McGhee Named ASUN Preseason POY, Flames Picked First in Both Polls
Liberty’s Darius McGhee has been named the 2022-23 ASUN Conference Men’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year. Meanwhile, the Flames were voted to finish first in both the ASUN Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll as well as the Preseason Men’s Basketball Media Poll.
This is the second straight year McGhee has been tabbed the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year. McGhee is the back-to-back ASUN Player of the Year (2020-21, 2021-22). Liberty has featured the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year three times in five years. The Flames’ Caleb Homesley received the honor prior to the start of the 2019-20 campaign.
McGhee, a redshirt senior from Roxboro, N.C., was a unanimous selection to the ASUN Preseason All-Conference team. Joining McGhee as a preseason all-conference selection is senior forward Kyle Rode. The Flames were one of only two ASUN teams with multiple players on the preseason all-conference team. North Florida (Carter Hendricksen and Jose Placer) was the other squad with two.
Liberty enters its fifth and final season in the ASUN Conference. The Flames have won three ASUN titles in four years in the conference (2019, 2020, 2021). In the coaches poll, Liberty received 10 of the available 14 first-place votes and 192 points. Jacksonville (No. 2, three first-place votes, 171 points), Jacksonville State (No. 3, 148 points), FGCU (No. 4, 136 points) and North Florida (No. 5, one first-place vote, 127 points) round out the top five.
In the media poll, the Flames garnered 20 of the 30 first-place votes and 402 points. Liberty is followed by Jacksonville (No. 2, eight first-place votes, 365 points), Jacksonville State (No. 3, 335 points), FGCU (No. 4, 331 points) and Bellarmine (No. 5, 270 points).
The Flames’ season tips off on Nov. 7 against Regent at Liberty Arena. Liberty’s first road game will be at Alabama, Nov. 11. The Flames will open ASUN Conference play at Bellarmine on Dec. 29.
Flames Nation can tune in to the ASUN Men’s Basketball Preseason Show on ESPN+ on Thursday evening at 7 p.m. for an inside look at the upcoming season.
Darius McGhee (ASUN Preseason Player of the Year and All-Conference team) | Redshirt Senior | Guard | Roxboro, N.C.
• Back-to-back ASUN Player of the Year (2020-21, 2021-22)
• Named to the NABC District 3 first team
• ASUN All-Conference first team and ASUN All-Tournament team selection
• 2021-22 Lou Henson All-America team and Lou Henson Player of the Year finalist
• 2021-22 VaSID Player of the Year (first in school history) and All-State first team
• Averaged 24.6 points (No. 2 in country), 4.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last season
• Led Division I men’s basketball in three-point field goals made (142) last year, setting a Liberty record in the process
• Ranked second in the nation in total points (812)
• Has won 104 games in four seasons, tied for the program record for most career wins as an individual player
• Scored 48 points at FGCU last season (Jan. 15), setting the Flames program record for most points in a single game, and had three 40-plus point games last year
• Enters final season at No. 5 on Liberty’s all-time scoring list (1,843 points), No. 16 in career rebounds (508) and No. 19 in career assists (274)
Kyle Rode (ASUN Preseason All-Conference team) | Senior | Forward | Lexington, Ky.
• Earned ASUN All-Conference second team accolades as a junior last year
• Garnered inclusion on 2021-22 NABC Honors Court
• Averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists (No. 1 on team) last season
• Ranked first on the squad and seventh in the ASUN in assists per game
• Ranked No. 35 in Division I in assist to turnover radio
• Scored a career-high 24 points last season (Feb. 8) against Lipscomb
• Played in all 33 games, starting 32
• Scored in double digits 14 times last season
• Enters senior season ranked No. 21 on Liberty’s all-time assists list (262) and No. 48 on Liberty’s all-time rebounding list (342)