Liberty picked first in ASUN Preseason Men’s Basketball Poll

LibertyThe Liberty men’s basketball team has been chosen to win the 2019-20 ASUN men’s basketball title as voted by the ASUN coaches and media, the conference announced Thursday.

Liberty’s Caleb Homesley was also picked as the Preseason Player of the Year while Scottie James was named to the Preseason All-Conference Team.

“Obviously we are honored and humbled that the some would consider us a conference champion contender,” head coach Ritchie McKay said. “However, I have coached long enough to understand championships are not accomplished on paper. That said, we have an experienced group and I believe they understand and respect how difficult it is to earn victory. I trust we will continue our pursuit to be our very best.”

The Flames enter their second season in the ASUN Conference as they finished last season with an appearance in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament after winning the ASUN Championship, while also sharing the regular season title with Lipscomb. In the ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll, the Flames received seven of the nine first-place votes. North Florida, who was picked second, was the only other team to receive first-place votes. In the ASUN Preseason Media Poll, the Flames gathered 44 of the 48 first-place votes as North Florida (2) and Lipscomb (2) also received first-place votes.

Homesley had an exceptional junior season as he averaged 12.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest. Homesley’s played ramped up late in the season as the native of Indian Trail, N.C. averaged 13.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.2 assists per conference game, leading the Flames to a 14-2 record in the ASUN. On college basketball’s biggest stage, Homesley rose to the occasion as he scored a career-high 30 points in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament, leading the Flames to a victory over Mississippi State.

James joins Homesley on the All-Conference Team after a stellar junior campaign where he was named to the NABC District 3 Second Team. The native of Tarpon Springs, Fla. was one of the best players in the ASUN last season, as he was named to ASUN First Team All-Conference after averaging a team-best 12.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and shooting 66.5 percent from the floor.

The ASUN is coming off a historic season as three teams earned postseason tournament victories. Liberty upset Mississippi State in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64, while Lipscomb secured four wins en route to the league’s first-ever NIT Finals appearance. NJIT also advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIT. All three of those squads set their program’s Division I record for wins last season. The 2019 ASUN Conference Men’s Basketball Championship dates are set for March 3, 5 and 8. The ASUN Championship Final will be televised on ESPN.

The Flames will begin their ASUN schedule on Jan. 2 when they will play at FGCU on ESPNU. Season tickets are on sale and for more information about becoming a season ticket holder, please contact the Flames Ticket Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328), email tickets@liberty.edu.





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