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Men's Basketball Preseason Practice Begins

October 15, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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The Flames open their season inside the Vines Center on Nov. 12, playing host to Virginia Intermont. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

The Flames open their season inside the Vines Center on Nov. 12, playing host to Virginia Intermont. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

While the rest of the student body is on fall break, the Liberty men's basketball team is just getting started. Head coach Dale Layer's squad officially began practice, Friday, at approximately 5:30 p.m. in preparation for the 2010-11 season.

The inaugural session took place inside Liberty's Schilling Center. The Flames will have exactly four weeks of prep time before their season opener inside the Vines Center against Virginia Intermont on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m.

Practice opened with Liberty's guards taking shots from the perimeter, while the forwards and centers worked on catching a quick pass underneath and immediately making a move toward the basket. Once the whistle blew, the focus shifted toward one-on-one matchups, with players paired up according to position.

Some of the matchups in the multiple one-on-one drills included Evan Gordon versus James Spencer, starting point guard Jesse Sanders against newcomer Chene Phillips, Carter McMasters versus freshman Sommy Ogukwe, Antwan Burrus against Joel Vander Pol and David Minaya versus junior college standout John Brown.

Picked to finish sixth in the Big South this season, Liberty returns three starters from last year's squad –Sanders, Gordon and Burrus. Sanders closed out the 2009-10 campaign as the team's leader in rebounds (6.7 per game), assists (4.9 per game) and steals (42). Gordon was the Flames second-leading scorer last season, averaging 12.0 points per game en route to earning Big South All-Freshman team and VaSID All-State Rookie of the Year honors.

Among the newcomers for the Flames this season are Brown, Philips, Ogukwe, John Caleb Sanders and Asaad Woods.

Be sure to check in with LibertyFlames.com each week for complete preseason coverage of the 2010-11 Flames, leading up to tip-off against Virginia Intermont.