by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Central Florida has long been considered a sleeping giant on the college hoops scene. It’s Orlando location, new facilities and growing enrollment have it pegged as a school ready to become a national player. With a 57-54 home victory against No. 18 Florida on Wednesday, that giant may have started to wake up.
The Knights new coach Donnie Jones, a Billy Donovan disciple, was able to knock off his mentor on Wednesday and now his team positioned to make a possible run for postseason play this season with a 6-0 start and a quality win already under its belt.
It’s no surprise that Jones’ best player is starting to carry the team when you consider where his genes come from. Marcus Jordan, the son of his Airness, went for a team-high 18 points against Florida, and the sophomore guard leads his team with 17 ppg.
Jordan is quickly amassing his own list of accomplishments, separate from his father.
From The Washington Post:
“We definitely wanted to create something so people start talking about us,” Jordan said after the game at Orlando’s Amway Center. “We’re trying to do something special here at UCF.”
He’s already the face of UCF hoops as a sophomore. His mom, Juanita Jordan, and sister Jasmine were witnesses at the upset. Older brother, Jeff, also is on the UCF team. Juanita Jordan doesn’t do interviews, but, when asked a reporter if Marcus had just had his first marquee moment, replied with a smile:
“You think so?”
Jordan isn’t the only reason that UCF looks much improved a disappointing 15-17 season last year, but it would be foolish to think his lineage doesn’t bring some extra attention to the school, and UCF is fully embracing it. For a team that is looking to become a regular contender on the national scene, having a Jordan as the face of your program is a good start.