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  • Final: Wyoming 63, Air Force 61; turnovers tell the story

    Thu, February 24, 2011 by admin with 2 comments

    Air Force averaged a little more than 12 turnovers per game before Wednesday. The Falcons passed that total before halftime at Wyoming.

    The Falcons usually take great care of the ball, but Wyoming’s pressure defense was the difference in a 63-61 loss.

    “Lot of turnovers, not enough assists,” guard Todd Fletcher said.

    The Falcons’ offense was off all night. Air Force is one of the nation’s leaders in assists per field goal, but had just nine assists on 23 made baskets against Wyoming. The first half was particularly ugly, with just two assists and 13 turnovers. Air Force had just 18 points at the half.

    In the first meeting between the teams, Air Force picked apart a weak zone defense by Wyoming. The Cowboys’ defense has completely changed since coach Heath Schroyer was fired in early February. Wyoming ran a tight man-to-man defense that affected the Falcons.

    “We turned it over too many times in the first half trying to make a play rather than let a play develop,” coach Jeff Reynolds said.

    Surprisingly, the Falcons were still in the game at the end, but officials ruled that Fletcher barely had his right foot on the line as he hit what appeared to be a game-tying 3-point shot with 4.6 seconds left. The shot was ruled a 2-pointer, and the Falcons couldn’t get up a good shot at the buzzer.

    Reynolds said he initially thought the officials were looking at the clock – the scoreboard at the arena showed the game was tied. But on the floor the officials ruled Fletcher was on the line, and they didn’t overturn the call after a long review.

  • Pregame: Air Force at Wyoming; throw out the first meeting

    Wed, February 23, 2011 by admin with 1 comment

    The first time Air Force played Wyoming, the Falcons won 72-51 on Jan. 22. This game seems like it is against a different opponent.

    Wyoming switched coaches in early February, and switched some strategy – for example, the zone defense Air Force took advantage of has been replaced by more man defense. The Falcons are planning on seeing more wrinkles tonight because Wyoming had the last week off, allowing the coaching staff to make more changes. In many ways, it feels more like an early-season nonconference game than a second meeting against a familiar conference foe.

    How Air Force adjusts during the game will be a big factor tonight. With a win, the Falcons clinch no worse than seventh place in the Mountain West, with a chance to move up a couple of spots.

  • Jeff Reynolds says winning is important for college coaches

    Wed, February 23, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

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  • Why, again, is Air Force starting spring football in winter?

    Wed, February 23, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Duke started spring football practices a week ago, on Feb. 16. So maybe Troy Calhoun’s vision is catching on.

    Air Force starts spring ball today, and will wrap up by mid-March. Calhoun has done this before, but here’s a reminder of why Air Force starts before almost every other team in college football:

    “Academics is the single biggest reason,” Calhoun said. “I think when you can finish in March and they have the whole second half of the semester dedicated solely to their books. It gives them the best chance to be healthy in school. That’s hands down the driving reason.

    “The second reason is, if you get nicked, it gives you four more weeks of recovery time, and that could be up to four more games you play in the fall, if you have a serious injury.

    “The other side of it – and there’s got to be another side, or else everyone would do it – would be the proximity for recovery guys, who had the season conclude early because of injuries.”

  • Air Force football cadets receive assignments

    Tue, February 22, 2011 by admin with 71 comments

    Last week, with 100 days until graduation, the Air Force seniors found out their service assignments. Since fans have followed the football-playing Falcons’ careers for four years, I thought it would be fun to look at where they are headed after graduation, and thanks to Air Force for supplying the list:

