Liberty’s McKay named ASUN Coach of the Year, Homesley named Player of the Year

Ritchie McKay named ASUN Coach of the Year
Ritchie McKay named ASUN Coach of the Year (WSLS)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – After earning a share of the ASUN Regular Season title for the second straight season, Liberty was well-recognized on the ASUN All-Conference Postseason awards, as Caleb Homesley was named the ASUN Player of the Year and Head Coach Ritchie McKay was named ASUN Coach of the Year. In addition, Scottie James was named ASUN First Team All-Conference and Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz was named to the ASUN Second Team All-Conference.

Coach McKay has been named Coach of the Year in a conference for the second time in his career, as he was named the Big South Coach of the Year back in 2016. McKay is the second coach in Liberty’s Division I era to earn a Coach of the Year honor (Dale Layer in 2011), as he has led Liberty to its fourth straight 20-win season. McKay has led the Flames to a historic season, which included 27 wins, the most in school history to end a regular season. McKay and the Flames ended the regular season with a perfect 14-0 home record, the first time in school history Liberty ended the regular season undefeated at home.

Homesley was exceptional all season, averaging a career-best 15.0 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. During conference play, Homesley elevated his game to another level with 17.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 2.5 per game. Homesley had eight games this season where he scored 20 points or more, seven of which came during conference play. The native of Indian Trail, N.C. is just the second player in school history to earn Player of the Year honors, joining Jesse Sanders, who was named Big South Player of the Year in 2011. Homesley was also named to the ASUN First Team All-Conference for the second straight season.

James joins Homesley as an ASUN First Team All-Conference selection for the second straight season as the big man averaged 11.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game. The native of Tarpon Springs, Fla. shot an ASUN-best 61.5 percent from the field and ranked fifth in the league in rebounds (7.4) per game. In the three seasons James has played at Liberty, the senior has been an all-conference selection each season. He currently ranks fourth on Liberty’s all-time rebounding list with 870 career rebounds and is No. 17 on the all-time scoring list with 1,297 career points.

This is Pacheco-Ortiz’s second time he has earned an all-conference honor, as he was named to the Big South All-Freshman Team back in 2017. As the floor general for the Flames, Pacheco-Ortiz was steady all season, averaging 10.7 points per game, the first time in his career he has ended the regular season averaging double-figures. The point guard from Ponce, Puerto Rico ranks first in the ASUN, shooting 92.5 percent from the free throw line. He also ranks No. 8 in the conference in assist/turnover ratio (1.63) this season.

Liberty returns to the court on Tuesday, March 3rd, when the Flames host NJIT in the ASUN Championship Quarterfinals. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Vines Center and can be seen on ESPN+.