Hello. Sorry for the radio silence on the blog the last couple of days – I was away over the weekend for a wedding.
Anyway, for those of you who haven’t yet seen it, here is a link to my article about the men’s basketball team’s struggles that appeared in Sunday’s edition of The Gazette.
I’d be interested to hear what people think, especially about this question: Did Air Force simply catch lightning in a bottle from 2003 through 2008? Or can the academy have a hoops team that consistently is a contender in the Mountain West Conference?
I talked with coach Jeff Reynolds last Thursday for the article, and some of his thoughts did not appear in the paper. I’ve included them here.
-On how playing better on offense will help the defense: “I think sometimes when you don’t shoot the ball well, it’s hard to sustain the defense on the other end if you’ve got a young team. If you’ve got a senior team, kids who’ve been through the wars before, they have a tendency to know that they’ve got to get stops at critical times.”
-On whether his offense needs more players who can shoot the 3: “It would be great to be able to put five guys on the floor who could all shoot the 3. We haven’t had that luxury in a couple of years. Now, do I think our guys are shooters? I think our guys are better-than-average shooters. Now the problem right now is they’re pressing. They’re pressing. They want to please. They want to win as much as anybody does. And the harder they press, the nervouser they get. That’s just how I see it right now.”
-I also asked Reynolds if he would do anything differently if he could go back to the beginning of the season. Initially he said: “No. No. I think what we have to do now, it’s easy to point fingers right now when things aren’t going as well as everyone would like for them to go. But we’re working hard. We’re confident in our abilities as coaches and as players.”
But then, after a pause, he continued: “You ask that question, and if we were 19-0 there’s some things I’d do differently. So to answer your question, yeah, I’m sure there would be some things I’d do differently and handle some things differently. For example, I’ve been ridiculed by many for not calling a timeout the last possession against TCU. Had we called a timeout, needing a 3, what if they’d have fouled us? So we had a play already designed, and we knew no matter what we weren’t going to call timeout whether we needed a 2 or a 3. Consequently, we didn’t give them a chance to set because they didn’t know what they were going to do. But I’ve been very much ridiculed because of that.”
I asked Reynolds who had “ridiculed” him, and he said “Numerous people.” When I asked if it was fans, he responded “Numerous people. We’ll leave it at that.”