Coach McKay continues to beef up Liberty’s 2018-19 men’s basketball non-conference schedule, this time with traditional blue-blood UCLA. The Bruins announced their non-conference schedule on Wednesday, which included a home date with Liberty on December 29th.
This will be the first ever meeting between the Flames and the 11-time NCAA Champions. The game will be played in the historic Pauley Pavilion, the on-campus home of UCLA basketball since 1965. In 2011, the arena underwent a $136 million renovation. The Bruins are led by 6th year head coach Steve Alford who has taken UCLA to the Sweet 16 in 3 of his 5 seasons. Alford and the Bruins are coming off a 21-12 record in 2017-18 which included a trip to the NCAA Tournament where they lost in the First Four.
UCLA is bringing in the 6th best recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports. The 6 person class includes Shareef O’Neal, the son of NBA all-time great Shaquille O’Neal.
Navy also released their schedule on Thursday, and the Midshipmen will host the Flames on November 28th. Navy won 20 games a season ago.
Other games previously announced as part of the Liberty non-conference slate includes a December 18th meeting against Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama as part of the Rocket City Classic, a trip to Nashville to take on Vanderbilt, a November 16th game at Kent State, a December 11th game in at home against South Carolina State, and a December 1st meeting in the Vines Center with Georgia State. UCLA, Alabama, and Georgia State all advanced to the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Liberty will also play host to the University of Maine at Fort Kent, a member of the USCAA, on November 8th and Kentucky Christian on December 15th.
Liberty Non-Conference Schedule (what has been confirmed to this point)
11/08 vs Maine at Fort Kent
11/16 @ Kent State
11/28 @ Navy
12/01 vs Georgia State
12/11 vs South Carolina State
12/15 vs Kentucky Christian
12/18 vs Alabama (in Huntsville, AL)
12/29 @ UCLA
TBD @ Vanderbilt