Since taking over the Liberty basketball program on April 1, 2015, Ritchie McKay has repeatedly referred to the building of a program as a process. Following the season ending loss to UNC-Asheville in the Big South Tournament last week, McKay, AC Reid, and Lovell Cabbil described this process. Here’s how they described it, primarily in their own words:

1. “We’re in that process mode”mckay1

McKay said we’re in the process mode of building a program. “It takes a while to build a program.” He compared it to his stint at Virginia where the Cavaliers were 31-31 in Tony Bennett’s first 2 seasons. Virginia has since strung together 5 consecutive 20+ win seasons, and could finish this year with 30 wins for the 3rd straight season. Reid described the team’s growth this season as growing as a “brotherhood”, while Cabbil said the team’s “togetherness and chemistry” blossomed.

2. Recruiting: “Better days are on the horizon”mckay

McKay was extremely upbeat when discussing the future. While he didn’t mention any names, we’ve already seen Brock Gardner, Xzavier Barmore, Josiah Talbert, Brody Hicks, and Hayden Koval sign. Elijah Cuffee is a 2017 prospect who has already committed, and maybe a local 7 footer (Brendan Newton) will be in a Liberty uniform in 2017 as well.

3. Consistencyreid

Once the team turned the corner in mid to late January, “the thing we lacked was consistency,” according to Reid. If this team is able to develop consistency, the sky is the limit.

4. “We can’t win when we don’t defend”cabbil mckay

Cabbil put it so bluntly and it’s true. Reid backed him up, “we need to rely on our defense.” McKay was proud of what his players had to say, “They know when we don’t defend it lessens our chance.” He also stressed the pack line takes time, “(the Pack) Defense is based on the ability to accumulate daily habits that you’ve never done before.”

5. “We are headed in the right direction”reid2

McKay is pleased with his team’s progress over the first 11 months he’s been on the job. “Last year wasn’t a good year,” cited A.C., but “we’re going to become a dominant power.” Freshman Lovell Cabbil agreed, “people will be looking for us next year.”