Jesse Sanders and the Flames prepare to host the No. 24 ranked Clemson Tigers inside the Vines Center Tuesday morning. The contest is part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Complete Game Notes (PDF format) Live Video Streaming (ESPN 360) Live Flames Sports Network Radio Broadcast Live Stats The Game The Liberty Flames (1-1, 0-0 Big South) host No. 24 Clemson Tuesday at 10 a.m. inside the Vines Center. The brunch time game is part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon, which features 12 consecutive men's NCAA Division I basketball games slated to air beginning at midnight. Last season, the Flames went down to the wire with the Tigers in Littlejohn Coliseum, as Clemson escaped Liberty 80-75. The Flames will have a chance to even the score on ESPN, when they face off with the Tigers in game No. 6 of the network's marathon. The contest marks the fi rst time an ACC team has ever visited the Vines Center. Recent Results The Flames opened the season on the road against George Mason on Friday. Despite rushing out to a 6-0 lead, the Patriots made up the defi cit and led by as much as 19 in the second half. The Flames then rallied to come within four points of George Mason. The Patriots went on to win the contest, 76-72. Liberty returned home the following night, hosting the Southern Virginia Knights. Four Flames reached double digits in the contest with Kyle Ohman leading the way with 15, followed by Chris Perez (14), Tyler Baker (13) and Evan Gordon (11). Head coach Dale Layer picked up his fi rst win at Liberty, as the Flames rolled past the Knights, 89-53. Watch and Listen for the Flames Tuesday's match-up will be televised on ESPN (streamed on ESPN360) with Eric Collins providing the play-byplay and former L.A. Lakers' forward Adrian Branch adding color commentary. There will be a radio broadcast which will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) with Jerry Edwards providing the play-by-play for his 29th season. Additionally, an Internet audio broadcast on LibertyFlames.com will be available. Eying the Tigers Clemson opened their season Friday night with a 84-41 win over Big South member Presbyterian. Tanner Smith scored a team-high 14 points. Last season, Clemson fi nished the 2008-09 campaign with a 23-9 record after starting the season 17-0. The Tigers reached the NCAA tournament, but were eliminated by Michigan in the fi rst round, 62-59. Clemson returns its leading scorer from last season, Trevor Booker, who paved the way for the Tigers' offense, averaging 15.3 ppg. Booker also led the Tigers in rebounds with 311 (9.7 rpg). Among Clemson's other top returnees are guard Demontez Stitt (121 assists, 8.7 ppg) and forward David Potter (4.9 ppg). Liberty-Clemson Series Notes Clemson holds a 4-0 series lead over the Flames. Both teams fi rst met during the 1988-89 season, when the Tigers defeated the Flames, 96-71. The most recent meeting occurred on Dec. 7, 2008 at Littlejohn Coliseum. Liberty led 60-50 with 12:55 remaining in the contest. Clemson came clawing back in the closing minutes, narrowly escaping the Flames, 80-75. Tuesday's meeting will mark the fi rst time Clemson has visited the Vines Center. Watchlist Week Liberty is slated to encounter two members of the 2009-10 Naismith Award Watchlist, Clemson's Trevor Booker and Notre Dame's Luke Harangody. The matchups will occur just five days apart as the Flames play host to Clemson Tuesday and then travel to South Bend, Ind., for a match-up with the Fighting Irish on Sunday. The Naismith Award Watchlist consists of the nation's top 50 players who are selected based on their performances last season and expectations heading into the 2009-10 campaign. The list will be narrowed down to 30 players in February and four fi nalists in March. In addition to making the list, Harangody is also nominated for the 2009-10 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Like Father, Like Son The addition of Evan Gordon to the Flames' roster this season makes him the program's first second-generation player. Evan's father Eric Gordon, Sr., suited up for the Flames from 1981-1984. The three-year letterwinner is currently No. 16 on Liberty's all time scoring list with 1,154 points. While he is the fi rst second-generation Flame, he is not the fi rst player whose father is also in the Liberty men's basketball annals. Mark Manley, who played three seasons with the Flames between 1998 and 2002 is the son of Dan Manley, the program's fi rst head coach (1973-77). From Walk-on to Starter Beginning his collegiate playing career without a scholarship in the 2006-07 season, Kyle Ohman has played the part of walk-on support player, sixth man, starter and is now one of the leaders in the Big South. Last season, Ohman posted a banner year, tallying career highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. Ohman's single game career high in points occurred on Feb. 4, 2009, when he put up 38 at Gardner-Webb. The point total was highest in the country on the day and tied the second highest mark on the road in program history. Ohman's big game followed a pair of contest which earned him the honor of Big South Player of the Week for Jan. 26-Feb. 1. Ohman, who was the only Flame to start all 35 contests last season, fi nshed his junior year among the Big South leaders in six statistical categories. He was also ranked No. 26 in the country in three-point percentage (41.5). Offensive Spark In each of the Flames' contests this season, Ohman was the fi rst player to light up the scoreboard for Liberty. In Friday's season opener against George Mason, Ohman tallied the Flames' fi rst eight points, six coming from three-point land, giving Liberty a 6-0 start. On Saturday, Liberty founded itself down early to the Southern Virginia Knights when Ohman came through once again, scoring six-straight points for the Flames to close the gap. The Flames went on to win 89-53. All-American Brothers Two members of the 2009-10 Flames' roster are younger brothers of 2008 All-Americans. Eric Gordon, Jr., is the older brother to freshman guard Evan Gordon. The elder Gordon spent one season at Indiana and was Third Team All-America member in his lone season with the Hoosiers. Gordon was picked seventh overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2008 NBA Draft and averaged 16.1 ppg his rookie season in the league. He is currently averaging 18.9 ppg with the team. Sophomore point guard Jesse's Sanders older brother Thomas received an honorable mention on the 2008 All-America listing. The elder Sanders played four seasons at Gardner-Webb prior to the team joining the Big South. In his senior season with the Runnin' Bulldogs, he was named 2008 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year. He currently plays professionally in Spain. Foreign Born Freshman forward Patrick Konan, a native of the Ivory Coast, is the fi rst Flame hailing from outside the United States since the 2004-05 season, when Liberty's roster featured three foreign-born players ? power forward Leo Lightbourne (Andros, Bahamas), guard John Clarke (Freeport, Bahamas) and Christian Weddborn (La Ceiba, Honduras). Lights Out at the Line In Saturday's contest against Southern Virginia, Ohman went 10-10 at the free throw line. Gabe Martin holds the Vines Center mark for best percentage (18/18, 12/20/02) in a game. Clean Bills of Health Redshirt sophomore guard Jeremy Anderson missed the entire 2008-09 campaign after undergoing foot surgery in the preseason. Anderson's return should provide the Flames with extra three-point fi re power, as he averaged 39.3 percent from long distance in his freshman season. Playing in only five contests last season due to a stress fracture, center Carter Mc- Masters is looking to give the Flames a strong prescence in the post. Highly touted out of Grace Baptist Academy, McMasters was a 2008 McDonalds All-American nominee and was ranked No. 34 in ESPN.com's 2008 power forward class.Forward Tyler Baker also appears to be fully healthy for the fi rst time in over two seasons. Last season, Baker returned to the court on Dec. 17, 2008 against DePaul after missing 40-straight contests. Fantastic Freshmen In Saturday's contest against Southern Virginia, two Liberty freshman reached double fi gures. Chris Perez tallied 14 points on the night as the Flames second-leading scorer, while Evan Gordon chipped in 11 off the bench.
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