UCF Set to Take on Florida Gators at Amway CenterBasketball, Sports — By Ryan Bass on December 1, 2010 at 1:04 am Tweet
Donnie Jones continues to downplay it, but Wednesday’s game means a lot to the former Florida Gator assistant coach.
He will be facing his former school, one he spent 11 seasons with and helped lead to back-to-back national titles, and his mentor in Billy Donovan as the new head coach of the UCF Knights. It will be more like a family reunion with a lot of competition.
Catch Ryan’s interview with Donnie Jones on his weekly radio show, The Sports Report here:
“It’s like two brothers playing one on one in the backyard,” Jones said. “Neither one of us want to lose. It’s been great to be a part of what he has done early on. I have great respect for him.”
Here are some things to watch for in the game:
Scouting the Knights: A descendent from the Donovan tree of coaching, Jones’ team will look very similar to the Gators, as both teams run an up-tempo style of play. This season, Jones has led the Knights to a 5-0 record, but the toughest opponent they have played all year was South Florida, which was their closest contest of the season. One of the reasons for the fast start has been the Knights surge on offense. UCF is averaging 85.8 ppg this season, good for 11th in the nation, and are hitting over 55 percent of their shots from the field, good for second in the nation.
Scouting the Gators: The 5-1 Florida Gators is ranked the No. 16 team in the nation, but has struggled against in-state talent so far. The Gators squeaked by both FAU and FSU so far this season and got handled by No. 2 Ohio State in the second game of the season. They are led by guard Kenny Boynton, who is averaging 15.3 points per game so far this season.
All-time series: Gators lead 10-0. The last time these teams played back on Dec. 20, 2008, the Gators won 89-61.
Key players for UCF: G Marcus Jordan, F Keith Clanton, G AJ Rompza
Key players for UF: G Kenny Boynton, F Chandler Parsons, G Erving Walker