The Knights have now had at two selections to either the first or second team every year since head coach Terry Rooney took over the program in 2009. This year, UCF posted its highest finish (fourth) in the C-USA standings since joining the league in 2006, and it also has its most victories (36) since 2005. And the trio of Griffin, Hicks and Lively certainly played a huge role in those accomplishments.
Griffin came to UCF last season and showed a powerful bat in the second half of the year. The Bradenton, Fla., native carried that over into 2011 where he leads the league with 16 homers, a .618 slugging percentage and 139 total bases. He also ranks fourth with 74 hits and fifth with 47 RBI.
A semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy which is given out to the nation’s top player, Hicks also boasts some impressive power numbers. After redshirting last year, the 2009 C-USA All-Freshman Team performer is second in C-USA (behind Griffin) with a .583 slugging percentage, 119 total bases and 13 home runs. Meanwhile, Hicks, who hails from Altamonte Springs, Fla., leads the conference with 59 RBI, ranks seventh with a .338 average and eighth with a .424 on-base percentage.
And a product of Gulf Breeze, Fla., Lively made a statement right away for the Knights. The righty won his first-five collegiate starts, defeating Alabama, Dartmouth, Wagner, Columbia and Rice. Lively claims a 5-1 record with a 4.74 ERA, striking out 41 in 57.0 innings, including four in his most recent outing where he pitched 4.2 shutout innings against Marshall May 19.