Another edition of the ASOR Mailbag! Thank you for submitting your questions and continue to send them in and we will be happy to answer them in our next feature. You can send them to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, e-mail, or as a comment on the site. We had a ton of great questions this week, so let’s get right to it.

Oh man, we’re all over the place here talking men’s hoops, women’s hoops and football! Love it, thanks for the questions!

There has been some chatter (ASOR Club members have known this for some time based on our Rumor Mill) since the end of the men’s basketball season about Darius McGhee considering using his COVID year and coming back for next season. Yes, there is a chance he comes back next year.

As for your question about women’s hoops and the transfer portal, we have not heard of any movement to this point.

Yes, the football team does have a few scholarships available for the 2022 season. Coach Freeze always likes to keep some in his back pocket for the spring and summer in case any can’t miss targets become available in the transfer portal such as happened last summer with Storey Jackson who ended up leading the team in tackles. If nothing matriculates, Freeze and the coaching staff will likely hand out those available scholarships during fall camp to walk-ons that earn them.

News about future football schedules will continue to trickle out. We won’t likely have a full and completed 2023 schedule announced until after the 2022 season is in the books. In the past, Conference USA has announced their schedules around December or January prior to the season, so that’s likely what we’re looking at this year. There’s a chance we may be able to piece together the non-conference portion of the schedule prior to that, but this should be the new expectation going forward. Most of the time we won’t know our completed schedule until the December or January prior to the football season. It’s a different frame of mind we have to adjust to rather than knowing our full and complete football schedules as an Independent multiple years in advance.

As for public information requests, I’m sure everyone has their own schedule and reasons for sending those requests. For ASOR, since we can’t go straight to Liberty with a public information request since it is a private institution, we typically send out those requests twice a year.

We will likely get our best look at how the quarterbacks have progressed this spring on Saturday during the spring game. Spring practice is very limited with what is made available for the media to attend, and those portions that have been open it hasn’t allowed for much of a read into how this quarterback battle is shaking out. However, based upon some of the chatter we have heard around the team, I personally think Charlie Brewer and Kaidon Salter have emerged as the top two candidates. I could be wrong, but this is what I think is happening.

If Freeze had to pick a starter today, I think it would be Brewer with a small package for Salter to get his feet wet in the early games. For those that were around back during Buckshot Calvert’s true freshman season, I think we could see something similar happen. That year, the returner, Stephon Masha, was named the starter to begin the season and he started the first few games while Buckshot got at least one series each game. After a few games, it became apparent that the offense was not progressing behind Masha and the reigns were fully handed over to Buckshot. I wouldn’t be shocked if that was the game plan entering the 2022 season with Brewer being the starter and Salter getting some reps each game.

We haven’t gotten an update on football season ticket numbers yet, other than they are trending ahead of last year’s numbers. We don’t normally get an update until the summer as it’s just too early to get a real good read on how they will do.

As for averaging 20,000, just for context sake, last year’s home attendance averaged 17,608 while 2019 had an average of 18,272. That number was strengthened by the season opener against Syracuse when the attendance was 21,671. Averaging 20k would be a decent step up. It could happen and the home games against BYU and Virginia Tech should both exceed 20,000. Typically the home opener draws well, and with the Flames opening up their home slate against a strong UAB team, that game could push 20k. If it does, then the average should be right around 20k for the season.

It was just about time for our most popular mailbag question of all time to be asked again! Haha, seriously though, go look back over the years at our previous mailbags and this question is asked frequently. Liberty currently has 20 NCAA Division I sports. That surpasses most all of their counterparts in the ASUN and in the Conference USA. Many G5 programs don’t have 20 NCAA Division I sponsored sports. That’s one way to answer this question that has been answered frequently. If you want a different variation, like I said, go back and look at our previous mailbags. But, no, I don’t see hockey moving up to NCAA any time soon.

The first few weeks of the season it looked like baseball was set to have its best season in school history and a real threat to make Omaha. Since the North Carolina game, everything has flipped. It’s been quite the change, as after the UNC game, I thought this was a legit top 15 team that had a chance to not just make a regional but to host one. Now, it seems more like this team is a middle to top of the pack ASUN team that will be scratching and clawing for each and every win. The truth is likely somewhere in between.

The two biggest question marks that have arisen during this slump has been with starting pitching and timely hits. More often than not, the starters have failed to reach the 5th or 6th inning, forcing Scott Jackson to stretch his bullpen. It has also forced him to try to shake up the weekend rotation. Additionally, the Flames have been able to get guys on base but coming up with that clutch hit when needed has been much more uncommon. If these two things can get corrected, the team can be right back on track to win the ASUN and make a regional.