The Stalagian Report:
More thoughts on AFA's 55-57 1st round loss to Wyoming
I've chosen to be positive, Sure, I could say that this referee crew has plagued
us all season (see earlier
forum posts about 'gray-haired dude'), or I could whine
about the punk coach who should gather T's like cowboys gather cowpies for being
all over the court, and what a punk he was for staring down the cadet
like a bratty teenage walking off the court, then talking trash to the Section 8
cadets, or how Ewing assaulted Tim A. without a T, or how Williams should've
been T'ed for slamming the ball to ground after a call inside. I could be
negative, sure, but I'm not going there.'
Let's be positive. Let's first congratulate a Wyoming team that did what they needed to do to win. Face it folks, you hit 22-23 from the line, you've got a good shot at a W. Justin Williams is every bit the D-player of the year in the conference--he changed the game around the rim on both sides. Ewing's a clutch FT shooter for a frosh, too, and the whole team came to play with an excellent game plan. Great job, 'Pokes. I hope you beat BYU (or Utah), but I'll be rooting for SDSU in the final (won't we all?).
Now for the Birds. I can't help but think positive things about a team that can endure almost 13 straight minutes without a FG, but still claws its way back into a game. They bit, clawed, and scratched all over the court, searching for a way to win against some pretty long odds and almost did it. I don't think anyone thought at the beginning of the year that FT shooting would cost us a game this late, but that's what happened. Still, we fought through it. Big, big steals, just enough shots to help us back. This team and the staff have enormous heart and tremendous class. I'll be proud to have any of them serving in my Air Force for years to come.
Players: two stick out positively. Antoine did everything he could to WILL this team to a win. He didn't let the missed FTs get him down, he fought and LED. TA -- simply the finest defensive player I've seen. It's a joy to watch him. Without his lightning fast steals to ignite our runs in the second half, the positives would've been hard to find. I think he gets fouls called on him by refs who are too quick with their whistle. They just don't believe you can do the things he does without fouling people. We know he can.
Jake had a tough night, but still stole, and RBed well. He forced a few inside, too. Matt didn't get untracked until the second half, but was a consistent ball handler throughout and pressed well. Danny seemed the most affected by the Wyo D and after two early 3's never seemed to get his rhythm back. John had maybe the toughest game of the starters--hesitant and ineffective after a couple of early traveling calls and two missed 3's that were VERY close. Andrew H. -- nice 3, baby. We'll be looking for dozens of those next year. Mark Holum was a role-player of great effect--good game!
The 3's rimmed out over and over. It just didn't seem to be.
Kudos to the fans. The Section 8ers were out in greater force than I expected and the others were there in large numbers. My guess is almost 3 kiloFalcons (kF) were there. Thanks to the AOG for setting up the pre-game at Old Chicago--lots of fun and a good turnout. Old C's has to be disappointed at our loss!
Coach Bz (Jeff Bzdelik). Thank you. Thank you for saying in your post-game that this is the most personally satisfying season you've had in 33 years of coaching. Thank you for leading these men calmly and cooly when all others around you (McClain) were losing their heads. [One time in the game, Coach Bz finally got REALLY upset with the officials. There were so many bad calls, I can't remember which one it was. But after the timeout, on the Wyo inbounds pass, 'Gray Hair' called a blocking foul on Tim within milliseconds of the inbound pass and the smug j*&^#$% just looked at you like "Well that'll show you Mr. NBA."] Thanks for staying above the fray and continuing as you had all evening--as a professional leading men, instead of like your counterpart acting like teenage punk with a bad 80's haircut stomping around like Shirley Temple doing the Good Ship Lollipop dance on crack.
We'll wait for Sunday, Falcon faithful. Either way, I'll be happy. If it's Big Dance (which we so richly deserve) that's good. If it's Little Dance, then we all get to see you again live and in person. I don't want the season to end...