Keegan McDowell, Jay Barber, and Elijah Cuffee have all signed.
The early signing period for men’s basketball begins today and runs through November 16th. Coach McKay and the Flames have 4 early verbals in the class of 2017, Jay Barber, Elijah Cuffee, Keegan McDowell, and Brendan Newton.
Jay Barber, the son of Liberty athletic director Jeff Barber, committed to Coach McKay last August. Barber attends LCA and is a knock-down 3-point shooter.
McKay on Barber: “I have a great deal of respect for Jay, given his father’s position and the inherent burden of expectation I watched him mature and develop as a person and a player for the last nine-plus years. Jay is a very persistent, hard-working player that is arguably one are the best shooters in the region. I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished in high school and really look forward to coaching him in college.”
Elijah Cuffee committed to Liberty while on his official visit during the weekend of the Montana football game last September. Cuffee transferred to Liberty Christian Academy in Lynchburg this summer for his senior season. He is a 2-time first team all-state player at Poca High School in West Virginia. He helped lead Poca to the Class AA state title in 2015 and were the runners-up in 2016. He led the team in scoring last season at 19.8 points per game. At LCA, Cuffee will be a teammate Jay Barber. Cuffee also has offers from Longwood, Marshall, Winthrop, and Texas Tech.
McKay on Cuffee: “You want to talk about a player who impacts the outcome of the game – just watch Elijah play. He’s got a great motor, he’s an incredibly versatile player, he effects winning, and does it was such fluidity and passion you can’t help but to admire his work.”
The Flames picked up a commitment from Keegan McDowell in April. The 6’5″ wing also had offers from Appalachian State and St. Francis (PA). McDowell is from Cincinnati, Ohio where he attends Moeller High. As a junior, McDowell earned All-GCL South 2nd team honors after averaging 9.3 points and 4 rebounds per contest while shooting 46% from 3-point range. He’s the younger brother of Quinn McDowell who is one of William & Mary’s all-time greats. Quinn finished his career 6th on the Tribe’s all-time scoring list, scoring over 1,600 career points. The older McDowell was also the first CAA men’s basketball player to be named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award, was a 2-time All-CAA performer, and finished 3rd all-time at William & Mary shooting 40.2% from 3 in his career.
McKay on McDowell: “Keegan McDowell will be one of those players that people will one day say ‘Wow, that kid is a steal!’. “He comes from an incredibly well-coached program, really has a great understanding of the game and he fits perfectly into our system and culture.”
Brendan Newton is a 7’2″, 200 pound center from Roanoke, Virginia. When he originally committed to the Flames in May, he was a 4 star rated prospect according to ESPN. ESPN, Rivals, and Scout all currently rate Newton as a 3 star prospect. Newton also had offers from Appalachian State and Longwood. He finished his junior season as the VACA Player of the Year while helping lead his team to a 32-1 record. Faith Christian won the school’s first ever state title and also claimed a national championship. Newton averaged 21 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 4 blocks per game while shooting 65% from the field.