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Previewing The American: University of Central Florida

A brief preview of the University of Central Florida as they will try to improve their conference record in the inaugural season of the AAC.

UCF's mascot Knitro at the top of a pyramid.
UCF's mascot Knitro at the top of a pyramid.
Photo by Rob Foldy | USA Today Sports.

The University of Central Florida football program is enjoying the most success it has ever had (no, seriously. ever) so something tells me the Orlando student body won't be fully focusing on basketball until football season is over. Nevertheless, the Knights will try to improve on their subpar final season in Conference USA

With two consecutive years of finishing 7-9 in conference play under their belts, UCF will try to get over the .500 hump this year. Despite poor regular season play, the Knights were just a win away from winning the Conference USA. championship after knocking off number one seeded SMU in the second round. In the end the Knights fell to Tulsa 75-66, but certainly there's reason to have a bit of optimism about the team given their hot finish to last season.

If it makes UCF feel any better, Tulsa got pummeled by Stanford in the first game of the tournament. So, y'know, at least they avoided that, I guess.

2012-13 Record: 16-18 (7-9 in Conference USA)

Highest Ranking in 2012-13: N/A

2012-13 Conference: Conference USA

2013-14 Season Opener: 11/08 vs. Central Connecticut State
Who's back:

  • Briahanna Jackson: In her freshman season, Jackson started 33 of the 34 games she played in while averaging 15 points and five rebounds a game.
  • Erika Jones: Started 29 games while averaging eight points and nine rebounds a game. Jones led the team in rebounds and field goal percentage (48 percent). She is one of two seniors on the team.
  • Sara Djassi: The only other senior on the Knights, Djassi started 26 games and averaged seven points and four rebounds a game. While she was the best free throw shooter (74.5 percent) she posted a field goal percentage of just 33 percent and she made only 17 of the 86 shots she took.
  • Andrea Hines: Started 18 games but played in all 34. The junior averaged 28 minutes a game and was second in assists only to then senior Gevenia Carter.
  • Stephanie Taylor: Came off the bench in 25 of her 34 games and shot nearly 49 percent from the field. She averaged 3.2 rebounds and two points a game.
  • Bryeasha Blair: Played in 26 games as a redshirt freshman while grabbing five starts.

Who's new:

  • Yanique Gordon: A transfer from Tallahassee Community College. She averaged 5 points and four rebounds in 16 games.
  • Jordan Jackson: True freshman out of Long Beach, CA where she played at St. Anthony High School.
  • Zykira Lewis: Another true freshman; out of Bartow High School in Florida. Graded a 40 by ESPN recruiting.
  • Brittni Montgomery: After redshirting last season, Montgomery will see her first action since transferring from Virginia Tech. She started in five of her 45 games with VT and averaged two points and two rebounds a game while with the Hokies.
  • Makenzi Reasor: A redshirt freshman who transferred from Indiana State after injuring herself during preseason in 2012-13.
  • Aneesa Watson: A guard out of Fayette County, GA. Also ranked 40 by ESPN recruiting.

Full Roster:

3 Blair, Bryeasha 5-4 G RS SO Chicago, Ill. (Whitney Young HS)
20 Djassi, Sara 5-11 F SR Lisbon, Portugal
11 Gordon, Yanique 6-4 F/C JR Hanover, Jamaica (Green Island HS)
2 Hines, Andrea 5-7 G JR New Castle, Del. (Sanford School)
23 Jackson, Briahanna 5-4 G SO Tampa, Fla. (Freedom/IMG Academy)
4 Jackson, Jordan 5-9 G FR Long Beach, Calif. (St. Anthony HS)
55 Jones, Erika 6-2 F/C SR Phenix City, Ala. (Smiths Station HS)
5 Lewis, Zykira 5-8 G FR Bartow, Fla. (Bartow HS)
13 Montgomery, Brittni 6-3 F RS JR Fort Pierce, Fla. (Fort Pierce Central)
21 Reasor, Makenzi 6-2 F RS FR Fortville, Ind (Mount Vernon HS)
42 Taylor, Stephanie 6-2 F JR Indian Trail, N.C. (Sun Valley HS)
1 Watson, Aneesa 5-11 G FR Fayette County, Ga. (Fayette County HS)