
 Social Media @UCF_MBasketball   |  Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - Off to a 3-0 start in league play, the UCF men's basketball team will face host Marshall in a Conference USA showdown Saturday evening at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va. The Knights (13-3) have won five-consecutive contests. Tipoff Saturday is 7 p.m.

Marshall, selected as the preseason C-USA favorite by several media outlets, is 12-4 overall and also 3-0 in the league. UCF, the Thundering Herd and Memphis (2-0) are the only unbeaten teams in C-USA play.

The game will air on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will provide the call from Huntington. Live video, audio and statistics will be available at

The Knights are coming off of an impressive 74-63 victory over visiting Houston Wednesday. Sophomore forward Isaiah Sykes (Detroit, Mich.) registered 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds against the Cougars. Eleven of his boards came on the offensive end. Sykes is averaging 16.0 points in league games.

UCF juniors Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) and Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.) enter the game at Marshall approaching individual milestones. Clanton needs four blocks to tie Ken Leeks atop the school career swats list with 141. Jordan is seven points shy of the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Marshall is 8-2 at home this season. The Herd picked up some impressive non-conference wins, including a triumph at Cincinnati. Three Marshall players are averaging double figures in scoring, led by DeAndre Kane (15.9).

Following its game with the Thundering Herd, UCF will return home to host Memphis Wednesday. Tipoff from the UCF Arena is 8 p.m.

Series History
• Marshall has a 7-5 edge in the all-time series with the Knights and owns a 5-1 series edge in Huntington
• The teams split the season series a year ago, with the home team winning each time
• Marshall posted an 83-69 victory at home before 9,036 fans at the Cam Henderson Center on March 5, 2011
• The Thundering Herd led 43-27 at the break and shot 51.9 percent from the floor
Marcus Jordan led the Knights with 27 points and Keith Clanton added 17 points
• In the other matchup last year, the host Knights improved to 14-0 on Jan. 6 after recording a 65-58 win over the Herd
• Jordan scored 26 points in the game, which was played in front of 9,094 spectators
• In four career games vs. Marshall, Jordan is averaging 22.5 points
• Marshall has won four-straight over the Knights in Huntington
• UCF and the Thundering Herd will meet again this season again in Orlando on Feb. 8

Last Time Out
Isaiah Sykes totaled 21 points and a career-best 14 rebounds Wednesday as UCF rolled to a 74-63 victory over visiting Houston at the UCF Arena
• UCF barely trailed during the contest and finished with a 44-34 edge on the glass and 27 of UCF's rebounds came on the offensive end
• Four Knights finished with double figures in scoring

On a Roll
• The Knights have won five-consecutive contests, including three Conference USA games
• The five-game winning streak is the longest of the season for UCF

Four Score
• The Knights are looking to start Conference USA play 4-0 for the first time since 2008-09
• A year ago, UCF opened conference action with a victory over Marshall, then dropped eight-straight contests

Conference Success
• The Knights have excelled on both sides of the floor during Conference USA play
• UCF is averaging 71.7 points in league games, compared to 66.3 points against non-conference foes
• The team is limiting conference opponents to 59.7 points a contest, compared to 61.0 points in non-league games

UCF-Marshall Connections
• UCF head coach Donnie Jones worked at Marshall as the program's head coach from 2007-10
• A West Virginia native who earned his master's degree at Marshall, Jones compiled a 55-41 record with the Herd
• He led Marshall to one of its finest campaigns in program history in 2009-10 as the Herd went 24-10 overall and 11-5 in Conference USA play
• All three of UCF's assistant coaches - Shawn Finney, Darren Tillis and Tim Thomas - worked at Marshall under Jones
• Jones earned his master's degree from Marshall in 1992 and served as an assistant coach at the school from 1998-92
• Marshall assistant coach Jorge Fernandez served as an assistant at UCF from 1995-02
• UCF's P.J. Gaynor played at the AAU level in Jacksonville with Marshall's Shaquille Johnson

On the Road Again
• The Knights are seeking their second road win of the year after defeating host East Carolina last Saturday
• Last season, UCF went 2-6 in Conference USA road contests
• The Knights have claimed three games away from home this season, having also defeated No. 4 UConn and College of Charleston at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas in November

Getting to the Glass
• In league games, UCF ranks first in Conference USA in rebounds per game at 44.3, followed by Marshall at 44.0
• The Knights averaged 37.6 boards in non-league play
• UCF owns a +12.7 rebound margin against C-USA foes
• During Wednesday's win over Houston, UCF grabbed 27 offensive rebounds, which ranked fifth on the C-USA single-game register
• UCF has two of the top three rebounders in league play as Keith Clanton is second in the conference grabbing 10.3 boards per game and Isaiah Sykes is third at 9.7

It's Still Halftime
• If the Knights take a lead into intermission Saturday in Huntington, it is a good sign for UCF fans
• UCF is 11-0 this year when leading at the break and the Knights have lead at halftime in five-straight games

Super Sykes
• Last year, Isaiah Sykes appeared in 15 Conference USA games as a freshman, totaled 29 points and averaged 1.9 points per league contest
• What a difference a year makes as Sykes has already scored 48 points in three league games for a 16.0 points per game average
• The guard/forward ranks sixth in the league in scoring

Handle with Care
A.J. Rompza, who is tied for first in league contests at 6.0 assists per game, is certainly taking care of the ball
• The senior has recorded 18 assists in Conference USA action with only four turnovers
• Rompza boasts a 4.5 assist-turnover ratio in league games

Approaching a Milestone
Marcus Jordan needs only seven points to reach the 1,000-career point mark
• Jordan has totaled 993 points in 79 career contests
• Last Saturday, during the second half of UCF's win at East Carolina, Keith Clanton became the 15th player in UCF history to reach the 1,000-point mark for their career
• He hit the 1,000-point plateau in his 80th game
• Clanton became the 10th player to record 1,000 points since UCF moved to the Division I level in 1984
• Before Clanton, the last player to hit the mark was Jermaine Taylor, who scored his 1,000th career point in his 82nd game as a junior in 2008
• Taylor finished with a school D-I record 1,979 points
• Clanton (1,026) already ranks 10th on the UCF D-I scoring chart, followed by Jordan

A Block Party
Keith Clanton needs only four blocks to move to first on the UCF career swats list
• The junior has 137 blocks, and Ken Leeks is first on the list with 141 blocks from 1988-92
• Clanton is averaging 2.0 blocks on the year, and 4.0 blocks in league play

Man of Steal
A.J. Rompza needs one steal to move to fourth on the UCF career register
• Rompza has 178 steals as a Knight, and Sinua Phillips (1990-94) is fourth with 179
• This year, Rompza is averaging 4.7 steals in Conference USA games to lead the league

Up Next
• UCF will return home to host Memphis Wednesday evening in a contest that will start at 8 p.m. and air on CBS Sports Network
• The Knights will be seeking their first victory over the Tigers as Memphis has a 10-0 edge in the all-time series