Recently, Liberty men's basketball head coach Ritchie McKay sat down with Chris Lang of the Lynchburg News & Advance, discussing a variety of topics in a 25-minute interview session. During the chat, McKay covered a variety of topics, including recruiting, installing the pack-line defense, offensive strategy and non-conference scheduling.
Below are a few excerpts of the Q&A session:
N&A: Now that you've had a little time to settle in, how has the reception been for you on campus, coming back after six years at Virginia?
RM: "It's been all positive. I think Liberty is such a unique place because of the mission of the university and because of the unbelievable type of person who comes here. It's certainly not perfect. But it's forgiving. There's just a spirit here that's different than most campuses. I've been greeted with all kinds of positive feedback and acceptance. I'm really flattered by that, pleased with that. Even some faculty and former coaches that I've worked with have come by or reached out via email or sent a note. It's been a real blessing. It feels like I'm coming back home. Even though we were only in Lynchburg for two years, it feels like home."
N&A: When you first came from New Mexico in 2007, you probably didn't have a ton of recruiting ties to the East Coast. How much more are you in tune with that scene after having spent eight years working in the state of Virginia?
RM: "Relative to where we were when we were first at UVa, we'd make some calls, and we had — to be quite honest — some indifference. They didn't know who Tony Bennett was, and our program was 31-31 after the first two years. But once we started to win, Tone became such a national name that everyone came to practice. You wouldn't believe the amount of high school and even college coaches who wanted to know about our system both offensively and defensively. I think that maybe warranted some credibility, and because of that, I think we have a decent relationship with some coaches on the Eastern seaboard.
"I think Liberty is a place where you can recruit a student-athlete from all over. But obviously the closer you get to home, the better. Most of them get homesick at some time during their tenure, especially when they're freshmen. They can just drive back and feel good about Mom and Dad and home cooking and getting their laundry done. But sometimes when you're way out West, it's hard to get home, and it can be lonely. So yeah, we'll recruit nationally, but we want to do a great job in the state and in the region."
To read the entire interview click here.
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