Blog Entry

Central Florida pulls huge upset over UConn

Posted on: November 25, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: November 25, 2011 11:12 pm

By Jeff Goodman

“Whoever you bring, I like sexy names. So what names? Central Florida would be kind of good but it’s not a sexy name right now." - Jim Calhoun

That was a quote from UConn's head coach a few months back -- when Central Florida was mentioned as a possibility to land in the Big East.

Well, the Knights, who could still be headed to the Big East in the future, looked far sexier on Friday afternoon after storming back from a 17-point second half deficit to pull off arguably the upset of the young season, a 68-63 victory over No. 4 UConn.

Donnie Jones' game plan worked to perfection down the stretch, mixing between man-to-man defense after misses and zone defense following made baskets. He said that key to the game was trying to slow down UConn point guard Shabazz Napier - and that's exactly what he did after the first few minutes of the contest.

"He makes them go," Jones said of Napier. "He's the head of the team and we had to control him. He makes everyone else go."

Central Florida got out of the gates quickly a year ago before struggling in league play, but Jones said that this team is different.

"We've got experience," Jones said. "Our two best players (Keith Clanton and Marcus Jordan) are juniors and our guys now the system now. Last year they were still getting used to it."

Without starting point guard A.J. Rompza, who is serving a suspension as the school is in the midst of an NCAA investigation, Marcus Jordan was forced to play point guard for much of the time. However, he spent most of the stretch off the ball - and was clutch in the final minutes of the game.

Both Jordan and Clanton finished with 20 points in the upset.

"The bigger the stage, the harder he plays," Jones said of Jordan. "He's so competitive."

The win puts UCF at 4-1 with a matchup against Harvard Saturday in the Battle 4 Atlantis title game. It was also just the third time that the program has knocked off a ranked opponent. A year ago, Central Florida beat Florida. The Knights also beat College of Charleston in 2002.

Jones' team came back from a late seven-point deficit the day before in a victory over College of Charleston.

"I love the fact that we didn't live in the last victory against Charleston," Jones said. "And that we came back again."

They delivered UConn its first loss since the start of the Big East tournament last March and in the process, may have changed Calhoun's perception of the basketball program a bit.

Photo: UCF athletics


Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: November 26, 2011 1:04 pm

Central Florida pulls huge upset over UConn

Watered down NCAA??  You're kidding!  This is going to be one of the strongest years  in recent memory with all the kids that stayed in school the extra year due to the labor uncertainity in the NBA. 

Since: May 28, 2011
Posted on: November 26, 2011 9:38 am

Central Florida pulls huge upset over UConn

I know this is just one game, but I see this being a season for some major upsets. I mean, who would have thought that an unranked UCF team could have taken out the #4 team in the country? This is going to be one interesting season for the NCAA.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: November 25, 2011 11:02 pm
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