This is the first in a series of posts on the returning Liberty Flame basketball players, their performance last year, and their prospects for this one.


We start today with JR Coronado. Coronado started 32 of 36 games in his first season at Liberty after coming in from the Junior College ranks. He immediately provided a presence on the glass the Flames missed with Antwan Burrus being injured. Coronado led the Flames in rebounds (295), rebound average (8.2), defensive rebounds (207), and offensive rebounds (88). The Venezuelan native set a Liberty Vines Center record for most rebounds in a single game with 18 on February 23rd against Austin Peay. He also was able to defend the paint as he recorded a team-high 26 blocked shots on the year.

The biggest weakness in JR’s game was obviously on the offensive side of the court. He scored in double figures in just 3 games during the season with a season high of 14 points against Union. Thanks to, 77% of Coronado’s field goal attempts were at the rim, but he shot just 55% on those field goal attempts. Comparatively speaking, Joel Vander Pol shot 57% and Sommy Ogukwe shot 67% on their field goal attempts at the rim. For the season, Coronado shot a respectable 48% from the field but only 54.8% from the charity stripe.

This season Coronado needs to become more efficient on offense. He will never be a featured man, but when he gets his opportunities he needs to capitalize. If he is able to shoot 60% on his field goal attempts at the rim, and improve his free throwing shooting to over 60%, JR could easily average a double-double this season.

Another interesting facet to watch will be if Burrus and Coronado play alongside one another for extended periods of game action. If they do, how will they play together?