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2017–18 Liberty Flames basketball team

The 2017–18 Liberty Flames men's basketball team represented Liberty University in the 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The team played its home games in Lynchburg, Virginia for the 28th consecutive season at Vines Center, with a capacity of 8,085. The team was led by Ritchie McKay, who was in his fifth season, but third season since his return to the program. They were members of the Big South Conference. They finished the season 22–14, 9–9 in Big South play to finish in a four-way tie for fifth place. They defeated Campbell and UNC Asheville to advance to the championship game of the Big South Tournament where they lost to Radford. They were invited to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament where they defeated North Carolina A&T in the first round in a game referred to as the Jim Phelan Classic. They received a second round bye and defeated Central Michigan in the quarterfinals before losing in the semifinals to UIC.

2017–18 Liberty Flames basketball
Liberty Flames wordmark.svg
Jim Phelan Classic champions
CIT, Semifinals
ConferenceBig South Conference
2017–18 record22–15 (9–9 Big South)
Head coachRitchie McKay (3rd (5th Overall) season)
Assistant coachBrad Soucie (3rd (5th) season)
Assistant coachKyle Getter (3rd season)
Assistant coachVic Sfera (2nd season)
Home stadiumVines Center
Seasons
2017–18 Big South men's basketball standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   PCT     W   L   PCT
UNC Asheville 13 5   .722     21 13   .618
Radford 12 6   .667     23 13   .639
Winthrop 12 6   .667     19 12   .613
Campbell 10 8   .556     18 16   .529
Liberty 9 9   .500     22 15   .595
Charleston Southern 9 9   .500     15 16   .484
High Point 9 9   .500     14 16   .467
Gardner–Webb 9 9   .500     14 18   .438
Presbyterian 4 14   .222     11 21   .344
Longwood 3 15   .167     7 26   .212
2018 Big South Tournament winner

This was Liberty's final season as members of the Big South Conference, as the school announced on May 17, 2018 that they will be moving to the Atlantic Sun Conference for the 2018–19 season.[1]

Previous seasonEdit

The Flames finished the 2016–17 season 21–14, 14–4 in Big South play to finish in a third place. They were upset in Quarterfinals of the Big South Tournament by Radford. They were invited to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament where they defeated Norfolk State in the First Round to be champions of the Coach John McLendon Classic. In the Second Round they defeated Samford before losing in the Quarterfinals to UMBC.

DeparturesEdit

Name Number Pos. Height Weight Year Hometown Notes
AC Reid 2 Guard 6'5" 190 Junior Spring Branch, Texas Transferred to Tennessee State
Xzavier Barmore 4 Guard 6'0" 165 Freshman Seneca, South Carolina Transferred to College of Central Florida
Ray Chen 13 Guard 6'1" 185 Graduate Student Miaoli, Taiwan Graduated
John Dawson 22 Guard 6'2" 205 Senior Clovis, New Mexico Graduated
Josiah Talbert 34 Forward 6'8" 210 Freshman Olathe, Kansas Transferred to Central Missouri

2017–18 NewcomersEdit

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Elijah Cuffee
G
Poca, West Virginia Liberty Christian Academy 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg)  
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   RivalsN/A   247SportsN/A
Keegan McDowell
G
Cincinnati, Ohio Moeller High School 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 180 lb (82 kg)  
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   RivalsN/A   247SportsN/A
Jay Barber
G
Lynchburg, Virginia Liberty Christian Academy 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 175 lb (79 kg)  
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   RivalsN/A   247SportsN/A
Brendan Newton
C
Roanoke, Virginia Faith Christian School 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 235 lb (107 kg)  
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:    Rivals:    247Sports:     ESPN: 
Isaiah Williams
F
Dayton, Ohio Akron 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg)  
Recruiting star ratings: ScoutN/A   RivalsN/A   247SportsN/A
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

  • "2017 Team Ranking". Rivals.com.

