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Flames' Preseason Practice Begins

October 16, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Head coach Dale Layer instructs James Spencer (pictured center) and the rest of the Liberty men's basketball team during the first practice of the 2009-10 season.

Head coach Dale Layer instructs James Spencer (pictured center) and the rest of the Liberty men's basketball team during the first practice of the 2009-10 season.

Staying true to the idiom, "ladies first," the Liberty men's basketball team took the courts at the Schilling Center at approximately 6:30 p.m. Friday evening, following the Lady Flames' 5 p.m. practice. The two-hour session marked the first official practice of the 2009-10 season.

With 11 underclassmen on the roster, new head coach Dale Layer and the youthful Flames will have four weeks of prep time before their season opener against George Mason Nov. 13. Liberty will begin its 2009-10 campaign on the road, as the Flames invade the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va., at 7:30 p.m.

Picked to finish seventh in the Big South this season, Liberty returns two starters from last year's squad. Kyle Ohman, the Flames' third-leading scorer last season, is one of two seniors on the roster. The Pennsylvania native posted 13.9 points per game and led the team from behind the three-point line, ranking 26th in the nation in three-point efficiency with a shooting percentage of 41.5.

Joining Ohman is Liberty's 2008-09 assist leader, Jesse Sanders. As a freshman, Sanders chipped in 6.9 points per game and ranked No. 22 in the country with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4.

Among the Flames' newcomers are five true freshmen ? guards Evan Gordon and Chris Perez, forwards Antwan Burrus and Patrick Konan, and center Joel Vander Pol. Also putting on a Flames jersey for the first time are sophomore transfer David Minaya and junior forward Taylor Jensen.

Check in with LibertyFlames.com each week for complete preseason coverage of the 2009-10 Flames, leading up to tip-off against George Mason.