The University of Central Florida struggled in Conference USA play and settled for the CBI after losing in the first round of the conference tournament this season. The finish was a bit disappointing given all the hype generated by the Knights' 14-0 start and resulting national ranking.
But the future appears to be very, very bright coming off a 21-win season. UCF has the No. 16 recruiting class in the nation according to ESPNU, the best of any team outside the power conferences. Second-year coach Donnie Jones has put together the best class in the program's history, bringing in two top-100 players.
Jones signed 6-foot-10 Michael Chandler, the nation's fifth-ranked center, and also secured a commitment on Monday from 6-foot-5 shooting guard Kevin Ware, who was granted a release from his signed national letter of intent following the departure of Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl.
They're part of a five-player recruiting class that should help bolster a team that returns top scorers Marcus Jordan and Keith Clanton along with point guard A.J. Rompza. The Knights also welcome transfers Josh Crittle (Oregon), Jeff Jordan (Illinois) and Tristan Spurlock (Virginia).
"This team showed some character and I thought we finished pretty strong down the stretch," Jones, whose team went to the CBI semifinals, told the Orlando Sentinel. "We did get some postseason experience and finished with 2 1 wins. We are starting workouts with great energy. We return a group that I’m really excited about because of the steps this team went through. We got ranked in the Top 25 for the first time for close to three weeks or four weeks of our season. We brought some notoriety to the program, people got to see us and we created expectations for what this program can do in the future."