College Basketball Nation: A.J. Rompza

UCF sidelines Michael Jordan's sons

November, 7, 2011
11/07/11
2:42
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University of Central Florida guards Marcus Jordan and Jeff Jordan, the sons of Michael Jordan, were among five players held out of Saturday's exhibition game. Junior Marcus Jordan, the team's leading scorer, was suspended with two other players for violations of team rules, according to the school. The school also reported that senior Jeff Jordan and starting point guard A.J. Rompza were withheld pending resolution of NCAA eligibility matters.

"(The suspended players) will continue to practice each day and we'll get better as a team," coach Donnie Jones told the team's website.

The preseason has come in stark contrast to the hot start at the beginning of last season that landed the Knights a spot in the national rankings. But since then, they struggled to a 6-10 record in Conference USA and also were hit with an official notice of inquiry by the NCAA in August regarding potential recruiting violations committed by the football and men's basketball programs. Top recruit Michael Chandler also failed to qualify to become a member of this year's team.

The latest batch of bad news for UCF involves the team's high-profile players both in name and in on-court production. Marcus Jordan, who is trying to make his own name, averaged 15.2 points and led the team in assists as a sophomore. Rompza and P.J. Gaynor, one of the players suspended for team rules violations, were key contributors. Jeff Jordan is eligible this season after transferring from Illinois, as is Oregon transfer Josh Crittle, who was suspended for team rules violations.

It's the eligibility concerns of Jeff Jordan and Rompza that are most intriguing at a time when UCF is already in the process of defending itself in the NCAA case. It was already going to be tough going up against Memphis in Conference USA. If more hurdles emerge, things could get difficult for UCF.

UCF brings in impressive recruiting class

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
4:20
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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."

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