True Hoop Drew

I breakdown basketball constantly in my mind and occassionaly translate it into blog form

Tag: kirk speraw

March Madness Preview

Gut, research, favorite, sleeper…

It’s been awhile since my last post.

The reasons: I’m lazy, Spring Break, went to Lakeland for high school basketball championships, and flirted with many records involving “amount of time spent playing College Hoops 2K8″.

To be fair, two of those four reason involved basketball and watching or playing tournament games leading up to championships and that’s why I’m here now.

I’m going to break down what’s important and what’s not in this year’s March Madness tournament and then give my picks. You should listen to all of my advice because I know more about basketball than anyone else and win my bracket pool around 40 percent of the time in my career.

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Keith Clanton leads UCF to win in conference opener, Marcus Jordan gets first start

This felt like a must-win game for the Knights going in. It wasn’t going to be a big win but it could have been a big loss.

The Knights would put together a complete game pulling away from the Rice Owls in their home conference opener to get the victory, 77-58.

The Owls led 21-16 following a three-point basket by Trey Stanton with 7:30 left in the first half. The Knights would score the game’s next 17 points while the Owls experienced a scoring drought lasting nearly 7 minutes.

From there on, UCF cruised to victory. They were led by freshman Keith Clanton who had his best game of the season to date, scoring 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 2-for-2 from three, and added 6 boards and 3 blocks.

A change in scenery for the Knights came when freshman Marcus Jordan was named to the starting lineup, replacing Isaac Sosa in that role. Jordan had just 5 points in 19 minutes of action. Sosa ended up with 8 points in 25 minutes, including 2 three-pointers.

Clanton picked up his game after fellow freshman Dave Diakite went down with an apparent leg injury after just 8 minutes of action.

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UCF Basketball drops another vs. No. 16 Ole Miss

The Knights got out to another slow start on the road against Ole Miss Tuesday night falling behind 19-4 just four minutes into the game after the Rebels made their first five three-point attempts.

Ole Miss continued to roll beating the Knights by a final of 84-56.

UCF was coming off a devastating 61-51 at loss to Jacksonville in which the team shot just 33.3 percent from the field for the game. The Knights didn’t do much better against the Rebels going 33.9 percent from the field and 0-for-11 from downtown.

Ole Miss countered with a hot shooting night from beyond the arc going 11-for-28 for the game. The Rebels also held a huge height advantage leading to 10 block shots for the team.

The Knights trailed by as many as 26 points at one point in the first half.

There were few if any bright spots for UCF in the game although freshman Marcus Jordan registered another solid performance against a quality opponent.

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UCF basketball suffers terrible loss to Jacksonville

The first thing the Knights need to do is forget about this game.

The UCF Men’s Basketball team lost 61-51 Wednesday night to Jacksonville in the championship game of its own holiday tournament. These teams weren’t scheduled to come to UCF and beat them.

Even though there are some obvious flaws with this team that were exposed in the game, the fact still remains that UCF played a bad game overall. Literally not one player had a good game and just about all of them played worse than normal.

Jacksonville hit two backbreaking three pointers in the final 2:17 to pull away from the Knights.

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Knights should tighten rotation to compete against top teams

The UCF Men’s Basketball team lost their third game of the season Wednesday night on the road to cross-state rival USF 69-65 dropping their record to 7-3 on the year.

While they were in the game throughout its entirety, they simply couldn’t get over the hump and make a run big enough to come back. The problem right now is that they can’t get into a good rhythm and put together a complete game.

The season is still young and the team is young too but it is time for head coach Kirk Speraw to tighten his rotation especially when the Knights are playing teams from the Big East like USF and Connecticut, who they will play next.

Right now, UCF has eight players averaging at least 18 minutes a game which is no big deal except for the fact that some players have separated from the pack and should be carrying larger loads of playing time.

I’ve broken down the Knights’ roster into three categories: 1. Players who can play and maybe start for BCS conference teams. 2. Players who are just a level below but can sometimes play up to the level of BCS conferences. 3. Players who are perfect for Conference-USA play and are fine in limited minutes against the better teams.

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Knights get ugly win as Clanton finally gets first start

The Knights continue to win the games they should, they’re just not doing it in as impressive fashion as some would like them to.

UCF beat Bethune Cookman 63-50 Saturday night thanks to some late clutch play by freshman Keith Clanton.

The highest rated recruit to ever come to UCF finally got his first start of the season after a solid performance in UCF’s last game against Notre Dame where he led the team with 14 points and seven rebounds while matched up with one of the best forwards in the country in Luke Harangody (29 points and 7 rebounds in that game).

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Breaking Down the Glenn Wilkes Classic

The UCF Basketball team is off to an exciting start to the year and is now 5-1 (counting the exhibition) after a successful trip to Daytona for the weekend.

I was planning on going to at least one of the games this weekend but tickets seemed to not exist online and I wasn’t going to take the risk of a three-hour roundtrip drive.

Anyway, I’ll do my best breaking down the games from the stats and reports I got.

UCF 84, Auburn 74

Dubbed an SEC-power in the UCF previewing articles, Auburn was anything but as the Knights jumped on top early cruising to a 17-point half time lead.

Clearly a team that thrives on up-and-down, freelance hoops (evidence by the fact that they took 39 threes in the game and hacked like crazy in the game), Auburn could not come back and the Knights won 84-74.

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Knights look to get to 2-0 vs. Howard tonight

The UCF Knights will look to get to 2-0 to start the season tonight after a convincing 84-67 victory over Massachusetts in the season opener last Friday.

The Knights should have no trouble doing this since they play Howard, he is just one man who apparently likes the Buffalo Bills (evidence by his logo).

I had a hard time focusing on the game against UMass since Michael Jordan was at the game and I kept trying to make eye contact with him from afar (that is also why it took me so long to write my post-game thoughts/recap).

But I did notice a few things.

This team is better than expected and it has everything to do with the progression made by last year’s freshmen class and the talent on the incoming class.

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Clanton, freshmen are the answer for UCF in 2009-2010

Clanton2The UCF Men’s Basketball team is losing 36.5 percent of its scoring from last season, and that’s if you only count Jermaine Taylor.

The Knights’ all-time leading scorer was drafted by the Houston Rockets in this year’s NBA Draft after giving UCF fans four years worth of 3-pointers and alley-oop dunks.

The Knights have also parted ways with Kenrick Zondervan and Tony Davis.

UCF was one of the youngest teams in the nation last season and things won’t be changing much in that department this year as the squad contains just one senior in coach’s son Drew Speraw.

Making up for the losses is a freshman class that may be the best head coach Kirk Speraw has ever had in his 17 years with the Knights.

Headlining the list of new faces is Keith Clanton, Nik Garcia, R.J. Scott and Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus. Dave Diakite will also be a freshman this season after redshirting last year.

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