After a season in which Liberty basketball fell short of making the NCAA tournament and said farewell to LU legend Darius McGhee, we now turn our sights to the 2023-24 season, a season in which the Flames basketball team will have some new faces and the style of basketball played will likely look a little different from the last time we saw them take the court.

What can we expect from these new players and how might they fit into the team dynamic? Today, we start with Kaden Metheny, a 5’11 junior transfer guard from Bowling Green.

Metheny is a college veteran, appearing in 64 games over the course of 3 seasons for the Falcons, starting 63 of them and averaging around 30 minutes per game. He earned MAC All-Freshman honors in 2021 and clearly earned the trust of his coaches from the beginning. He has averaged 9.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists over the course of his college career. Last season, he shot 38.2% from deep while taking 6.2 threes per game. 

On a higher volume of jump shots last season (85.4% of his shots were jumpers), he was very efficient and ranked in the 86th percentile overall (95th on catch and shoot opportunities). He converted an impressive 43.9% of threes of the catch while shooting 48% on mid range shots off the dribble.

His form is quick off the catch and flows right out of his hand with a pop that is common amongst the best shooters. This kind of shooting versatility comes at a good time, one where Liberty has lost its elite shot-creator and is looking to replace that role from a compilation of different areas.

Though Metheny was below average with shots at the rim, his spacing can open opportunities for others and make for an offense that can attack and move with weapons across the arc. The bulk of his offensive load came from spot up shots and as the ball handler in pick and rolls, showing that he is comfortable being a lead ball handler on some possessions in addition to being a floor spacer and taking advantage of collapsing defenses.

Though on the smaller side, Metheny used screens and rose up over defenders to hit some real tough mid range shots, oftentimes while fading and having a hand in his face. He can hit some real tough shots, even against bigger defenders.

His experience playmaking out of the P&R could be leaned on this season. There were quite a few times this past year where, as his big came up to screen for him, the defender would jump out to hedge and Metheny would make a quick, decisive pass through/around the bigger defenders before they could react to find the open man and catch the defense off balance.

This kind of movement combined with his efficient shot making could potentially be a big part of the Liberty offense this year. Outside of Darius, the team last year needed more creation and Metheny should supplement that need. He was top 3 in both points and assists for Bowling Green last year despite being 8th on the team in usage percentage. He makes the most of his possessions and the tools he brings could be a huge addition for this squad.