We are a little over a week away from the start of the men’s basketball season. We continue our preseason coverage by previewing what to expect out of each of the three position groups – wings, guards, and forwards. Today, we begin by looking at the wings. Our preview of the guards and forwards will follow over the next few days.
After signing in the early signing period in November 2014 under former head coach Dale Layer, Caleb Homesley was a huge unknown entering his freshman season a year ago. Things seemed to click for Caleb beginning December 29th at Notre Dame where he scored 18 points. Over the course of the season’s final 18 games, he became a starter and averaged 9.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.With his length and athletic ability, Homesley has the ability to be an all-conference performer.
Ryan Kemrite started 28 of 32 games a season ago while he shot over 40% from 3. He finished 4th on the team in scoring, averaging 8.3 points per game. Perhaps his biggest area of improvement during his sophomore season was his leadership ability on a young team, and his hard work and hustle on the defensive end of the floor.
Over the final 8 games of the season, A.C. Reid led the team in scoring averaging 13.3 points per game. He has the ability to get hot, evidenced by 10 games where he made 3 or 3-pointers. In 5 of those games, he connected on 5 or more 3s. Reid also had an 18-point half against Charleston Southern and a 17-point half against Winthrop. It will be interesting to see if McKay continues to use A.C. as a spark plug coming off the bench, or if he’s able to become more consistent and crack the starting lineup.
Brock Gardner chose Liberty over offers from Air Force, Central Arkansas, Columbia, Dartmouth, Lehigh, UC Davis, and UTEP. The 6’7″, 210 pound prospect is from Chandler, Arizona. Liberty’s coaching staff expects him to make an immediate impact on the team this season. “Brock is probably the most acclaimed recruit (we brought in this year),” McKay said. “Brock has got good size. He’s got a knack to score the ball, and he’s fearless. Brock is fearless. We targeted him fairly early in the process, and feel really fortunate that Liberty was a place where he would want to continue his career as a student athlete and as a basketball player.”
Looking at the wings is a prime example of how much competition there is for playing time this season. Homesley, Kemrite, and Reid combined to play 72 minutes per game a season ago, and that was with Homesley playing just 20 minutes per game which is sure to increase this year. Gardner will get some playing time as well. Another thing to watch with this group, is how much time, if any, more than 2 of them are on the court together. These guys offer McKay plenty of flexibility as the Flames could go big by putting one of them at the off guard spot, or could go small by putting one of them at the center spot.