Liberty is in South Carolina this week to participate in the 2023 Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Flames will take part in the eight-team tournament where all three of Liberty’s games will be televised on an ESPN network. The games will be played on the campus of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina at the HTC Center.

The Flames will open the week against Furman on Thursday evening at approximately 7:00 p.m. and then will play either Wichita State or Coastal Carolina on Friday evening. The teams in this year’s tournament are currently a combined 16-1.

Previous tournament champions of the Myrtle Beach Invitational include UMass (2022), Utah State (2021), Baylor (2019), and UCF (2018). Three teams in the 2022 Myrtle Beach Invitational competed in the post-season. Boise State and Texas A&M advanced to the NCAA Tournament while Charlotte captured the CBI title.

“This is what we want,” said Liberty head coach Ritchie McKay of the Myrtle Beach Invitational. “This is our lot. That whole Myrtle Beach tournament, we share something in common with regard to scheduling. It’s really hard for us to get home games. I think being able to play quality opponents on a neutral floor, or on the road, only prepares your team for conference play when the conference you reside in is really competitive.”

This will be Liberty and McKay’s first trip back to Myrtle Beach and the HTC Center since January 6, 2016 when the Flames defeated Coastal Carolina, 62-61, behind 18 points from John Dawson. That win ended a skid of 15 straight losses against Division I opponents for Liberty.

“I think our guys are looking forward to three games in four days,” McKay stated. “I think it’s a privilege to be in the ESPN Tournaments. You’ve got to be invited to those. I’m really fortunate that the guys that are in our program, the guys that have gone before, earned us the opportunity to be in a really competitive event.”

Here’s a quick preview on each of the teams competing in this year’s Myrtle Beach Invitational this week. Rankings are from KenPom.

#65 LIBERTY (2-0)

  • Liberty enters the Conference USA as an established mid major program and will look to get back to the Big Dance after a two year hiatus.
  • Wins: MidAtlantic Christian, Charlotte
  • Losses: N/A

#98 FURMAN (2-0)

  • Coming off a 28-8 season, Furman won the SoCon regular season and conference tournament last year. The Paladins went on to beat Virginia in the NCAA Tourney. Head coach Bob Richey’s squad is the preseason favorite to win the SoCon this year.
  • Wins: Belmont, North Greenville
  • Losses: N/A

#104 WICHITA STATE (3-0)

  • Paul Mills has made the transition from head coach at Oral Roberts to leading Wichita State this year. They have gotten off to a strong start through the first week of the season after the storied program missed out on the postseason the past two seasons.
  • Wins: Lipscomb, Western Kentucky, Friends
  • Losses: N/A

#128 SAINT LOUIS (3-0)

  • Travis Ford is in his 8th season at Saint Louis, and he has helped lead them to 20 win seasons in four of the last five years.
  • Wins: Southern Indiana, Lincoln, Illinois State
  • Losses: N/A

#134 VERMONT (2-0)

  • Under John Becker, Vermont has become one of the best mid-major programs in the country, winning 20+ games in all 10 of his years leading the program not counting the shortened 2020-21 season due to COVID. The Catamounts have made it to five NCAA Tournaments and two straight.
  • Wins: Merrimack, Plattsburgh State
  • Losses: N/A

#136 CHARLESTON (1-1)

  • Former Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey has got things rolling at Charleston in his third season there. The Cougars are coming off a season in which they won 31 games and advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a 12-seed.
  • Wins: Iona
  • Losses: Duquesne

#209 WYOMING (2-0)

  • The Cowboys had a disappointing campaign last year, limping to a 9-22 season. They have completely made over their roster through the transfer portal under fourth year head coach Jeff Linder and are looking to get back to the Big Dance where they last were in 2022 with a 25-9 record.
  • Wins: Northern New Mexico, Cal Poly
  • Losses: N/A


  • Cliff Ellis is in his 17th season at Coastal Carolina and coming a disappointing 11-20 campaign from last year. The tournament hosts will look to have a strong showing on their home floor this week.
  • Wins: Piedmont
  • Losses: N/A