The Liberty Flames have started the basketball season at 3-3 with a disappointing three game losing streak sandwiched between wins over Regent, Bethune Cookman, and Maryland Eastern Shore. It has left the Flames wondering where the season will end, and if the team can compete for a fourth straight ASUN championship.

It history is any indicator, head coach Ritchie McKay will figure things out and push the right buttons to have this team trending upwards by the start of conference play and heading into the conference tournament. There have been some positive and some negative takeaways through the first few weeks of the season.

Let’s check out some risers and fallers from the first six games.


Liberty Arena

There has only been one game at the now two year old Liberty Arena where students were in town and full capacity was allowed. It came in this year’s season opener against Regent when there was a sellout crowd of 4,000 in attendance. That place was rocking for opening night. It’s a beautiful arena and hopefully you have had a chance to come out. If not, be sure to get your tickets for Thursday night’s game against Missouri now, there are less than 100 available. It will be a special night.

Keegan McDowell’s offense

Keegan has come out guns blazing from behind the arc so far this season as he is shooting 50% from behind the arc through the team’s first six games. He has reached double figures in the scoring column in each of the past three games. The Flames desperately need a consistent, reliable second scorer behind Darius McGhee, and Kegan could prove to be that guy. He’s always been a streaky shooter that could provide a scoring punch off the bench at times, but he could grow into much more during his senior season.

Shiloh Robinson

We saw the flashes of Shiloh’s defensive ability last season, especially towards the end of the year. He has continued that and has become nearly impossible for Coach McKay to take off the floor. We’ve always said if he could provide a reliable offensive game to his ability then he would be an all-conference performer. He scored a career-high 13 points on Saturday night against Maryland Eastern Shore. Hopefully it’s a start of things to come for the junior forward.

DJ Moore

Just a few weeks ago, Moore was redshirting and the Flames were moving on without his services this season. It was expected as the point guard enrolled at Liberty a year early out of high school. But, McKay determined that Moore provided something the Flames needed this season. His shirt was pulled after the LSU game and he has played in the past four games. While his minutes have been hovering around 10-11 per game so far, expect that to continue to increase throughout the year as Moore gets more experience under his belt.

Isiah Warfield

Warfield is the highest rated recruit Liberty has ever signed, and he saw limited playing time during his true freshman campaign last season. With highly touted Brody Peebles and Joseph Venzant joining the team at guard and expected to compete for playing time immediately, there were questions around Warfield’s role this season. Well, in recent games he has proven that he is a valuable asset on the floor for this team this season. If you look at his numbers so far this year, they might not tell the whole story for Warfield’s contributions this year. He has proven to bring an energy off the bench this team has desperately needed so far this year. He’s also tied for the team lead with seven steals despite only playing nine minutes per game. Warfield’s length and athleticism allow him to be one of the team’s top defenders. Look for his role to continue to increase.


Darius McGhee’s 3-point shooting

I’m not worried about McGhee’s three-point shooting. He will get out of this slump, but the reigning ASUN Player of the Year has been in a shooting slump most of the season. He is only making 28.6% of his shots from behind the arc, yet he has still managed to find a way to make an impact on the team with his team-leading 18.3 points per game. McGhee is having to deal with teams constantly throwing a second defender at him. He will figure it out.

Drake Dobbs’ playing time

Dobbs was expected to be the team’s starting point guard this season after Chris Parker filled in for a year following the career of Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz. He has yet to be that guy for Liberty this season, and with DJ Moore no longer redshirting, Dobbs will see his playing time continue to dwindle. He’s averaging just eight minutes per game through the first six games. We will see if he can remain in the rotation as the season progresses.


Turnovers have been the team’s Achilles’ heel so far this season. The Flames had 21 turnovers at LSU and 15 against Manhattan, both key reasons why the team lost that game. Liberty will constantly see teams looking to put pressure on them, whether it’s with full court pressure or just in the half court. The Flames will have to learn to deal with that pressure and overcome it to get where this team hopes to be by the end of the season.