Aug. 17, 2005
NICE, France - The UCF men's basketball team concluded its six-game exhibition tour in Europe on Wednesday, facing Golfe-Juan for an informal scrimmage in southern France. The Golden Knights will return to Orlando late Friday evening.
UCF concluded the trip with a 4-1 mark against professional teams. While overseas, the group visited Holland, Belgium and France.
"This trip was a great chance for our guys to experience different cultures and see different parts of the world," said UCF head coach Kirk Speraw. "Traveling like this gets everyone away from their normal routines and allows them to experience new things."
Junior forward Josh Peppers paced the squad offensively, scoring 18.8 points to go with a team-best 7.4 rebounds per contest. After sitting out all of last season following a transfer, sophomore guard Dave Noel averaged 11.8 points, four assists and 2.2 steals a game.
The Golden Knights had five players average double-figures in scoring on the trip, including senior forward Anthony Williams, who recorded 10.8 points, 5.6 boards and 1.6 blocks per outing. Senior guard Justin Rose averaged 10.4 points and 4.8 rebounds from the backcourt. In five games, senior guard Troy Lindbeck hit 16 three-pointers and averaged 10.2 points.
"We were able to weather some performances that were not our best and still come together at the end of ballgames and pull out some victories," said Speraw. "We showed some mental toughness in fourth quarters, but we also established that we still have a lot of work to do before practice starts in October.
UCF opens the 2005-06 regular season on Nov. 18, at home against Rollins.
The Golden Knights, who have made two consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, will be making their Conference USA debut this season. Dating back to the start of the 2002-03 campaign, UCF has won 70 games, a mark that ranks 23rd nationally and first in the state of Florida during that span.