Fresh off NCAA upset, Sewickley Academy’s Isiah Warfield commits to Liberty

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | 9:36 PM

Isiah Warfield didn’t fill out an NCAA tournament bracket but did urge others to pick against fifth-seeded Mississippi State in the first round.

“I told them you’d better take Liberty,” said the Sewickley Academy junior, who watched the TV broadcast with excitement Friday as the No. 12 seed pulled off the upset he’d predicted.

Less than a week later, the 6-foot-5 guard committed to Liberty.

“It played a big part actually,” Warfield said. “I saw how well they played together. I saw how Coach (Ritchie) McKay coached. It definitely gave me a lot of confidence in the program.”

Liberty (29-7, 14-2) won the Atlantic Sun tournament title this season, putting the Flames in position to claim their first NCAA tournament win. Their season ended with a nine-point loss to No. 4 seed Virginia Tech in the NCAA second round.

“They’re a very unselfish team,” Warfield said. “They move the ball very well and play at an up-tempo pace, but they’re a very defensive-minded team. Coach McKay was the associate head coach at Virginia, so he brought a lot of that stuff over to Liberty.”

Warfield also held offers from Duquesne, Hampton and Southern Utah.

Liberty’s coaches visited Warfield’s home Wednesday so he could commit in person. He took his official visit to the private Christian university’s campus in Lynchburg, Va., in the fall.

“I really like the coaching staff and the campus is beautiful,” Warfield said. “The facilities are second to none. I just really felt that was the best place for me.”

Warfield is the son of Aliquippa football coach Mike Warfield.

He averaged 25.5 points this season for the Panthers, who reached the WPIAL Class 2A semifinals and the PIAA first round. His team won the WPIAL title in his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Warfield has another year of high school remaining and can’t officially sign until November, but was relieved to have this decision done.

“It definitely took a lot of pressure off,” Warfield said. “I can just go out this AAU season and my senior season and just have fun.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at


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