UCF Knights Nationally Ranked No. 24 In Men’s BasketballBasketball, Sports — By Ryan Bass on December 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm
Add another UCF program to the Top 25 rankings in the nation.
After defeating the then 7-2 Miami Hurricanes 84-78 on Saturday in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, the Knights (10-0) have jumped into the Associated Press Top 25 for the first time in school history on Monday, nabbing the No. 24 ranking.
UCF is one of just four programs in the nation to be ranked in the BCS Top 25 in football (No. 25) and the AP Top 25 in basketball (No. 24). They join the likes of Ohio State, Missouri and Michigan State as the fourth team on that list.
“It’s starting to show that people are recognizing UCF not just for football, but also basketball,” junior point guard A.J. Rompza told the Associated Press of the ranking. “It’s great to actually have that honor to say we’re ranked.”
The Knights are one of nine undefeated teams in the nation, a list that includes Duke, Ohio State, Syracuse, Kansas and San Diego State.
UCF has defeated six teams from the state of Florida this season, including the then-ranked No. 16 Florida Gators, the Hurricanes and South Florida.
The 10-0 start under new head coach Donnie Jones is the best start at UCF since the school jumped to the Division I ranks in 1984. It’s also the best start to a season since the 1979-80 season.
The Knights great start this season can be attributed to coach Jones’ new defensive pressure and up-tempo style of offense. The Knights are one of the best teams in the nation offensively, averaging 79.9 points per game and have limited the opposition to just 56.3 points per contest.
UCF has also been led by the resurgence of sophomore guard Marcus Jordan, who is averaging 16.0 points per game. The other big story has been the play of sophomore forward Keith Clanton, who leads the team this season with 16.7 points per game and 8.8 rebounds a game.
UCF also received attention from the college coaches, unofficially ranking as the No. 26 team in the nation in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. They received 47 votes, the most of any team outside the Top 25.
The Knights will face another tough test on Wednesday when they travel to Massachusetts to face UMASS and, unlike the football team, who stayed in the AP Top 25 poll for just one week, the basketball team would like to remain in the polls for the remainder of the season.
“We don’t want to take it for granted,” Rompza said to the AP. “We don’t want to be a team that’s in the rankings for a week, and then you don’t see us for the rest of the season.”
Check out the music video KnightNews.com worked with Bezz Believe to produce to highlight UCF’s success:
And don’t forget to stick with KnightNews.com for continuing coverage of UCF athletics. The next big game for the Knight Nation is against the Georgia Bulldogs in the Liberty Bowl.