After Success in Bahamas, Knights Back at Home to Host Hartford


GO KNIGHTS Tristan Spurlock and the Knights finished second out of eight teams at the Battle 4 Atlantis last week in the Bahamas.
GO KNIGHTS
Tristan Spurlock and the Knights finished second out of eight teams at the Battle 4 Atlantis last week in the Bahamas.
GO KNIGHTS

Dec. 2, 2011

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By Doug Richards
UCFAthletics.com

UCF vs. Hartford
 Date Saturday, Dec. 3
 Time 5 p.m.
 Location Orlando, Fla. | UCF Arena
 Television None
 Radio UCF IMG Sports Network - 740 AM
 Tickets  Single-Game | Season
 Internet Coverage  All-Access | Live Stats
 Game Notes   UCF
 Social Media @UCF_MBasketball   |  Facebook

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - For the first time since defeating defending national champion UConn last week, the UCF men's basketball team will play a home game when the Knights host Hartford Saturday. Tipoff at the UCF Arena is set for 5 p.m.

Last week, UCF (4-2) recorded an impressive second-place finish at the eight-team Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. The Knights rallied for 69-63 victory over No. 4 UConn in the semifinals, snapping the Huskies' 16-game winning streak. The win was just the third in program history over a ranked opponent for the Knights, who also beat No. 16 Florida last year under head coach Donnie Jones.

Season tickets are still available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com. On gameday, tickets for the contest against Hartford will be available at the UCF Arena box office. All UCF students are admitted free with a valid school ID.

UCF is led by junior forward Keith Clanton (Orlando, Fla.), who is averaging 18.2 points and 9.0 rebounds. He was named the C-USA Player of the Week Monday after averaging 20.0 points and 9.3 boards during three games in the Bahamas.

The contest versus Hartford is the first of four in a row at home for the Knights.

Hartford is 0-7 on the year. The Hawks fell to visiting Yale, 74-69, Tuesday.

The game will air on the UCF IMG Sports Network and its flagship station, 740 The Game in Orlando. Marc Daniels will have the call from the arena. Live video will be available as part of the All-Access package on UCFAthletics.com.

Series History
• Hartford has a 2-0 series edge, but the teams will be meeting for the first time since 1994
• In the last matchup, the Hawks posted a 69-62 victory over the host Knights on Dec. 28, 1994
• The programs also met on Dec. 13, 1986, in Connecticut, and the Hawks rolled to a 73-52 victory
• UCF last faced a member of the America East on Nov. 28, 2009, and the Knights were 76-72 winners over Albany at the UCF Arena
• The Knights have already played one program from the Nutmeg State this season, defeating No. 4 UConn last Friday at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas
• UCF's women's team hosted Hartford last Saturday, and the Hawks posted a 55-46 win inside the old UCF Arena

Last Time Out
• A day after picking one of the biggest wins in program history, the Knights were unable to claim the Battle 4 Atlantis title as Harvard held on for a 59-49 victory over UCF last Saturday at Imperial Arena in the Bahamas
• The Crimson, who were garnering votes in both national top-25 polls, never trailed during the contest, and limited the Knights to 33.3 percent shooting overall and a 9.1 percent showing from deep
Keith Clanton led UCF with 12 points, and Marcus Jordan added 10 points

A Successful Business Trip
• Despite the loss to Harvard, the trip to the Bahamas was a success for the Knights, who finished second out of eight teams at the inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis
• UCF defeated No. 4 UConn in the semifinals, snapping a 16-game winning streak for the defending national champions
• The Knights opened the event by topping an unbeaten College of Charleston squad that was coming off of a win at Clemson

A Historic Victory
• The win over No. 4 UConn served as only the third victory over a nationally-ranked opponent in UCF history
• The Knights entered the game 2-23 all-time against top-25 foes
• Two of the school's wins over ranked opponents have come under Donnie Jones as the Knights defeated No. 16 Florida a year ago at the Amway Center in downtown Orlando
• UCF also topped No. 25 College of Charleston in 2002

