Big South Conference Release
Liberty's Scottie James and Elijah Cuffee earned Big South Conference honors Monday as James was named Second Team All-Big South while Cuffee was named to the All-Freshman Team. In addition, Ryan Kemrite was named to the Big South All-Academic Team.
As James was named to the second team, Liberty has placed at least one player on the All-Big South second team in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2011 (Kyle Ohman in 2010 and John Brown in 2011). Cuffee earning All-Freshman honors marks the first time Liberty has had a player on the team in back-to-back seasons since 2010 (Jesse Sanders and Seth Curry in 2009 and Evan Gordon in 2010) .
In his first season at Liberty, James proved to be one of the best big men in the league averaging 13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Currently shooting 60.4 percent from the floor this season, James has posted the fifth highest field goal percentage in school history for a season. A threat on offense, James had five games this season scoring 20 points or more with four of those games coming during conference play. The big man from Tarpon Springs, Fla., is the only player in school history to post eight double-doubles during his sophomore season, ranking second in the rebounds per game and 67th in the nation. Always crashing the glass, James posted double-digit rebounds in 11 games this season including three games this season with 15 boards.
James' best scoring output came at Longwood where the redshirt sophomore tallied 28 points, shooting 9-14 from the field and 9-10 from the free-throw line. In one of Liberty's biggest wins of the season at UNC Asheville, James posted a career-high 11 made field goals against the Big South's best team, including a game-tying field goal at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, where the Flames pulled out the victory.
After earning his first start on Jan. 18 at High Point, Cuffee never left the starting lineup, ending the season with 11 starts. For the season, Cuffee averaged 5.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest. As the season progressed so did Cuffee's game, posting three double-digit scoring games during conference play, including a career-high 15 points at home against Gardner-Webb. The native of Poca, W.Va., shot 40.1 percent from the field but raised his average to 42.5 percent during conference play. As one of the best two-way freshmen in the conference, Cuffee was one of Liberty's top perimeter defenders with 1.0 steals per game, which ranked second on the team.
Excelling on the court, Kemrite thrived in the classroom already completing his undergraduate degree in finance and international business with a 3.3 grade point average. The redshirt senior will complete his M.B.A at the end of this semester and currently holds a 3.8 GPA. This season Kemrite broke the school record for career three-pointers currently 243 makes. The native of Conroe, Texas is averaging 10.2 points, shooting 44 percent from three-point range. Kemrite ranks No. 19 on Liberty's all-time scoring list with 1,161 points.
Cuffee and James will be awarded their awards before the start of Thursday's quarterfinal matchup with Campbell. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. at Kimmel Arena at UNC Asheville and can be seen on ESPN3.
2017-18 MEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-CONFERENCE
Xavier Cooks, F, Sr., Winthrop
Chris Clemons, G, Jr., Campbell
Ahmad Thomas, G, Sr., UNC Asheville
Ed Polite Jr., F, Jr., Radford
MaCio Teague, G, Soph., UNC Asheville
Christian Keeling, G, Soph., Charleston Southern
David Efianayi, G, R-Jr., Gardner-Webb
Scottie James, F, R-Soph., Liberty
Andre Fox, G, Jr., High Point
Jahaad Proctor, G, Soph., High Point
Honorable Mention All-Conference
Reggie Dillard, G, R-Sr., Presbyterian College
Liam O'Reilly, G, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Marcus Burk, G, Soph., Campbell
Carlik Jones, G, R-Fr., Radford
Bjorn Broman, G, Jr., Winthrop
Phlandrous Fleming Jr., G, Fr., Charleston Southern
Jaheam Cornwall, G, Fr., Gardner-Webb
Elijah Cuffee, G, Fr., Liberty
Justyn Mutts, F, Fr., High Point
Cory Gensler, G, Soph., Campbell
Patrick Zeck, F, Soph., Gardner-Webb
Ryan Kemrite, G, R-Sr., Liberty
Dominic Ezeani, G, Soph., Longwood
JC Younger, G, Soph., Presbyterian College
Caleb Tanner, G, Jr., Radford
Kevin Vannatta, G, Sr., UNC Asheville
Anders Broman, G, R-Sr., Winthrop
Player of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Defensive Player of the Year
Coach of the Year
Mike Jones, Radford
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
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