Oct. 11, 2011
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By Jenna Marina
DALLAS, Texas (UCFathletics.com) - UCF basketball head coaches Donnie Jones and Joi Williams attended the Conference USA Media Day on Tuesday, signifying the rapidly approaching start to the 2011-12 season.
The coaches split time between studio interviews with Fox Sports and CBS Sports and one-on-one press and video interviews. They fielded questions on a range of topics about their schedules, hostile road environments, the Knights, their views on the upcoming season and the outlook of C-USA.
Jones touched upon the steps C-USA needs to take to continue gaining notoriety around the country.
"Our teams have had success and have gotten to the NCAA Tournament, but the only one who has really won in the NCAA Tournament is Memphis," Jones said. "We have some very good teams and we beat each other up like most conferences do, but once we get to postseason we have to win. I think that's going to bring the respect we do deserve because we have great coaches, and we have a lot of really good teams."
On the women's side, the Knights are looking to repeat as tournament champions and secure their third trophy in the past four years, but Williams knows the path to net-cutting ceremonies will not be easy.
"The conference is wide open," Williams said. "There are a lot of really good players returning. We're probably one of the teams who have lost the most in terms of seniors, and even though we lost five seniors, this group is also special. ... Hopefully people around the country will get to see how great Conference USA is."
UCF fans can celebrate the start of the season Friday at UKNIGHT Madness at the UCF Arena. The free event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Doors to the arena open at 6:30 p.m. for a season ticket select-a-seat event, and the first 1,000 UCF supporters to enter the building will receive a free t-shirt.
Season tickets for both the men's and women's teams are currently available by calling (407) UCF-1000 or by visiting UCFAthletics.com. The men will play 17 regular-season games at the UCF Arena, starting with their season opener on Nov. 12. The women are slated to play 18 home games, tipping off with Florida A&M on Nov. 18.