Intensity Shows During UCF's First Official Practice

GO KNIGHTS Donnie Jones witnessed a spirited first practice by his team Friday.
Donnie Jones witnessed a spirited first practice by his team Friday.

Oct. 15, 2010

Knight Head Read John Denton's Knights Insider |  Twitter LogoFollow us on Twitter |  Facebook LogoGet social with the Knights on Facebook

By Doug Richards

Click here to order your season tickets for the 2010-11 campaign

Join the UCF Victory Club

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - For nearly three hours Friday evening, members of the UCF men's basketball team ran the floor, dove for loose balls, drew charges and boxed out with an intensity that is usually reserved for NCAA Tournament games. And this was during the squad's first official practice.

The Knights had their first formal practice for the 2010-11 campaign under new head coach Donnie Jones Friday inside the UCF Practice Facility and the session was spirited to say the least. Jones, who was named UCF's head coach in March, is implementing a new up-tempo style of play, and the practice allowed the Knights to experience a fast-paced session.

During the practice, the Knights worked on their fastbreak offense and full-court pressure defense, both staples of Jones' system. After the practice, Jones commended his team for their strong effort, which had players giving their all on both sides of the court. Even the team's veterans were surprised, but pleased, with the intensity.

"I think it went real well. It was very intense," senior forward A.J. Tyler said. "It was a lot of fun. We had a lot of energy. We were moving around. It was very hard, but it was fun at the same time."

The practice was the first of many as the Knights' season opener, set for Nov. 12 against West Florida at the UCF Arena, is less than one month away.

The intensity that the Knights showed Friday is exactly what Jones expects to see from his team each day, especially during games.

"That is what we've got to get used to. We are starting out from day one. Everything we are doing now is preparing us for the games," Tyler said.

One of three fifth-year seniors on the team, Tyler has experienced his share of season-opening practices. The Palm Harbor, Fla., native was definitely impressed with the passion that his teammates exhibited on the first day.

"It was awesome. There was a lot of hustle. Everybody was diving around, taking charges. Those are a lot of things you don't usually see on the first day of practice."

Season tickets for the 2010-11 campaign are currently available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting

Fans can get a sneak peek at the Knights during UCF Basketball Postgame Madness on Oct. 23. The free event, which will be held inside the UCF Arena following the conclusion of the Knights' football game versus Rice on campus, will include an inter-squad scrimmage and an autograph session.