If roundball is your blood, this is the place to discuss the Flames as they move into the Ritchie McKay era for the 2nd time.

Moderators: jcmanson, Sly Fox, BuryYourDuke

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By Sly Fox
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#642025
We have our first verified 2024 offer in from Coach McKay's home state.

6' 5" SG Jack Benter is a coach's kid who has already proven he can score with the best of them. As a soph he just averaged 29.6 PPG and after nearly putting up 20 a night as a freshman. He has consistently shot better than 40% through his first two seasons. His only prior offer came from Indiana State just a couple of weeks ago. He plays the Grassroots circuit so his profile is likely to rise through this summer. He may be baby-faced but he's an assassin on the floor.
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By Sly Fox
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#646261
A Sea of Red wrote:LIBERTY PICKS UP COMMITMENTS FROM 2024 6’6″ F WILL GIBSON, 6’2″ PG BRETT DECKER
Posted by Jon Manson | Oct 23, 2022 |


On Sunday, Will Gibson and Brett Decker announced their commitments to Liberty.

Gibson is a 6’6″ forward in the Class of 2024 from Louisville, Kentucky where he attends DeSales High School. He is the first commitment in the class for the Flames, but head coach Ritchie McKay also added a commitment from 6’2″ point guard Brett Decker on the same day.

Decker also had offers from Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech, and Morehead State. He attends Central Hardin High School in Cecilia, Kentucky. Decker is a three-star rated prospect according to 247Sports.
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By olldflame
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#660491
In light of the season ending and the likelihood of our having one or more scholarships available, I thought I'd bump this thread up. Obviously, we will be looking to the transfer portal, but Luke Gray is still available, and if a scholarship opens up, he might be an option. He is longer and more athletic than any of our current crop of 6'7" forwards, and has a rep as a shot blocker, which we could use. Verbal Commits has revamped their transfer portal page, so I will have to spend a little time figuring it out before I can see what might be available there. It's also a bit early. Thebig rush will hit as conference tournaments wrap up.
By olldflame
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#660492
I just discovered that Verbal Commits has put a lot of the stuff that used to be free (including a lot of the transfer info) behind a paywall. Not gunna pay for that, so I'll be looking into what is out there. If anyone knows a good option, let me know.
By olldflame
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#660594
A strategy Ritchie has used before (with mixed results) would be to get 2025 commit Andrew Grimes to reclassify to 2024.



And while we're at it, how about our other 2025 commit, Colin Porter's former teammate Zander Carter. He actually may be more ready for D1 competition than Grimes.



BTW, 247 now has Zander's height listed as 6'6", and he has true guard skills.
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By LUOrange
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#660595
I really do not like the reclassification route. IMO, it's a disservice to the student, who could use their senior year for further playing time development and maturity. Obviously, it worked with Porter but it also obviously did not work with DJ Moore. Then to make matters worse, we blew his red shirt for scrub minutes. We need to utilize the portal now for a scorer and some big guys.
By olldflame
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#660597
LUOrange wrote: March 21st, 2024, 9:41 am I really do not like the reclassification route. IMO, it's a disservice to the student, who could use their senior year for further playing time development and maturity. Obviously, it worked with Porter but it also obviously did not work with DJ Moore. Then to make matters worse, we blew his red shirt for scrub minutes. We need to utilize the portal now for a scorer and some big guys.
I'm as big a Ritchie McKay kool-aid drinker as there is, but I'll readily admit that the way he handled the situation with DJ Moore is maybe the biggest stain on his tenure as coach here. That doesn't change how well it worked out with Porter, and Carter has had the exact same coaching in HS and is a straight A student.

Grimes may not be quite as ready, but that could be a situation where you bring him in and redshirt him. Depending on how good his coaching is in HS, he could benefit more from working with our staff (including S&C and nutrition) than playing his Senior year.

