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Liberty Basketball: 2021-22 season preview and outlook for Flames

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 19: Elijah Cuffee #10 of the Liberty Flames celebrates with teammates against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second half in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 19: Elijah Cuffee #10 of the Liberty Flames celebrates with teammates against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the second half in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on March 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Darius McGhee Liberty Basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Darius McGhee Liberty Basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Starting Five

PG: Drake Dobbs – Sophomore

Dobbs was one of the Flame’s key reserves last year. He played in all 29 games, averaging three points, one rebound, and one assist on 50% shooting and 45% from behind the arc. Dobbs has the potential to be one of the best shooters and playmakers in the A-Sun. With Chris Parker graduating, I think we will see a breakout season from the sophomore.

SG: Darius McGhee – Senior

McGhee is not only one of the best players in the A-Sun, but one of the best players in all of college basketball. McGhee averaged 15 points, four assists, and two rebounds on 45% from the field and 40% from three. McGhee is a lights out shooter that can get hot at any moment from the court. Expect McGhee to be averaging close to 20 points a game this season.

SF: Kyle Rode – Junior

Rode has been a key contributor for Ritchie McKay the last two seasons. Rode averaged seven points, four rebounds, and two assists on 48% shooting and 37% from three. Rode is a pretty solid defensive player and a consistent three-point shooter. Look for the junior scoring averages to go up with the more touches he gets.

PF- Micaiah Abii – Sophomore

Abii started the first seven games last year as a freshman for the Flames and averaged four points and one rebound. Abii was pretty solid when he started last year but fell out of the rotation going into A-Sun play. The biggest reason was Abii’s struggle to learn Ritchie McKay’s Pack Line defense. But the potential is there, as Abbii had a 19 point performance in last year’s opener against Purdue. With a full off-season to learn the defensive system, look for Abii to play a major role for the Flames this year.

C – Blake Preston – Junior

Preston was the Flames’ second leading for the majority of last year until a little drop-off at the end of the year. Preston averaged nine points, six rebounds, and one assist on 61% shooting. Preston was a monster off the block last year and gave Liberty much-needed physicality in the post. With Parker and Cuffee gone, I expect Preston to average double digits this season.