RosterEdit

2017–18 Liberty Flames men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Previous school Hometown
F 0 Myo Baxter-Bell 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 255 lb (116 kg) RS So Chaminade Julieen High School Dayton, Ohio
G 1 Caleb Homesley 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 175 lb (79 kg) RS So Porter Ridge High School Indian Trail, North Carolina
G 3 Lovell Cabbil 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 155 lb (70 kg) Jr Mansfield Summit High School Arlington, Texas
G/F 5 Ryan Kemrite 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) RS Sr Satch Homeschool Conroe, Texas
G/F 10 Elijah Cuffee 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Fr Liberty Christian Academy Poca, West Virginia
G 11 Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 170 lb (77 kg) So Deep Run High School Ponce, Puerto Rico
F 13 Isaiah Williams 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 210 lb (95 kg) RS Fr Akron Dayton, Ohio
G 14 Brody Hicks 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Fr Cave Spring High School Roanoke, VA
G 15 Zach Farquhar (W) 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 160 lb (73 kg) RS Jr Sycamore High School Cincinnati, Ohio
G/F 20 Keegan McDowell 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Fr Moeller High School Cincinnati, Ohio
F 24 Ezra Talbert 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 190 lb (86 kg) RS Jr Olathe East High School Olathe, Kansas
F 31 Scottie James 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) RS So Bradley Tarpon Springs, Florida
G 44 Ryan Hiepler (W) 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 180 lb (82 kg) Jr Oaks Christian High Westlake Village, California
C 55 Brendan Newton 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) 235 lb (107 kg) Fr Faith Christian High Roanoke, Virginia
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on
  • Roster is subject to change as/if players transfer or leave the program for other reasons.