As far as the portal is concerned, even if both of these kids reclassified (unlikely) I think we will still have at least 2 scholarships for that. Unless there is something we don't know (certainly possible) I don't think it makes much sense for Spell not to transfer, and you could probably say the same thing for Yates.
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By stokesjokes
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#660600
I don’t see Yates transferring considering he just transferred in this year and did see some minutes. He’d be a natural place for some of Rode and Robinson’s minutes to go judging by the roster as it is now.
By Tothehoopyall1
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#660602
stokesjokes wrote: March 21st, 2024, 12:35 pm I don’t see Yates transferring considering he just transferred in this year and did see some minutes. He’d be a natural place for some of Rode and Robinson’s minutes to go judging by the roster as it is now.
I think it would be in Yates best interest to move on if he wants any decent playing time (this is of course all subject to us getting some strong talent in). What would be the difference between Yates and Spell? At this point, I don't see much.
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By LUOrange
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#660603
I don't have solid opinions on Spell and Yates. I think they both were hindered by Rode and Robinson staying another year. In their scrub minutes, they didn't look bad. Spell in his scrub minutes looked like he could defend the post adequately. I thought it was a mistake not to try and have him clog the lane for a few minutes each half in conference play. His height and size wasn't utilized. Yates just had too many of the same type of players in front of him. But depending on who McKay lands in the portal, they may play key roles next season.
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By Ill flame
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#660605
Tothehoopyall1 wrote: March 21st, 2024, 1:12 pm
stokesjokes wrote: March 21st, 2024, 12:35 pm I don’t see Yates transferring considering he just transferred in this year and did see some minutes. He’d be a natural place for some of Rode and Robinson’s minutes to go judging by the roster as it is now.
I think it would be in Yates best interest to move on if he wants any decent playing time (this is of course all subject to us getting some strong talent in). What would be the difference between Yates and Spell? At this point, I don't see much.
Im a big McKay fan but I think it's a bold assumption that we'll be bringing in a strongly talented forward. Even if we do someone has to take Robinsons minutes off the bench and with Southerland transferring that leaves the job wide open for Yates, assuming Yu isn't ready yet. Yates is shooting 18-49 (36.7%) from 3 in limited playing time over the last two years while spell is shotting 3-18 (18%) from 3 over the same time. We really don't need a second forward that can't stretch the floor.
By olldflame
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#660617
stokesjokes wrote: March 21st, 2024, 4:53 pm I also don't want to discount that Yates transferred in from a school that went to the elite eight and McDermott saw enough to let him see the floor for that team.
He played 36 minutes in 11 appearances for Creighton as a walk-on. That's strictly garbage time. He did play a bit more for us, but almost half the points he scored came in one game against lowly St Andrews. If bringing this up is "discounting", I guess I plead guilty. If he ends up staying, I hope he improves.
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By Humble_Opinion
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#660620
Spell has some height to him, but he needs to spend some serious time in the gym beefing up. He's also not impressively athletic. The teams that bullied us weren't just tall... they were thick, strong and athletic. Despite being undersized, our guards do okay and make up for it in other ways. It will be nice to add Curtis Blair into the mix and maybe see if we can snag someone else in the portal that brings some length to the backcourt as well. Our front court is where we must improve the most though. If Kai Yu isn't ready after sitting a full year and having a full offseason, I'm not sure he will ever be ready.
By Tothehoopyall1
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#660625
olldflame wrote: March 21st, 2024, 7:34 pm
stokesjokes wrote: March 21st, 2024, 4:53 pm I also don't want to discount that Yates transferred in from a school that went to the elite eight and McDermott saw enough to let him see the floor for that team.
He played 36 minutes in 11 appearances for Creighton as a walk-on. That's strictly garbage time. He did play a bit more for us, but almost half the points he scored came in one game against lowly St Andrews. If bringing this up is "discounting", I guess I plead guilty. If he ends up staying, I hope he improves.
I totally agree.. Yates is not the answer for the level of ball we desire to be playing.
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By Ill flame
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#660633
When everyone on the team is getting minutes during garbage time how meaningful can they be? It's like if Shirer transfers to a D2 school and their fans point out all of the garbage time minutes he got this year as a freshman walk on. Shirer actually got more minutes this year than Yates got last year so it's a pretty fitting comparison.
By olldflame
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#660634
stokesjokes wrote: March 22nd, 2024, 1:02 pm I am of the opinion that earning garbage time minutes as a freshman at an elite 8 school is meaningful
It's meaningful only in so far as it indicates the kid works hard in practice and has a good attitude. Emptying the bench at the end of a lopsided win is something that has become standard practice for the dual purpose of not embarrassing the opponent by unnecessarily running up the score and rewarding bench players (and especially walk-ons) for their hard work. If a player does not get into a game under those circumstances, it is not because they are not good enough. Something else is going on.
By paradox
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#660637
As a general rule, you're right. But the Yates situation is nuanced a little differently in terms of shooting potential. Seems there was at least minor intrigue coming from both programs.
By olldflame
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#660753
Luke Gray has committed to Oral Roberts.

After what happened with Davis, I'm hoping we don't go after another HS player from this class unless we have a long standing relationship. Davis is a player we did not recruit until we saw he was still available just before signing day. While I have no idea as to his reasons for transferring, I think it's safe to say our chances of retaining a player are much better if we have been engaged with them for a while prior to signing, and they know exactly what they are "getting into".
By Tothehoopyall1
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#660754
olldflame wrote: April 1st, 2024, 9:37 am Luke Gray has committed to Oral Roberts.

After what happened with Davis, I'm hoping we don't go after another HS player from this class unless we have a long standing relationship. Davis is a player we did not recruit until we saw he was still available just before signing day. While I have no idea as to his reasons for transferring, I think it's safe to say our chances of retaining a player are much better if we have been engaged with them for a while prior to signing, and they know exactly what they are "getting into".
Sometimes one can get a recruiting steal but it can also be telling when no one has picked up a player (I believe Davis did have an offer to EKU). Point being.. Davis might be more of a D2 player and came to this realization while watching from the bench. We took a chance on him since we had an opening and apparently couldn't find anyone that was better. Meanwhile, Bryce Drew was loading up his roster at Grand Canyon.

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