April 6, 2006
ORLANDO - The UCF men's basketball team held its annual postseason banquet on Thursday evening at the Radisson University Hotel. Head coach Kirk Speraw and the UCF coaching staff honored several Golden Knights for their achievements during the 2005-06 campaign.
Senior guard Justin Rose was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Rose averaged 10.5 points per contest this past season and shot 47.2 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from 3-point range, good for fourth in the conference. At just 6-foot-3, he led the team in rebounding at 5.7 a game. A native of Junction City, Kan., he was the only guard among the top-15 rebounders in Conference USA, ranking 13th. For his performance on the boards in 2005-06, Rose was presented with UCF's Best Rebounder honor.
Rose also earned the squad's Best Defender award. He totaled 43 steals on the year and also added 18 blocked shots.
Sophomore guard Mike O'Donnell was recognized for leading the team in assists this past year. The NC State transfer had 115 assists on the season and was second in C-USA in assist/turnover ratio (2.30).
The Most Inspirational Player award was given to senior guard Troy Lindbeck. Lindbeck had a career year in 2005-06, appearing in all 29 games and making nine starts. He averaged a career-best 17.3 minutes a game and averaged 4.6 points while shooting 40.2 percent from deep. That mark ranked third in the conference. When he checked into the Golden Knights' league championship quarterfinal game against Houston on March 9, Lindbeck made history, becoming UCF's all-time leader in career games played with 122.
Despite being a freshman, guard Jermaine Taylor was named the Most Improved Player. Taylor played in all 29 games and averaged 4.3 points and 2.2 rebounds. Taylor was recognized for the great strides that he made during the season. He posted three double-digit scoring performances during C-USA play, including a 16-point effort against Houston at home on Feb. 15.
UCF concluded the 2005-06 campaign, its first as a member of C-USA, with a 14-15 record. The squad finished fifth in the conference with a 7-7 mark. The Golden Knights closed the year by winning four of their last six contests.
The top four teams in the league (Memphis, UAB, UTEP, Houston) combined to lose just three games to the other eight C-USA teams. UCF recorded two of the three victories, topping Houston and UTEP.
UCF faced the toughest schedule in school history this past year. The team played four teams (Florida, Kentucky, Memphis, UAB) that appeared in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and three squads (Houston, UTEP, Western Kentucky) that played in the postseason National Invitation Tournament.
Dating back to the start of the 2002-03 campaign, the Golden Knights have won 84 games, good for second among all programs in the state of Florida during that span.