I thought Air Force might give UNLV some trouble today.
But against a Rebels team that was far from knock-you-out-of-your-chair impressive, Air Force lost by 21.
Before today I was convinced the Falcons might sneak up on one of the better teams some time this season. After today? I don’t think so.
This team looks lost, out of gas and caught in a funk it might not get out of by the end of the season.
Looking at the rest of the schedule is a bit frightening. Air Force has nine conference games left, and just four are at home. Do you see the Falcons beating San Diego State, Utah, TCU, UNLV or BYU on the road? Me neither. I also don’t see them beating BYU or New Mexico at home unless they absolutely catch fire from 3-point range. That leaves the Feb. 21 and 28 games at Clune against Colorado State and Wyoming, respectively. Those might be the Falcons’ two shots.
-Too many Robins, not enough Batmen.
My buddy Keith Adams, who used to coach a high school team I covered back in DC, always would tell me that you needed a Robin or two to go along with your Batman.
Well, Air Force has the opposite problem. I think Andrew Henke, Matt Holland and Anwar Johnson all are good players. But I think they all do best when they’re sidekicks. They’re Robins.
-Liked the lineup Air Force had mid-way through the first half – Johnson and Shawn Hempsey at the guards and Henke, Taylor Stewart and Holland in the frontcourt.
Yeah, no real size out there, but Air Force doesn’t have much size usually, so why not go small? All of those guys are able to shoot the 3, save for Johnson, which you need in this offense. And it’s about as athletic a group as the Falcons could put together (of the guys that get playing time).
-Finally, here is the transcript of Jeff Reynolds’ meeting with the local media after the game. It looks long, but it won’t take too long to read it.
Question: With all the freshmen playing as much as they did, are you kind of building for the future right now?
Jeff Reynolds: Not necessarily. Just sort of happened today.
Q: Jeff, are you searching for a lineup that’s going to click for you?
JR: We’re looking at it, yeah.
Q: Coach, how frustrating is it with the shooting? It seemed like you had some looks again tonight, Andrew had some that didn’t go in.
JR: We had some looks and it didn’t go in and then it affected our defense on the other end.
Q: Were you critical of the defense on the other end, especially on some of their 3s?
Q: Didn’t cover well enough?
Q: Do you plan to keep taking that many 3s [Air Force took 20]?
JR: We didn’t take any more 3s tonight than we normally do.
Q: So are you going to keep taking that many 3s?
JR: I think their defense had something to do with that. We went to the basket early in the game and had some shots rejected and missed some layups. I haven’t looked at the tape, but hopefully when we get a chance to look at the tape, we’ll see whether those 3s were contested or uncontested.
Q: Do you think there’s a time coming when you can make more? The percentages haven’t been very good this season.
JR: I don’t know. Our percentages inside the 3 haven’t been very good either.
Q: Coach, how about with Anwar, will there be a point in time where he might just have to shut it down with him not being able to practice?
JR: We hope not.
Q: Do you think he’ll be able to return to practice at all, or is it going to be like this the rest of the way?
JR: Don’t know. It’s a day-to-day decision of the trainers.
Q: What can you do in addition to what’s already been done to try to get over the hump?
JR: Keep working.
Q: In practice or …
JR: Keep working
Q: Throughout the games, everything.
Q: What do you like about Schafer’s approach? My observation he’s kind of a happy boost of energy when he gets out there.
JR: Great energy. Got good skills. Needs strength.
Q: I was just talking to him, his brother who is 24 weighs 250 (pounds), is that encouraging that he’s probably heading for a much bigger frame?
JR: I don’t know how to answer that. Sammy’s an awful small-frame guy. I’m not sure he can carry that much weight. He’s got thin shoulders. But if he gets up to 230, that’d be great.
Q: How do you get the mojo back in this building? After the long stretch you’ve had here, confidence-wise for a young team, does it start with winning at home?
JR: Yes, it sure does.
Q: How do you do that? Is it just a matter of making shots?
JR: We’ve got to play better than we’ve been playing.
Q: Coach, with Brandon Provost’s time, was that practice he’s been doing better, or was it just what he did out there?
JR: A combination of both.
Q: What did you like that he did out there tonight?
JR: Played, I thought, defensively, guarding the ball.
Q: Turnovers, 16, too many to win a game?
Q: What changes do you want to see before the BYU game?
JR: More energy. Better effort.
Q: Was the energy and effort not there tonight?
JR: Didn’t think so.
Q: Coach, what happened with Drew, when he went to the ground? Did he get hit in the head?
JR: Hit in the eye.
Q: How about Evan Washington? He played a lot fewer minutes, is he OK health-wise?
JR: He’s fine.
Q: You said you didn’t really see the energy and effort that you wanted to out there, did you see some of that energy from the younger kids like Provost?
JR: At times, yes. At times.
Back tomorrow with links.