Dec. 18, 2009
By Doug Richards
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Before the start of the season, UCF head coach Kirk Speraw called his team's non-conference slate the toughest in school history. Having already faced two BIG EAST teams this month, the Knights will meet another one of the conference's programs Sunday when UCF faces No. 14 Connecticut in Hartford.
The Huskies (6-2) two losses have come to a pair of nationally-ranked teams - No. 7 Duke and No. 4 Kentucky - on neutral courts. Head coach Jim Calhoun's team has not played since falling 64-61 to the Wildcats in New York on Dec. 10.
Speraw knows that Sunday's contest, which will tip-off at 1 p.m. at the XL Center, will be a test, and also an opportunity for the Knights.
"You have got to rise to the occasion and rise to the challenges," Speraw said. "UConn has three of the best perimeter players in the country. They have a hall of fame coach, and are one the best programs in the country. I know that our guys are excited to go up there and compete against a top team."
The three perimeter players that Speraw commended, Jerome Dyson, Kemba Walker and Stanley Robinson, are all averaging over 14.0 points per contest. Already one of the nation's tallest teams, Connecticut will also have the services of highly-touted freshman forward Ater Majok for the first time Sunday.
UCF and the Huskies will be meeting for the third time. Two years ago in Orlando, Connecticut held on for an 85-82 win at the UCF Arena.
The teams also squared off in the first round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament and the Huskies escaped with a 77-71 victory in Worcester, Mass.
Sunday's contest will be televised by ESPN Regional and in Orlando, fans can watch on Bright House Sports Network. Marc Daniels will also have the call on the UCF-ISP Sports Network and 740 The Game in Orlando.
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: The Knights will leave Orlando for Hartford Saturday morning. The team will return to Florida Sunday following the game... ESPN360.com will also have live coverage of UCF's matchup with Connecticut... After facing the Huskies, the Knights will not play again until Dec. 29, when they open the UCF Holiday Classic against Liberty at the UCF Arena.