Stetson (4-6) at U-C-F (8-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday December 29th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UCF Arena (10,000) -- Orlando, Florida. Television: None. Home Record: SU 3-2, UCF 6-0. Away Record: SU 1-3, UCF 0-2. Neutral Record: SU 0-1, UCF 2-1. Conference Record: SU 1-1, UCF 0-0. Series Record: UCF leads, 22-15.
GAME NOTES: A battle between two of Florida's mid-majors will tip-off the UCF Holiday Invitational as the Stetson Hatters take on the hosting UCF Knights tonight.
This will be the 38th meeting between Stetson and UCF. The Knights have won 22-of-37 in the all-time series. The Knights rolled to an 85-58 victory over the Hatters on Nov. 23, 2010, which was the last meeting.
Stetson comes into tonight's bout on a three-game losing skid that has left it with a 4-6 record. Although the Hatters' record is not all that impressive, three of their losses came from elite programs (Florida State, Florida, and Indiana). Stetson is coached by first year head coach Casey Alexander, who spent the last several seasons as an assistant at Belmont. The Hatters have struggled away from home this season, winning just 1-of-4 road games and losing their only neutral court affair. Stetson is scoring 68.4 ppg while allowing 75.3 ppg this year.
Chris Perez scored a career-high 23 points in Stetson's 88-81 loss to Charleston Southern on December 21st. Perez currently leads the team in scoring with 13.2 ppg. Adam Pegg is second with 12.0 ppg on a team best 50.6 percent shooting from the field. Aaron Graham and Joel Naburgs are both three- point as they have combined to make 46 treys this year. The 6-4 Naburgs also leads the team in rebounding with 6.5 rpg.
UCF is 8-3 after a disappointing 61-60 loss to Louisiana its last time out. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak. The Knights have not lost back- to-back games yet this year. Head coach Donnie Jones has not lost a non- conference game at home since taking over at the start of last season. UCF could be a contender in this year's very competitive Conference USA as it has picked up big wins over Connecticut and Old Dominion already. The Knights are holding opponents to just 60.8 ppg on 41.8 percent shooting from the field. UCF is averaging 65.2 ppg.
Although his father Michael's shadow is quite massive, Marcus Jordan has made a name for himself as a premier player this season. Jordan has put himself in the discussion for this spring's NBA Draft with his consistent play this year. The 6-3 guard leads the Knights with 17.3 ppg and has scored in double-figures in every game he has played in so far. While Jordan attacks from the perimeter, Keith Clanton punishes opponents inside. The junior forward is second on UCF in scoring with 16.4 ppg and is pulling down a team-best 9.4 rpg. Jordan is second in the Conference USA in scoring, Clanton ranks fifth.
Although they were upset their last time out, the Knights are a solid all- around team. UCF has played hard after each of its previous losses. Unfortunately for the Hatters, tonight should be no different.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: UCF 71, Stetson 60
12/29 10:36:43 ET