The Liberty Flames began this season needing to replace four seniors who were part of the winningest group of players in program history. McKay recruited a freshman foursome that he’s turned to to fill in some of those spots left vacated. As we’re roughly halfway through the season, let’s take a look at the freshmen’s progress through the season so far.
The 6’7″ forward impressed during camp and wowed us all to begin the season with 19 points on a perfect 7 of 7 shooting and 3 for 3 from three in his collegiate debut against Purdue. He followed that up with 10 points in his second outing against Mississippi State, and everyone thought the Flames had the unquestioned ASUN Freshman of the Year. Since that time, Abii has seen his minutes decrease and has been moved to coming off the bench. Outside of his 17 points against Carver College, Abii has not scored more than 6 points in a game since those first two contests. He played 9 minutes in each of the two games against Lipscomb to begin the conference season, and he will continue to be a key member off the bench behind Blake Preston who has established himself as the starter in the post. The talent he showcased early in the season is still there, he’s just having to learn the Packline and adjust to the collegiate game.
Dobbs has been a very steady contributor off the bench behind Chris Parker and Darius McGhee to provide some quality minutes in the backcourt. He’s able to slowly find his spots and fill a role on the team desperately needed. Last time out against the Bisons, Dobbs had arguably the best game of his young collegiate career with 5 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist in just 8 minutes of action.
Jackson missed the first 8 games as he recovered from mono. In his first game against South Carolina State on Dec. 15, he made two three pointers, and proceeded to do so in each of his first three games on the court as he made exactly two three pointers against Carver and Alcorn State, as well. It will be interesting to see how many minutes he gets during conference play as he was limited to just 9 total minutes against Lipscomb last weekend, making 1 of 3 three pointers he attempted on the weekend. He’s a three point specialist, and when he comes in, he will be looking to make an impact from behind the arc.
Coming into the program as the highest rated recruit in school history, there were a lot of expectations on Warfield. He’s shown flashes of his potential, scoring 10 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 1 block, and 1 steal against Columbia International. Warfield didn’t record any stats in his first 5 games played before catching his wind when he scored those 10 points. Since then, Warfield has had two games with 5 points, against Carver and Alcorn State. It’s easy to see the potential with Warfield, and his length and frame are impressive. He has the ability to be a lock down defender in the coming years, he may just have to wait for his time.