A road win! They are so elusive, so hard to come by, so difficult to close out. But our guys did a terrific job of gutting one out at UCF last night. In front of close to 5,000 fans in their brand new arena, we jumped out to a very good start; followed that up with some outstanding production coming from the locker room to start the second half; and then held on with some clutch FOUL SHOOTING down the stretch to close it out. UCF made a valiant run at us from the 10 minute mark until the end, but credit our guys with making enough plays at both ends to get it done. It is important to note that for those final 10-12 minutes Robert Vaden was hampered by cramping so several other guys had to contribute. Lawrence Kinnard had his best game of the season; Frank Holmes came off the bench with energy, effort and production to the tune of 11pts (4-4 FG; 3-5 FT) & 6 rebounds in 13 minutes; Ed Berrios was his usual calm-under-pressure-self knocking down 4-4 FT's late; and Aaron Johnson's 7 assists to just 2 turnovers made a huge difference for us. From our point position we had 11 assists and 4 turnovers. That's a pretty nice ratio. I wasn't pleased that we gave up 81 points, but that's the defensive coach in me. Coming into the game we were 2nd in C-USA play and 28th in the country in points allowed. We'll get back to those numbers the next few times out.
It's back home again on Saturday for a payback game against Marshall. I hope to see everyone out in high spirits and loud voices as we go for our 10th in a row at Bartow Arena this season. The win last night was our 14th and it took us 27 games to get that last season. On Saturday we can match our win total for the entire season a year ago. Come out and provide the enthusiasm and the atmosphere that will energize our guys as we continue to make this run at a C-USA Championship!
I apologize for the short blog this time but that's what a 4:30AM wake-up call will do to you. We wanted to get our guys back and in classes this morning so we jumped on a 7:40AM flight from Orlando. My eyes are a little blurry right now, but there's tape to watch; adjustments to make; practice plans to set; and a game plan to put in place for Marshall. After that it'll be home to catch up on some much needed shut eye...
Assistant Head Coach