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Men's Hoops Picked 7th In Big South

October 13, 2009  Charlotte, N.C.  RSS
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Senior Kyle Ohman and the Flames were picked to finish seventh in the conference at the 2009-10 Big South Basketball Media Day Luncheon.

Senior Kyle Ohman and the Flames were picked to finish seventh in the conference at the 2009-10 Big South Basketball Media Day Luncheon.

The Liberty Flames men's basketball team was selected to finish seventh out of 10 teams in the Big South Conference for the 2009-10 season, as voted on by the conference's head coaches and members of the media. The announcement was made Tuesday at the Renaissance Suites Hotel in Charlotte, N.C., as part of the 2009-10 Big South Basketball Tip-Off Media Luncheon.

Liberty is coming off a 23-12 season and a third-place finish in the Big South. The Flames went 12-6 in conference play a year ago, and participated in the inaugural Post Season Tournament (CIT).

New head coach Dale Layer returns a solid group of players from last season, headlined by senior guard Kyle Ohman and sophomore guard Jesse Sanders.

Ohman averaged 13.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 41.5 percent behind the arc as a junior. Ohman's shooting percentage ranked him No. 26 in the nation and second in the Big South in three-point efficiency. Sanders averaged 6.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game as a freshman. The Sugar Land, Texas native also led the Flames with 137 assists and ranked No. 22 in the nation (first in the Big South) with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.4.

The voting panel tabbed Radford (239) as the preseason favorite to win the conference championship by a solid margin over UNC Asheville (191) and Winthrop (179).

Although the Highlanders, Bulldogs and Eagles safely secured the top-three positions, spots four through eight were closely bunched. Gardner-Webb (130) was picked to finish fourth, while VMI (125 points) was picked to finish in the fifth position. High Point (124) landed in the sixth spot, followed by Liberty (119) and Coastal Carolina (118).

Charleston Southern (53) and Presbyterian (42) rounded out the preseason poll.

Radford center Artsiom Parakhouski was selected as the Big South Preseason Player of the Year, after being named Big South Player of the Year and Tournament MVP last season. The rest of the preseason all-conference team consisted of Joseph Harris of Coastal Carolina, Parakhouski's teammate Joey Lynch-Flohr, Grayson Flittner of Gardner-Webb, as well as Jamarco Warren of Charleston Southern and Nick Barbour of High Point, who tied in the voting.

The first official day of practice for the Flames is slated for Friday. Liberty opens up its season on Nov. 13, when the Flames take on George Mason at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Game time is to be announced. The following day, Liberty will host Southern Virginia at the Vines Center in the Flames' 2009-10 home opener. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

2009-10 Men's Basketball Preseason All-Conference team
Artsiom Parakhouski, Sr., C, Radford (Preseason Player of the Year)
Joseph Harris, Sr., F, Coastal Carolina
Joey Lynch-Flohr, Sr., F, Radford
Grayson Flittner, Sr., G, Gardner-Webb
Jamarco Warren, Jr., G, Charleston Southern
Nick Barbour, Soph., G, High Point

2009-10 Men's Basketball Preseason Poll
Rk Team (first-place votes) – Points
1. Radford (24) – 239
2. UNC Asheville – 191
3. Winthrop (1) – 179
4. Gardner-Webb – 130
5. VMI – 125
6. High Point – 124
7. Liberty – 119
8. Coastal Carolina – 118
9. Charleston Southern – 53
10. Presbyterian – 42