Dec. 7, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - At the end of the 2004-05 campaign, Kingsley Edwards, Gary Johnson and other UCF players claimed that wearing gold uniforms inspired the team as the squad won a conference championship and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Did gold jerseys and shorts assist the Knights in defeating USF at the UCF Arena Saturday?
Senior guard Jermaine Taylor (Tavares, Fla.) and junior forward Tony Davis (Sarasota, Fla.) think so. The Knights expected to play the contest in their usual home white uniforms. The team even took the court for pregame warm-ups in white.
During that time, head coach Kirk Speraw had equipment manager John Whitford and his staff place the gold uniforms in the locker room so the team could change into the new set just before tip-off.
"It really surprised us. We came out (at first) in the whites," Davis said. "I didn't think [Speraw] was going to let us wear the golds until we could prove that we could wear them."
During the 2004-05 and 2005-06 campaigns, the Knights frequently wore gold, especially at home. The squad had not worn alternates since Nov. 29, 2005, when UCF posted a 61-48 victory over visiting Bethune-Cookman.
Taylor, then just a freshman, scored 15 points in the win. UCF was wearing gold that night because the Wildcats brought their white uniforms to the old UCF Arena.
Last evening, Taylor had another big game wearing gold. He recorded 30 points and hit three triples against the Bulls. He credits the switch to the new uniforms in helping the team.
"I think that pumped us up even more," Taylor said. "We were already ready pumped for this game, but seeing those gold jerseys out made it even more (exciting)."
The contest against USF was the first for the Knights at home since they opened the campaign on Nov. 16 against North Carolina A&T.
UCF will return to the hardwood Friday, hosting Florida Tech at the UCF Arena at 7 p.m.
Season tickets, which begin at just $99, are still available. To order your season tickets, contact the UCF ticket sales office at (407) UCF-1000.
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.
Notes: Former UCF star Josh Peppers (2003-07) attended the game. Peppers is currently on a break from playing professionally in Japan... The win over the Bulls snapped a nine-game losing streak for UCF against USF. The Knights had not beaten USF since 1994... The game was played in front of 6,695 fans, good for the second-largest crowd in program history.