UCF Men's Basketball Summer Prospectus

GO KNIGHTS Keith Clanton and the Knights will be seeking their third-straight 20-win campaign in 2012-13.
Keith Clanton and the Knights will be seeking their third-straight 20-win campaign in 2012-13.

June 29, 2012

Twitter Logo Facebook Logo UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By Doug Richards

Summer Prospectus

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - After recording some notable achievements a year ago, the UCF men's basketball team is poised for more success in 2012-13. With the return of several standouts, plus an influx of talent led by a pair of transfer guards, the Knights are seeking another stellar campaign.

Season ticket deposits are currently being accepted by calling the UCF Athletics Ticket Office at (407) 823-1000.

UCF Summer Notebook

A Program on the Rise
• Under head coach Donnie Jones, UCF is a program on the rise
• Last year, Jones led the Knights to their first trip to the postseason National Invitation Tournament
• The Knights went 22-11 overall a year ago and finished third in Conference USA after going 10-6 in league play
• In two seasons in Orlando, Jones has guided the Knights to some big victories, including triumphs over No. 16 Florida, Miami, Princeton and USF in 2010-11 and wins versus No. 4 UConn and Memphis a year ago

They're Back
• UCF returns 83.8 percent of its scoring and 75.0 percent of its rebounding from a year ago
• Four of the team's top-five scorers are back from 2011-12, including its top-three: Keith Clanton (14.5 points per game), Marcus Jordan (13.7), Isaiah Sykes (12.3)
• UCF welcomes back four starters from last year in Clanton, Jordan, Sykes and Josh Crittle

Going for 20
• The Knights will be seeking their third-straight 20-win season in 2012-13
• UCF has only achieved the feat once since joining the Division I ranks in 1984, having won 20 games each year from 2002-05

Follow the Leader
Keith Clanton enters his senior season as one of the premier players in Conference USA
• One of the best players in UCF history, Clanton garnered All-C-USA First Team and NABC All-District 11 Team honors as a junior after averaging 14.5 points and 8.1 rebounds
• A C-USA All-Defensive Team selection, Clanton blocked 59 shots and led the league with 2.0 swats per game in conference play
• Clanton already ranks first in program history with 164 career blocks, and is third with 737 rebounds and 11th with 1,260 points

Show and Improve
• As a freshman in 2010-11, Isaiah Sykes averaged 4.0 points and 3.2 boards in 16.5 minutes per game
• In league contests, Sykes averaged only 1.9 points
• The guard/forward showed great improvement as a sophomore as he played in all 33 contests, making 32 starts, and averaged 12.3 points and 6.4 rebounds
• Sykes had 22 double-digit scoring performances, after recording only one as a rookie, and shot 54.5 percent overall to lead the team
• In Conference USA contests, he shot 55.1 percent, good for fifth in the league
• Despite standing 6-foot-5, Sykes ranked third in C-USA games in offensive rebounds (3.2)

A Loaded Backcourt
• Thanks to the addition of two talented transfers, UCF will have a loaded backcourt
• Both C.J. Reed and Calvin Newell (eligible in December) will compete for the Knights after sitting out a year ago
• The duo averaged a combined 31.8 points during their last seasons at their previous schools
• A point guard, Reed came to UCF with impressive credentials
• As a junior at Bethune-Cookman, he was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Year and the HBCU National Player of the Year after averaging 18.8 points and 4.8 assists
• Newell, who will see time at both guard spots, played in five games for Oklahoma in 2011 before heading to UCF and averaged 13.0 points in 19.6 minutes

Senior Shooting Guard
Marcus Jordan spent all of UCF's non-conference schedule a year ago playing point guard, looking to get open teammates involved
• Once Conference USA play began, he moved back to his natural spot at shooting guard, but still had ample minutes at the point
• Despite the position changes, Jordan still managed to average 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists
• This season, Jordan should see all of his time off the ball, and should benefit from the arrival of point guard C.J. Reed
• Jordan, who knows how to get to the basket and score in traffic, enters his senior campaign 14th in UCF history with 1,182 points

The Return
• UCF also returns four talented players in Tristan Spurlock, Josh Crittle, Rod Days and Kasey Wilson
• A small forward, Spurlock could make a huge jump this season
• He averaged 7.2 points in 23.5 minutes per game last year after averaging 2.4 points in 13 contests at Virginia as a freshman in 2009-10
• Crittle, who has improved his strength and conditioning since arriving at UCF, made 25 starts at center last season
• The big man is working hard on his post-up game and could contribute more offensively in 2012-13
• Wilson displayed great promise at the end of his freshman season
• The power forward averaged 3.1 points in 2.2 minutes per game a year ago, but will receive more playing time this season and is expected to make a big impact as a sophomore
• Days made seven starts as a rookie last year and the UCF coaching staff is excited about his potential and willingness to improve

Welcome Freshmen
• Four freshmen joined the program this summer
• The group consists of Matt Williams from Orlando, Staphon Blair from Fort Lauderdale, Dylan Karell from North Miami Beach and Daiquan Walker from Philadelphia
• A shooting guard, Williams averaged 17.0 points and 8.0 rebounds at Jones High School this past year
• Blair will help provide depth behind Josh Crittle in the post
• He averaged 14.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.5 blocks as a senior at Dillard High School, and was listed as the No. 29 power forward nationally by ESPNU
• Karell, who attended Dr. Krop High School, averaged 16.0 points in 2011-12
• Walker, who is listed as the No. 33 point guard in the country by ESPNU, averaged 18.1 points and 7.0 assists in leading Constitution High School to a state title