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MBB Game Day Central: Randolph College
The Liberty men's basketball team begins its campaign to defend its Big South championship, when it opens the 2013-14 season, Friday night, inside the Vines Center. Head coach Dale Layer and the Flames play host to fellow Lynchburg competitor Randolph College. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. The contest caps off Liberty's Flames Fan Fest, which includes the Lady Flames volleyball match (5 p.m.) and numerous fan activities (6-9 p.m.).
Guess Who's Back, Back Again – Redshirt senior Antwan Burrus returns to the Flames' active lineup, this year, after missing the entire 2012-13 season due to injury. The big man is 234 tallies shy of becoming the 24th member of Liberty's 1,000-point club and needs nine blocked shots to overtake the No. 2 spot on Liberty's all-time list.
The Grand Marshall – Fresh off a record-breaking year, senior point guard and Big South Championship MVP Davon Marshall is looking to pick up where he left off last season. The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native is also coming off a productive offseason in which he played five games in Jamaica alongside Burrus with Athletes in Action.
Mr. 1,000 – Coming off a year in which he became the 23rd member of Liberty's 1,000-point club, John Caleb Sanders has the opportunity to climb the program's record books even further. Tied for No. 21 on Liberty's all-time scoring list, Sanders needs 223 more tallies to crack the top 15 and surpass his older brother Jesse.
Big Men on Campus – Liberty enters the season with a considerable amount of depth in the front court compared to recent years. With Burrus back in the mix, other post players include JR Coronado, Joel Vander Pol, Andrew Smith, Tomasz Gielo and Sommy Ogukwe.
Senior Citizens – Liberty's lineup contains an abundance of veteran leadership, featuring six seniors on the squad – Antwan Burrus, JR Coronado, Davon Marshall, Casey Roberts, John Caleb Sanders and Joel Vander Pol. Apart from Burrus, who was inactive last season, the group accounted for 60 percent of the team's scoring (1,497-of-2,489 points) and 54 percent of rebounds (695-of-1,278 boards) in 2012-13.
Been there, done that, got the T-shirt ... Let's do it again! – Liberty returns 12-of-14 players from its 2013 Big South Championship team, including nine players who were active along with Antwan Burrus, Ethan Layer and Wesley Alcegaire (each redshirted 2012-13 season).