Sept. 1, 2009
Schedule in PDF Format
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By Doug Richards
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - UCF's highly-touted freshman class will face plenty of challenges during the 2009-10 campaign. Head coach Kirk Speraw announced the Knights' schedule on Tuesday and the slate includes games against 10 teams that played in the postseason a year ago.
The team will open the campaign on Nov. 13, hosting Massachusetts at the UCF Arena. Other highlights on the home schedule include visits from Conference USA opponents UTEP (Jan. 23), Tulsa (Jan. 30), Houston (Feb. 16) and UAB (Feb. 24).
Season tickets, which start at just $79, are currently available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com.
UCF's freshman class, headlined by forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.) and guard Marcus Jordan (Wilmette, Ill.), will face a tough non-conference schedule that includes three games against BIG EAST squads, plus tilts against two SEC programs.
"Our non-conference schedule is going to test us," Speraw said. "We are going to face some outstanding programs and each and every game will be a challenge. We will be tested."
The Knights will play three games in nearby Daytona Beach as part of the Glenn Wilkes Classic, beginning on Nov. 20 versus Auburn. The Tigers went 24-12 in 2008-09 and participated in the postseason NIT. UCF will also meet Niagara (Nov. 21) and Drake (Nov. 22) at the tournament. UCF season ticket holders will receive complimentary tickets to watch the Knights play at the event.
UCF will face the first of three BIG EAST teams on Dec. 6 when the squad travels to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish (21-15) also played in the NIT last season. The Knights will play back-to-back BIG EAST programs later in the month, starting with a Dec. 16 contest at cross-state foe USF. Four days later, the Knights will play at Connecticut on Dec. 20. An NCAA Final Four participant in 2009, Connecticut finished the year 31-5.
The UCF Holiday Classic will be held Dec. 29-30 in Orlando. Buffalo, Jacksonville and Liberty are scheduled to participate with the field being announced soon. The Knights will conclude non-league action on Jan. 5, playing at Ole Miss for the second-straight season.
UCF will begin C-USA play with two-consecutive home games, meeting Rice on Jan. 9 and Marshall on Jan. 13. The Knights are slated to play at Memphis on Feb. 10. The Tigers went 33-4 last year and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Speraw expects C-USA to be a more balanced league this season.
"The league will be the best it has been from top to bottom since we have joined C-USA. Teams like UTEP, Houston, Tulsa, Marshall and Rice will all be the best that they have been since we have come into the league. Memphis is going to be a great team as well. I expect each game to be a battle inside the conference."
In addition to the impressive group of newcomers, the Knights bring back sophomore guards A.J. Rompza (Chicago, Ill.) and Isaac Sosa (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico). Rompza was a C-USA All-Freshman Team pick last year while Sosa, who averaged 8.2 points, was among the best 3-point shooters in the country. Junior forward A.J. Tyler (Palm Harbor, Fla.) is also back after averaging 7.1 points and 4.4 boards in 2008-09.
Before starting the regular season versus Massachusetts, UCF will host St. Leo for an exhibition game on Nov. 4.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.