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Men's Hoops Announces 2010-11 Schedule
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Dale Layer Audio Interview (mp3)
Notre Dame, Texas Tech, South Florida and the South Padre Island Invitational headline the 2010-11 Liberty men's basketball schedule, as announced by head coach Dale Layer.
Layer enters his second season at the helm of the program after leading a young Flames squad, which consisted of 11 underclassmen, to a 15-16 record overall and a 10-8 record in conference play in 2009-10.
Liberty opens the 2010-2011 campaign inside the Vines Center, playing host to NAIA member Virginia Intermont on Nov. 12. After their tangle with Cobras, the Flames head to Notre Dame (Nov. 14), squaring off with the BIG EAST opponent in South Bend, Ind., for the second-straight year.
Last season, Liberty remained within single digits against the Fighting Irish in the opening game of the 2009 Chicago Invitational, until the home team pulled away in the second half with help of center Luke Harangody for the 91-72 final. In this year's rematch, the Irish will not have the presence of Harangody in the post.
From South Bend, Liberty makes the trek to Wilmington, N.C., to face UNC Wilmington (Nov.16). The quick turnarounds continue on Nov. 18, as the Flames return home to host Southern Virginia for the second consecutive season.
Following the brief stay at home, the Flames will spend the majority of their Thanksgiving break in the Lone Star State, as they kick off the South Padre Island Invitational at Texas Tech (Nov. 21). Liberty's inaugural clash with the Red Raiders is also the team's first contest against a Big XII team since Nov. 16, 2006, when the Flames took on Oklahoma.
Leaving Lubbock, Liberty then makes a brief stop in Tampa, Fla., to take on another BIG EAST member in South Florida. The matchup marks the fifth BIG EAST opponent the Flames have faced all-time and the first ever meeting with the Bulls. After the short stay in the Sunshine State, Liberty heads back to Texas to close out the invitational at the South Padre Island Convention Centre. The Flames will face Mississippi Valley State on Nov. 26 and conclude the event against Georgia Southern or Chicago State (Nov. 27).
December marks the start of Big South Conference play, as Liberty opens a four-game homestand with contests against Presbyterian (Dec. 2) and defending Big South champion, Winthrop (Dec. 4). The Flames then dip back into non-conference action, hosting two CAA competitors in back-to-back home games. Liberty meets George Mason on Dec. 11, followed by a meeting with William & Mary on Dec. 18.
Liberty encountered the same CAA tandem in back-to-back fashion during the 2008 season, prevailing in what resulted in two nail biters. After defeating William & Mary in double overtime, 80-74, to win the Thanksgiving Classic (Nov. 28, 2008), the Flames followed up the performance with a 69-66 overtime win against the Patriots on Dec. 1, 2008.
The Flames then hit the road again, playing away from the Vines Center in six of the next nine contests. Liberty plays at Hampton on Dec. 22 and then returns home to host Union College (Dec. 28). Conference play kicks up again to ring in the new year, as the Flames head to Gardner-Webb (Dec. 31) and UNC Asheville (Jan. 2). Liberty's 2011 home slate begins on Jan. 6 against Charleston Southern, followed by a matchup with the 2009-10 regular-season champions, Coastal Carolina (Jan. 8).
The following week, the Flames head to High Point (Jan. 13) and Radford (Jan. 15) to continue conference play. Liberty looks to continue its winning ways at Radford's Dedmon Center, taking three of the last four games from the Highlanders inside the venue. The Flames most recently upset Radford on its home floor on Jan. 23, 2010, squeaking by with a 60-55 win.
The Flames will step back into the Vines Center for a three-game homestand against VMI (Jan. 20), UNC Asheville (Jan. 27) and Gardner-Webb (Jan. 29). Shortly after returning from its annual beach swing versus Coastal Carolina (Feb. 3) and Charleston Southern (Feb. 5), Liberty concludes its conference home schedule against Radford (Feb. 10) and High Point (Feb. 12). The Flames then finish up the regular season with three-straight road contests against VMI (Feb. 22), Winthrop (Feb. 24) and Presbyterian (Feb. 26).
The Big South Men's Basketball Championship begins with the quarterfinals on March 1 at the home of the higher seed. The semifinals, which will be broadcast on ESPNU, will be played at the site of the regular-season champion on March 3. One of the ESPN Family of Networks will broadcast the championship game on March 5 at the home of the highest remaining seed. The NCAA Tournament starts March 15, with the first two rounds being played at various locations across the country.
All television assignments and game times will be announced at a later date.