Knights and Marshall Set for C-USA Showdown at UCF Arena

GO KNIGHTS Josh Crittle and the Knights are 12-1 at home this season.
Josh Crittle and the Knights are 12-1 at home this season.

Feb. 7, 2012

Knight Head Read John Denton's Knights Insider |  Twitter LogoFollow us on Twitter |  Facebook LogoGet social with the Knights on Facebook

By Doug Richards

UCF vs. Marshall
 Date Wednesday, Feb. 8
 Time 7 p.m.
 Location Orlando, Fla. | UCF Arena
 Television Bright House Sports Network
 Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
 Tickets  Single-Game | Season
 Internet Coverage   Video | Live Stats
 Game Notes   UCF Notes
 Social Media @UCF_MBasketball   |  Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - The UCF men's basketball team will host Marshall for a big Conference USA contest Wednesday. The game at the UCF Arena will begin at 7 p.m.

Tickets for the game are still available by visiting or any Ticketmaster outlet. On Wednesday, tickets will be available at the UCF Arena box office. UCF students are admitted free to all home contests with a valid school ID.

UCF is 17-6 overall and the Knights are fourth in the C-USA standings at 6-3. The team has already matched its league win total from a year ago when it went 6-10. UCF has won two-straight games, most recently a 59-52 win at SMU Saturday. Junior guard Marcus Jordan (Chicago, Ill.), who leads the squad in scoring at 15.5 points per game, led all players with 17 points against the Mustangs. Sophomore guard Isaiah Sykes (Detroit, Mich.) added 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Knights are 12-1 at the UCF Arena this season. Huge crowds have become the norm at the facility as UCF is averaging 7,220 fans in league games.

Marshall (14-9, 5-4 C-USA) and UCF played a memorable contest in January in West Virginia. The Thundering Herd escaped with a thrilling 65-64 victory in a game that featured 13 lead changes and seven ties. Marshall has two of the top guards in C-USA in DeAndre Kane (16.2 points per game) and Damier Pitts (13.4).

Bright House Sports Network will televise the game in Central Florida. David Baumann will handle the play-by-play and former UCF assistant coach Craig Brown will provide color commentary.

UCF fans can listen to the contest on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call and will be joined by former UCF guard Taylor Young. Live video and statistics will be available at

Series History
• Marshall is 8-5 all-time against the Knights, but UCF owns a 4-2 series edge in Orlando
• The home team has won the last four series matchups
• The squads met on Jan. 14 in Huntington and Marshall held on for a thrilling 65-64 victory in front of 8,379 fans at the Cam Henderson Center
• The Knights had the chance to win the game in the final seconds, but Marcus Jordan's layup attempt was short and Josh Crittle was stripped of the ball at the buzzer after grabbing the offensive rebound
• The game featured 13 lead changes and seven ties
Keith Clanton led UCF with 14 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes before fouling out • In five career contests vs. Marshall, Clanton is averaging 14.2 points and 7.0 rebounds

Last Time Out
• UCF received a strong performance from Isaiah Sykes, and showed some composure down the stretch, Saturday as the Knights picked up a 59-52 victory at SMU
• The win was the first in four tries for the Knights in Dallas
• UCF led by 11 points in the second half and held off a late SMU run to record the win
• Sykes totaled 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting, 1-of-1 from 3-point range and 6-of-6 free throws and added eight rebounds, with five coming on the offensive end

UCF-Marshall Connections
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 1988-92
• 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

The Match Game
• With seven conference games remaining, UCF has already matched its Conference USA victory total from a year ago as the Knights are 6-3 in the league
• UCF went 6-10 against C-USA foes in 2010-11

Home is Where the Points Are
• UCF is happy to be home for many reasons, but mostly because the team has shined offensively at the UCF Arena
• The Knights are averaging 70.2 points on 44.0 percent shooting at home
• In road and neutral contests, UCF is averaging 61.4 points while shooting 40.8 percent

Packing the House
• A UCF-Marshall matchup usually equals a big crowd
• The Thundering Herd's two previous visits to Orlando have brought the second (9,460 in 2010) and fourth-largest (9,094 in 2011) crowds in UCF Arena history
• When the Knights played at Marshall in January, a Cam Henderson Center season-high 8,379 spectators watched the game

Board Work
• Wednesday's game will feature Conference USA's top-two rebounding teams
• Marshall is averaging 40.4 rebounds in league games to pace C-USA, followed by the Knights at 37.7 boards

Dynamic Duo
• In juniors Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton, UCF has the top scoring duo in Conference USA
• The pair is averaging a combined 30.6 points per game as Jordan ranks sixth in the league in points per game (15.5) and Clanton is eighth (15.1)

How Marcus Got His Groove Back
• After totaling 20 points in UCF's big win over Memphis on Jan. 18, Marcus Jordan struggled in the team's next three contests
• In the Knights' win at UAB and losses to host Tulsa and visiting Southern Miss, the Chicago native averaged 9.0 points while shooting 27.6 percent overall and 16.7 percent (1-of-6) from deep
• Jordan found his groove in UCF's win over Palm Beach Atlantic on Jan. 30, shooting 5-of-10 from deep on his way to 17 points
• He followed that performance with a game-high 17 points in the win at SMU when he made 4-of-9 3-point attempts

Care Package
A.J. Rompza is continuing to take good care of the ball as the point guard recorded five assists with no turnovers in Saturday's win at SMU
• Rompza leads Conference USA with a 3.3 assist-turnover ratio in league play
• The senior has recorded 39 assists in conference contests with only 12 turnovers

Man of Steal
A.J. Rompza is averaging 3.2 steals in Conference USA games to lead the league
• He has 29 steals in nine contests
• Rompza ranks third in UCF history with 194 career steals and is tied for 10th in C-USA history in the category

Windex Man
Isaiah Sykes ranks fourth in Conference USA, averaging 3.4 offensive boards in league games
• At 6-foot-5, he is the shortest player in the top five
• Sykes grabbed five offensive rebounds in Saturday's win at SMU

Following His Lead
• As Isaiah Sykes goes, so go the Knights
• Sykes has 14 double-digit scoring performances this year, and UCF is 13-1 in those contests
• He is averaging 12.0 points and 6.5 boards in UCF's wins compared to 7.0 points and 5.7 rebounds in losses

Up Next
• The Knights will return to the road where they will face Southern Miss Saturday in Hattiesburg
• The teams met in Orlando on Jan. 28 and the Golden Eagles used a run at the end of the first half and a strong second half to post a 78-65 victory over the Knights that snapped UCF's 16-game home winning