Through the first 10 games of his sophomore season in 2016-17, Caleb Homesley was leading the Flames in all major statistical categories – points, rebounds, assists, and blocks. That versatility led Coach McKay to call Homesley a future all-conference performer, something he’s referenced frequently during his career.
Unfortunately, Homesley went down in the 10th game of the 2016-17 season, suffering a torn ACL for the 2nd time. The injury cost him the rest of that campaign and he was eased into the rotation last year. Despite being back to 100% this past summer, he still wasn’t quite playing at the level we saw in 2016 when this season began.
There were flashes. He scored 16 points on a couple of occasions late in the season last year. He had a team-high 19 points earlier this season in a big win over Georgia State and then a career-high 23 against Alabama. But it wasn’t consistent. Caleb still had games where he struggled, like a 2 point performance on 1-of-6 shooting against Kent State. Or when he was just 2-for-9 shooting for 4 points against Savannah State.
“It’s hard going from playing the way you know you can play, to not producing the way you know you can,” Homesley said. “I think that has to do with the confidence in yourself. Once you get the confidence in yourself, I believe you can play the way you want to play.”
Homesley broke out with 21 points to help lead the Flames to a huge win at UCLA. He’s gone on to reach double figures in 11-of-14 games since then, including a current streak of 8 straight in double digits, the longest such streak of his career. This stretch has been eerily similar to the 10 game stretch Homesley had prior to suffering the knee injury in 2016, when he opened the season with double figure scoring performances in 7 of the team’s first 10 games.
“I can say this because I’ve been at this level – he’s ACC good,” McKay said. “When that kid is concentrated on being complete on both ends of the floor, he’s really special. I love what he’s doing. There’s no better story – two knee injuries that could have ended his career. I remember vividly the pain on his face when we were playing Princeton two years ago, the scream he let out when he did it a 2nd time. For him to be where he is right now, I’m really proud of him. He’s easy to root for.”
The 6’6″ guard can play just about every position on the floor. He’s averaging 12.0 points per game, just slightly behind Scottie James for the team lead as the Flames (20-5, 10-1) host Florida Gulf Coast (10-15, 5-5) at 7 p.m. Saturday. With a win, Liberty can become the first ASUN team to sweep FGCU in the regular season since 2015-16.
Over the past 11 games, Homesley is averaging 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists per game, and shooting 51.6% from the field while helping the Flames to a 10-1 mark during that stretch. Liberty is tied for the 3rd most wins in the country during that span, only Villanova and Sam Houston State have 11.
“No question,” McKay said when asked if Homesley is playing like an all-conference player. “Caleb Homesley is a high major player. He can play for money for a long time if he stays healthy. I mean it when I say this, the sky is the limit for him. He’s a special talent.”