A few short months ago, Marcus Jordan and the UCF basketball program had their fair share of coverage for the wrong reasons. Jordan's decision to wear his father's brand of shoes instead of the UCF provided Adidas brand caused them to overreact by pulling the entire school's endorsement deal.
All of this surely had to cause hard times for just a college freshman, whether the kid has grown up in a basketball loom or not. To add in, the rest of the men's basketball team at UCF is quite young themselves with a roster comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores. So just how would Jordan and the rest of his team react?
Well, the team itself is showing its youth, starting out with nine wins and eight losses so far this season. There have been bright moments, however, beating an Auburn team in Daytona Beach and competing throughout their game against perennial power UConn on the road.
Aside from the team's accomplishments, Marcus Jordan's ability to shrug off constant attention and unneeded pressure has surely been impressive of late. He didn't start the season particularly well, struggling to score consistently throughout the first few games, but maintained his defensive toughness and tenacity.
As UCF started to reach the toughest stretch of their out-of-conference schedule, Jordan has seemed to quickly turn around people's opinions in the UCF community. As a basketball fan, knowing Jordan was recruited to UCF as a solid defender and great decision-maker, his offensive play throughout the past month has been a pleasant surprise.
Jordan's best games have even seemed to come in the most important times of the year so far. In three of UCF's toughest non-conference games, Jordan has posted double figures in scoring against the likes of UConn, Ole Miss, and USF.
Following a stretch of impressive non-conference games, Jordan recorded a season high 19 points this past week against Marshall on national television.
Though his scoring has increased, Jordan has been able to maintain his excellent defensive play as well. Surely, fans aren't the only ones starting to take notice of Jordan's improved play.
Knights head coach Kirk Speraw has adjusted his team's strategy accordingly, by inserting Jordan into the starting lineup for the past few games.
Jordan has seen a steady increase in playing time, averaging 25 to 30 minutes a game for about the past month or so. During this time he's been averaging around 10 points a game, while giving the Knights great intensity on the defensive front.
Jordan's recent success should be attributed to his ability to stave off the unnecessary expectations and controversy that surrounded him towards the beginning of the year. While he still has a long way to go and is just a freshman, you just get the feeling that Marcus Jordan is going to be an outstanding player for years to come at UCF, despite whatever shoes he is wearing.