Some Big-Time Wins
• Prior to Donnie Jones' arrival before the 2010-11 season, UCF had recorded only three victories over "power-conference" programs (BIG EAST, ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-12) since moving to the Division I level in 1984
• Jones, who is in his second year with the Knights, has already led the program to four wins over "power-conference" programs: No. 4 UConn, No. 16 Florida, Miami and USF

Non-Conference Success
• UCF has enjoyed great success against non-league opponents since Donnie Jones took over the helm of the program prior to last season
• The Knights are 19-3 under Jones versus non-conference foes
• UCF's losses against non-Conference USA opponents have all come away from Orlando: at Creighton in the CBI semifinals last season, at No. 24 Florida State on Nov. 14 and vs. Harvard, which was garnering votes in both national polls, at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Nov. 26

Home Dominance
• UCF has not lost a non-conference game at home under Donnie Jones
• The Knights are 13-0 at the UCF Arena against non-league opponents since the start of last season
• The team is 2-0 at home in 2011-12

Big in the Bahamas
• UCF junior Keith Clanton enjoyed UCF's trip to the Bahamas as the forward averaged 20.0 points, 9.3 boards and 2.0 assists in three games
• As a result of his stellar play at the Battle 4 Atlantis, he was named the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday
• Clanton opened the Battle 4 Atlantis by matching a career high with 28 points to go with 14 rebounds
• He followed that performance with 20 points in the triumph over No. 4 UConn, when he hit a career-high four 3-pointers versus the Huskies
• On the year, Clanton is averaging a team-best 18.2 points and 9.0 boards

Taking Care of the Rock
Marcus Jordan was extra careful with the ball in his hands in the Bahamas as he recorded 14 assists with only three turnovers in three outings at the Battle 4 Atlantis
• Jordan dished out seven assists without a turnover in 36 minutes vs. No. 4 UConn
• The junior leads the Knights with 3.6 assists per game in 2011-12

Taking Care of the Rock II
• UCF ranks 16th nationally in turnovers per game, only committing 11.2 per contest
• The Knights have a +4.3 turnover margin
• Last year, UCF averaged 13.8 turnovers per contest, and had a -0.8 turnover margin
• This season, the Knights have recorded just 67 turnovers, while their opponents have committed 93 turnovers

Major Minutes
• Both Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan logged major minutes in the Bahamas
• Jordan played 112 of a possible 120 minutes at the Battle 4 Atlantis, while Clanton spent 108 minutes on the floor
• Jordan is averaging a team-high 36.6 minutes, and Clanton is averaging 34.3 minutes

Welcome to the Club
• During UCF's win over College of Charleston on Thanksgiving, Keith Clanton became just the 11th player in school history to record 500 career rebounds
• The junior has 525 career boards, and is tied with Pat Crocklin for ninth all-time

Getting to the Line
• Now in the start of his third season at UCF, Marcus Jordan already ranks in the top-10 in program history in both free throws and free throw attempts
• The junior is ninth in career free throws with 256, and should move to seventh or eighth against Hartford
• Jordan also ranks 10th in free throw attempts with 340

Showing Improvement
• As a freshman last season, Isaiah Sykes saw time in 32 games and averaged 4.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 16.4 minutes per contest
• The Detroit native has shown major improvement early on this year
• Sykes is averaging 10.3 points through six games, and is also second on the team in rebounds per game at 6.5
• Despite standing only 6-foot-5, Sykes has 37 rebounds on the year, with 22 of the boards coming on the offensive end
• Last year he scored in double figures only twice, but he has totaled at least 10 points in four of the Knights' games this season
• During UCF's summer exhibition trip to Canada, he averaged 12.0 points, 4.7 boards and 3.0 assists in 26.7 minutes per game

Up Next
• Due to final exams, UCF will not play again until next Saturday, when it hosts Bethune-Cookman
• The Knights have a 13-7 edge in the all-time series with the Wildcats
• The teams met a year ago in Orlando, and UCF posted a 76-59 victory behind 16 points from Keith Clanton
• The hosts led 38-36 at the break, but outscored Bethune-Cookman 38-23 after intermission when big man Tom Herzog scored all 14 of his points and blocked eight shots, helping limit the Wildcats to only 32.1 percent shooting in the second half

 

 

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