The Liberty Flames will face off against the Wisconsin Badgers in the second round of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT). Here are five things to know about the Flames:
1. Liberty is one of the most successful mid-major programs in the country. Since the team’s founding in 1971, the Flames have won three Big South regular season titles and four Big South Tournament championships. Liberty has also made four trips to the NCAA Tournament, most recently in 2018.
2. The Flames are led by Ritchie McKay, who is in his fifth season as head coach. McKay has a career record of 278-209, with a Liberty record of 114-65. His teams have won at least 20 games in three of the last four seasons.
3. Liberty is led by sophomore guard Darius McGhee, who is averaging 13.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. McGhee is shooting 43.8 percent from three-point range, which ranks second in the Big South.
4. The Flames have a balanced offense, with five players averaging double figures in scoring. Senior guard Caleb Homesley is averaging 12.6 points per game and is shooting 48.2 percent from beyond the arc. Senior forward Scottie James is averaging 11.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, while junior guard Lovell Cabbil Jr. is averaging 10.8 points and 3.2 assists per game.
5. Liberty is one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranking 18th in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency. The Flames are also one of the best rebounding teams in the country, ranking 11th in rebound percentage.
The Flames will look to use their defensive prowess to slow down the Badgers and advance to the quarterfinals of the NIT.