Air Force Falcons look to the second half of MWC play.
Ok Falcon fans. My thoughts on what must happen for us to revive our team and our season. No rocket science here but thoughts on the team and what we need to do.
First and foremost, as discussed before, that team leader must find a way to be identified and then he needs to step up and lead. Someone has to take and run with the ball on the court to lead by example, to motivate, to encourage….simply to ‘lead’. An unfortunately it cannot just be done by actions, by scoring and rebounding. It must be done with vocal direction, encouragement, cheering, demanding, directing when on the floor ‘and’ when on the bench.
The coach and staff need to help this team find that leader and encourage each and every player to strive to be that person. Encouragement must be given by them but more importantly, must be supported by the staff in their roles as coaches both at practice and during games. Playing time must be watched but, see comments below, if only the starters are scoring, who is the coach going to play? Double edge sword here. Players and scoring have direct impact here on the minutes the starters are getting.
Juniors and Seniors (currently suited up Hempsey/Stucky with Taylor S on the sideline) must take their role as upperclassmen on the court at practice and games and off the court in the locker room, meetings, the weight room and up on the hill and help this team grow together.
As a team the starting five and those off the bench must find their shooting touch from beyond the arc. This offense is predicated on the ability to shoot the ball. If we do not hit the bottom of the net from the 3-point arc, then teams will continue to sag into the lane and nothing we do will stop them or give us an offensive edge. I don’t care how good you are in the dribble/drive department. If teams say ‘we are not going to give you the lane so shoot from outside’ and if we don’t do they we will not score from our offense in a manner to win games. Shooting is a must outside the arc for us to win.
Defense, in looking at the body of work for the 7 games in the first half of the season has been ok, and at times, darn near good. It was the lack of consistent offense that lost us games to include the CSU game. Wyoming , SDSU (1-18 3’s) and even CSU was more of an offensive error that lost the games. Even at CSU the inability to score resulted in motivation for CSU and anquish and questioning themselves in the Falcons play on both ends of the court, and it showed. Keep doing what we have been doing on defense, coupled with a ‘scoring’ offense and we will win games.
Guards: MikeLyons has to keep doing what he is doing, scoring and playing defense, But he must bring up his teammates to his level with his playing and with his emotion. Todd, with the rest gained during this 'off' week, must regain his shooting touch and he must become more of a vocal leader on the court. Guards off the bench ‘must’ give this team points. I don’t care who it is: Chris, Shawn, Max, Kam if moved up top all must finally give this team points. Let’s be frank here…the BENCH in general must give the Falcons some help. It can’t be one guy every other game. The BENCH must score points for our Falcons each and every game. No points by the bench then the starters get more time, the bench players get less time, the starters get more fatigued, etc, etc…it’s like a snowball getting bigger and bigger.
Forwards: I love what Fitz is doing. If he can’t score outside then he scores inside ala what Taylor Stewart was so good at: drive to the lane, post up and go up in the lane, do ‘other’ things to score while playing good defense. But we gotta get Mike back to shooting successfully from the arc. This is imperative for our team. Kam, Justin, Max, DeLovell all must provide aggressive play at the forward both in shooting on offense, in defense and in hitting the boards. I loved the aggressiveness of DeLovell in the CSU game. We need all five on the court to play with that aggressiveness. These guys must find the confidence to shoot the ball from the inside, the mid range or outside the arc. They must score and score effectively.
Bigs: Taylor Broekhuis is doing all that is being asked from him. But he can’t do it alone. Teams know that he’s the only big scoring right now. Justin helps out when we go small but no other big helps out the Falcons on the scoreboard right now. Someone must step up, both offensively, defensively and on the boards. I love what Chase has been doing prior to the ankle injury, hopefully he can come back and give all three from the list above. Don’t know if we’ll get a Olesinski sighting but if the others can’t do it maybe time to give it a try.
All: Love the drives, love the aggressiveness, love the going to the glass with the shot getting fouled and going to the line. BUT we must start to make those shots ‘then’ go to the line for the ‘and one’. All too often we make that burst and go up and get fouled and..the shot doesn’t go in. Other teams seem to make that shot 3 out of 5 times, maybe 1 out of 5 for our Falcons. Aggressive but composed going up strong and score, then to the line. All: Free throws. Big question mark here…simple process. Practice and make your FTs. We make the home vs Wyoming (9-18) we win that game. Vs SDSU 9-12, not bad. NM 7-8 not bad. CSU 12-23, changes how the game is played!
Potential is there….now, who will step up and what will we be talking about in 4 weeks?
BEAT BOISE ST