Schedule and resultsEdit

Date
time, TV
Rank# Opponent# Result Record High points High rebounds High assists Site (attendance)
city, state
Exhibition
Oct 26, 2017*
7:00 pm
at VCU
Hurricane Relief Exhibition
W 85–69 
 23  Talbert   8  James   4  Cuffee  Siegel Center (3,497)
Richmond, VA
Non-conference regular season
Nov 10, 2017*
7:00 pm
Clarks Summit
Paradise Jam campus game
W 87–42  1–0
 13  Tied   7  Cabbil   3  Kemrite  Vines Center (4,094)
Lynchburg, VA
Nov 14, 2017*
7:00 pm, ACCN Extra
at Wake Forest W 79–66  2–0
 22  Cabbil   14  James   4  Williams  LJVM Coliseum (5,213)
Winston-Salem, NC
Nov 17, 2017*
12:00 pm
Mercer
Paradise Jam first round
L 48–63  2–1
 15  Cabbil   6  James   4  Cabbil  Vines Center (1,022)
Lynchburg, VA
Nov 18, 2017*
12:00 pm
Houston
Paradise Jam consolation
L 66–68  2–2
 16  Pacheco-Ortiz   7  James   3  Williams  Vines Center (815)
Lynchburg, VA
Nov 19, 2017*
12:00 pm
vs. Quinnipiac
Paradise Jam 7th place game
W 84–72  3–2
 21  James   8  James   2  5 tied  Vines Center (640)
Lynchburg, VA
Nov 25, 2017*
2:00 pm
Toccoa Falls W 96–50  4–2
 18  Baxter-Bell   10  James   6  Homesley  Vines Center (1,675)
Lynchburg, VA
Nov 27, 2017*
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Howard W 75–55  5–2
 17  Pacheco-Ortiz   10  James   4  Tied  Vines Center (2,169)
Lynchburg, VA
Dec 2, 2017*
1:00 pm, ESPN3
UNC Greensboro L 75–76 3OT 5–3
 19  James   15  James   3  Cabbil  Vines Center (2,294)
Lynchburg, VA
Dec 4, 2017*
7:00 pm, ESPN3
at Georgia State W 77–74 OT 6–3
 17  James   9  James   5  Cabbil  GSU Sports Arena (1,074)
Atlanta, GA
Dec 8, 2017*
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Maryland Eastern Shore W 71–49  7–3
 12  Kemrite   7  James   4  3 tied  Vines Center (2,380)
Lynchburg, VA
Dec 16, 2017*
1:00 pm
Kentucky Christian W 96–40  8–3
 21  Cabbil   8  Homesley   5  Cabbil  Vines Center (2,063)
Lynchburg, VA
Dec 21, 2017*
11:00 am
vs. Fort Wayne
New Orleans Classic
L 64–75  8–4
 15  3 tied   12  James   4  Tied  Xavier University Academic Convocation Center (300)
New Orleans, LA
Dec 22, 2017*
1:00 pm
vs. Alabama State
New Orleans Classic
W 87–70  9–4
 19  Pacheco-Ortiz   8  James   7  Pacheco-Ortiz  Xavier University Academic Convocation Center (250)
New Orleans, LA
Big South regular season
Dec 30, 2017
7:00 pm
at Gardner–Webb L 55–58  9–5
(0–1)
 11  James   13  James   4  Pacheco-Ortiz  Paul Porter Arena (1,250)
Boiling Springs, NC
Jan 2, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Charleston Southern W 70–53  10–5
(1–1)
 27  Pacheco-Ortiz   15  James   5  Cuffee  Vines Center (1,688)
Lynchburg, VA
Jan 6, 2018
4:00 pm, ESPN3
Presbyterian W 60–48  11–5
(2–1)
 14  Pacheco-Ortiz   12  James   4  Pacheco-Ortiz  Vines Center (2,216)
Lynchburg, VA
Jan 9, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
at Winthrop W 73–70  12–5
(3–1)
 19  Cabbil   6  Tied   5  Cabbil  Winthrop Coliseum (1,085)
Rock Hill, SC
Jan 12, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Longwood L 51–58  12–6
(3–2)
 10  Cabbil   6  James   3  Pacheco-Ortiz  Vines Center (1,989)
Lynchburg, VA
Jan 15, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
at Radford L 57–59 OT 12–7
(3–3)
 14  Cabbil   4  Cabbil   4  Pacheco-Ortiz  Dedmon Center (1,493)
Radford, VA
Jan 18, 2018
7:00 pm
at High Point L 60–71  12–8
(3–4)
 17  Baxter-Bell   10  James   3  Cabbil  Millis Athletic Center (1,214)
High Point, NC
Jan 21, 2018
2:00 pm, Stadium
UNC Asheville L 68–84  12–9
(3–5)
 19  James   8  Homesley   5  Homesley  Vines Center (2,426)
Lynchburg, VA
Jan 23, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Campbell L 85–94  12–10
(3–6)
 24  Pacheco-Ortiz   6  Kemrite   4  Pacheco-Ortiz  Vines Center (2,452)
Lynchburg, VA
Jan 27, 2018
4:00 pm
at Presbyterian W 81–66  13–10
(4–6)
 21  Kemrite   7  James   6  Pacheco-Ortiz  Templeton Center (493)
Clinton, SC
Feb 1, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Winthrop W 77–61  14–10
(5–6)
 21  James   8  James   5  Pacheco-Ortiz  Vines Center (2,422)
Lynchburg, VA
Feb 3, 2018
2:00 pm
at Longwood W 67–55  15–10
(6–6)
 26  James   10  James   4  Homesley  Willett Hall (1,807)
Farmville, VA
Feb 7, 2018
7:30 pm, ESPN3
at Charleston Southern L 75–87  15–11
(6–7)
 15  Cabbil   6  James   4  Pacheco-Ortiz  CSU Field House (725)
North Charleston, SC
Feb 10, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Gardner–Webb W 77–65  16–11
(7–7)
 15  Tied   9  Tied   7  Cabbil  Vines Center (3,197)
Lynchburg, VA
Feb 15, 2018
7:00 pm
at UNC Ahseville W 82–69 OT 17–11
(8–7)
 23  James   15  James   6  Cuffee  Kimmel Arena (1,719)
Asheville, NC
Feb 18, 2018
2:00 pm, ESPN3
at Campbell L 69–79  17–12
(8–8)
 14  Kemrite   6  Tied   4  3 tied  Gore Arena (2,126)
Buies Creek, NC
Feb 22, 2018
7:00 pm, ESPN3
Radford L 50–63  17–13
(8–9)
 15  James   4  Pacheco-Ortiz   6  Cabbil  Vines Center (2,669)
Lynchburg, VA
Feb 24, 2018
2:00 pm, ESPN3
High Point W 65–45  18–13
(9–9)
 21  James   7  James   5  Pacheco-Ortiz  Vines Center (3,517)
Lynchburg, VA
Big South Tournament
Mar 1, 2018
9:30 pm, ESPN3
(5) vs. (4) Campbell
Quarterfinals
W 73–59  19–13
 14  Tied   9  James   2  3 tied  Kimmel Arena (2,276)
Asheville, NC
Mar 2, 2018
8:30 pm, ESPN3
(5) at (1) UNC Asheville
Semifinals
W 69–64  20–13
 18  James   14  James   3  Cabbil  Kimmel Arena (2,318)
Asheville, NC
Mar 4, 2018
1:00 pm, ESPN
(5) at (2) Radford
Championship game
L 52–55  20–14
 20  James   13  James   7  Cabbil  Dedmon Center (3,859)
Radford, VA
CIT
Mar 12, 2018*
6:00 pm, CBSSN
North Carolina A&T
First round – Jim Phelan Classic
W 65–52  21–14
 16  Homesley   12  James   3  Tied  Vines Center (486)
Lynchburg, VA
Mar 24, 2018*
2:00 pm
Central Michigan
Quarterfinals
W 84–71  22–14
 20  James   9  James   13  Cabbil  Vines Center (476)
Lynchburg, VA
Mar 28, 2018*
7:00 pm, CBSSN
UIC
Semifinals
L 51–67  22–15
 13  Cabbil   9  Tied   3  Tied  Vines Center (2,248)
Lynchburg, VA
*Non-conference game. #Rankings from AP Poll. (#) Tournament seedings in parentheses.
All times are in Eastern Time..

[2]

ReferencesEdit