Air Force Hoops Update- 11/13/2012

At the end of the first full week of the 2012-2013 season Air Force walks away with an exhibition win over Colorado Christian University and two wins and the championship at the second annual All-Military Classic Tournament with wins over Army and The Citadel.

In the three games Air Force won, it became apparent that the five senior starters were the key to success. Mike Lyons led the team and was the MVP at the tournament with 19 points in the win over Army 76-65 and a career high 33 points in the 77-70 win over The Citadel. Kyle Greene added 18 points in the win over The Citadel while senior guard Todd Fletcher had 16 points, 3 assists and 6 steals in the Army win. Taylor Broekhuis had 9 total rebounds in the two games.

This week Air Force makes its 2012-2013 debut at home in Clune Arena playing the two DII teams on its schedule versus Western State on November 15th and Regis on Sunday, November 18th. The matchup with Western State (0-3) will give Air Force an early comparison within the Mountain West Conference (MWC), as MWC member Wyoming played and beat Western State this past weekend taking a 4 point lead to the locker room at halftime and eventually winning 62-42. Western State will be led by Joseph Charles, G, who had 17 points versus Wyoming. Regis plays its first game Tuesday and return 2 seniors to their team.

Looking at these two matchups, anticipate Air Force working aggressively to take the ball inside in their offense, especially if either team elects to play zone against them. In the win over The Citadel, Air Force faced 40 minutes of 2-3 zone combined with two 240 pound big men and was unable to effectively penetrate the lane resulting in relying on the three-point shot. Shooting 41 percent from the arc was effective and resulted in the win but Air Force knows it needs to work more inside to win future games.

Coach Pilipovich said he was pleased with the bench play in both games but needs more minutes from those players instead of relying on the senior starters. Expect to see more time and hopefully more scoring off the bench for the Falcons. I look for Air Force to work on its height advantage and work the inside more effectively and to win the rebound battle.

Looking ahead to Thanksgiving week, the Falcons play on Thanksgiving Eve followed by a big matchup the following Sunday in Boulder versus Colorado University of the Pac-12.

Air Force starts the season for the second straight year as winners of the All-Military Classic, now continues on as they prepare for MWC conference play in January. GO FALCONS

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