Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Sunshine State....Gorgeous

Name the hottest school in college sports located in Florida. Ready, Go. Florida State? No, hoops team  lost to Auburn on Monday night. Miami? Ehh, 11-4 thus far, nothing special...and their football team got trounced by Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl. Florida? Maybe getting a little warmer; they've been in and out of the Top 25 this season. How bout Central Florida? Who?

The University of Central Florida. The basketball team that is 14-0, ranked 18th in the country, and has already taken down in-state rivals South Florida, Miami and Florida. The Knights are the early favorite to win Conference USA, a league that has been dominated by Memphis and UAB in years past (the Knights first meeting with the Tigers is in Memphis on January 26th, followed by a game with UAB 3 days later). Oh, and their football team beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl for their first ever postseason victory.

So where'd this hoops success come from? Well, first year head coach Donnie Jones knows a thing or two about winning basketball games in Florida.  He was an assistant at the University of Florida for 11 years, helping them win back-to-back titles in 2006-2007.

Marcus's trademark is his specs, and not a wagging tongue (AP Photos)
On the court, the Knights are led by sophomore Marcus Jordan....yep, THAT Jordan. Don't worry, no need to place "the next MJ" tag on this Jordan, but he's been all-around solid in just his second collegiate season. The younger, left-handed Jordan leads the team in scoring, is second in assists, and is shooting 51/47% from the field/3-pt, respectively. Marcus's older brother, Jeff, who played three seasons at Illinois, also is on the Knights roster after transferring in the summer (he'll need to sit out this season due to transfer rules).

One other reason the Knights might be playing so well this year, the shoes. "It's gotta be the shoes." During Jordan's freshman year, UCF was an Adidas school.  A Jordan in Adidas? That doesn't make sense. So, Marcus stubbornly (like father, like son) wore his Nike's and cost the school their deal with Adidas. No worries, I think UCF had a connection at Nike. What do you know, the Knights are now rockin' the swoosh and are undefeated. As Marcus would probably tell you, father knows best.


  1. Who wore it better? Marcus Jordan in his Oakley-style protective glasses or Brady Smith in his world famous Rec Specs while playing football in middle school??

  2. No contest....Smith in a landslide.