Sykes Working Hard to Contribute as a Freshman

GO KNIGHTS Isaiah Sykes is one of two true freshmen on the UCF roster.
Isaiah Sykes is one of two true freshmen on the UCF roster.

Oct. 4, 2010

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By Doug Richards

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ORLANDO, Fla. ( - As the Knights continue to get accustomed to new head coach Donnie Jones' up-tempo offense, the majority of the members on the team are working to speed up their games. One new Knight is doing the opposite.

Freshman guard/forward Isaiah Sykes (Detroit, Mich.) has a game suited for Jones' fast-paced system. Sykes is an athletic player who thrives in transition and knows how to get to the basket. He says that he is used to running up and down the floor, and is actually working to harness his speed.

"I am just slowing down on the pace," he said. "I know when to run and know when to slow it down. The style of play suits my game. I am just working on that and my jumpshot."

Since arriving at UCF over the summer, Sykes has spent ample time in the weight room with his teammates and strength and conditioning coach B.J. Faulk. Lifting weights for the first time, he has had success with the team's workout regimen.

"I have seen results. I am getting faster. I am getting stronger. It is getting easier to get to the rack and take the contact," Sykes said.

Sykes is one of two true freshmen on the squad, and one of seven newcomers on the roster this season. With the season quickly approaching, Sykes believes that the team is continuing to come together as a unit.

"Every day we are getting more like a family. We are coming together. We are working as a group, not just as individuals."

Sykes and the Knights will open the 2010-11 campaign on Nov. 12, hosting West Florida. The squad will play 17 total home games at the UCF Arena. Season tickets, which start at just $96 and include a free Knightmare t-shirt, are available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting