At 6’7 and 190 pounds, Ben Southerland displays a profile of length and skill that is valuable on this Liberty team.

Though a Division 1 signee in his final season of high school, his role on offense was not necessarily a ball dominant one even though he was the team’s leading scorer, but one that found ways to score through solid outside shooting and intelligent movement around the court.

This flexibility allows Southerland to hypothetically fit in many different lineups and compliment each one. He is comfortable waiting in the corner while the lead ball handler looks to create and he is patient for his opportunity to come to him.

Though not a lead ball handler, Southerland shows some promise as a secondary playmaker. After catching a pass, he reads defensive spacing quickly and gets the ball to the open man without missing a beat. Though he can be beaten off the dribble on defense by quicker guards, his length and motor help him recover and disrupt drives to the basket.

He has good anticipation when a player goes up to score. He likes to roam off the ball on defense and is a good help defender when a perimeter defender has been beaten. He had 29 blocks over the course of the season while the next highest block total by a player on his team was 3.

His role may be a bit different defensively for the Flames but he has the instincts to protect the rim if put in that position. Southerland finds his spots around the perimeter on offense and he has an ultra smooth stroke off the catch when the ball is swung to him.

Though he did not handle the ball much, his quick decisions when receiving the ball around the perimeter and in the post presented repeated scoring opportunities for teammates. He does not force his own offense and plays his role within the scheme of the offense even as the star player at his school.

Southerland’s passing as a forward/wing is impressive in the little things he does well. After getting a defensive rebound he immediately has his eyes down the court to give an outlet and start a fast break opportunity. Playing the high post with a big on the block, he places passes where only the big can get it and have good position for a post scoring opportunity. These little things are fundamental skills that may seem simple, but if done well are a valuable tool to any player.

Southerland also really popped off the screen when driving to the basket. He attacks with a fearlessness and tenacity that can catch defenders off guard and create free throw opportunities. He seems comfortable with taking contact and is unafraid to get physical. He gets vertical on these drives and can finish over the top of smaller defenders. Southerland is long enough yet quick enough to switch across positions on defense, a cog in the machine of the Liberty defense that is always welcome. 

Southerland is an exiting addition to this squad. He brings a lot of skill to the wing position and it will be interesting to see his role expand as he familiarizes himself with the schemes of Coach McKay. Even if he does not play right away, he will be someone to watch going forward as the Wing position is filled after the departure of Keegan McDowell.