    Alex Arndt, Laughlin AFB, TX, Pilot Training

    Keil Bartholomew, Robbins AFB, GA, Acquisitions

    Zach Bell, Vance AFB, OK, Pilot Training

    Ben Cochran, Columbus AFB, MS, Pilot Training

    Brad Connor, Yokota AFB, Japan, Maintenance

    Chase Darden, USAFA, Prep School coach, instructor

    Chaz Demerath, FE Warren AFB, WY, Acquisitions

    Kevin Fogler, Columbus AFB, MS, Pilot Training

    Kyle Halderman, LA Air Station, CA, Acquisitions

    Andre Morris, USAFA, Prep School coach, instructor

    Reggie Rembert, USAFA, AFA JV coach

    Rick Ricketts, Tinker AFB, OK, Acquisitions

    Tyler Schonsheck, Vance AFB, OK, Pilot Training

    Ryan Southworth, USAFA, Prep School coach, instructor

    Jared Tew, Columbus AFB, MS, Pilot Training

    Nathan Walker, Vance AFB, OK, Pilot Training

    Wylie Wikstrom, Hanscom AFB, MA, Developmental Engineer

  • Air Force close to clinching quarterfinal spot in MWC tournament

    Tue, February 22, 2011 by admin with no comments

    Clinching at least the seventh seed in the Mountain West isn’t going to cause a celebration at Air Force, but for a team that has finished in last place two years in a row and was picked to finish last again, avoiding the play-in game in the conference tournament is a step.

    If TCU loses tonight at Utah or Air Force wins tomorrow at Wyoming, the Falcons clinch a better finish than TCU. Air Force is 4-8 in the conference; TCU is 1-12. With a win over Wyoming, which is 2-10 in the conference, Air Force would have a three-game lead on the eighth-place Cowboys with three to play and would own the tiebreaker based on a season sweep.

    Wyoming could still finish ahead of Air Force if it beats the Falcons tomorrow because it would likely win the tiebreaker. The second tiebreaker is whichever team has the “best win” based on the final conference standings and the Cowboys’ have a win over New Mexico and their final three games are at UNLV, against San Diego State and at BYU. But, because of their brutal final three-game stretch, it’s tough to imagine the Cowboys catching Air Force no matter what happens in Laramie on Wednesday.

    Assuming Air Force doesn’t have to play in the opening game at the conference tournament between the eighth and ninth seeds, a legitimate goal is finishing ahead of Utah for the sixth seed. Air Force owns the tiebreaker over the Utes, but Utah has one more win (and has played one more conference game). The seventh seed in the conference tournament will play the second seed – which will be either BYU or San Diego State.

  • A few position changes for spring football practice

    Tue, February 22, 2011 by admin with 3 comments

    With spring football practices starting Wednesday (and yes, the practices will be finished before spring even starts, but we’ll go with “spring football” to save some confusion), Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said that two players will definitely switch positions, and a third one might move too. Wale Lawal will move from outside linebacker to defensive end and Kyle Shaw will move from defensive tackle to offensive tackle. P.J. Adeji-Paul will probably go from safety back to cornerback.

    Lawal made a bit of a splash as a freshman, starting four games and scoring a touchdown on a forced fumble and recovery on the first play of his college career, but rarely played defense as a sophomore. He was listed at 215 pounds last year, a bit small for a defensive end.

    “It’s not going to hurt him to try to take an extra peanut butter and jelly sandwich back to his room after dinner,” Calhoun said. “He’ll have to put on a little bit (of weight), but not a lot.”

    Adeji-Paul is a natural cornerback who moved to safety last year, but didn’t take well to that position. He was put into the starting lineup when Brian Lindsay was injured, but was quickly replaced by freshman Anthony Wooding. At cornerback, Adeji-Paul would compete with Josh Hall and Chris Miller to replace Reggie Rembert in the starting lineup.

    Calhoun said he didn’t anticipate any players would be held out of the start of spring practice because of injury. He also said no key players from last season have left the program.

  • Jimmer’s dominance of MWC is impressive

    Tue, February 22, 2011 by David Ramsey with no comments

    For details:


  • Nice gesture by Andrea Williams to her lone senior, Raimee Beck

    Mon, February 21, 2011 by admin with 46 comments

    Senior guard Raimee Beck happened to be playing a basketball game for Air Force during “100s night,” a special time for the seniors when they learn their post-graduation assignments. Falcons coach Andrea Williams wanted to do something special for Beck anyway.

    After Air Force’s game against UNLV last week, Williams announced Beck’s assignment to the crowd. Beck will be an assistant coach at the prep school next year.

    “At a place like this, with what they work for four years, it needs to be special,” Williams said. “It’s not a regular Senior Night we’ll have against New Mexico. It’s her selection, her service to her country, her duty, what she’s been striving for, to be an officer.”

    The gesture was nice, and it is another sign the first-year coach gets what it means to be at a service academy. Williams made sure, as  a civillian, that it was OK for her to present Beck with the news after the game.

    “You need to respect the military side tremendously, like we do, and know it’s an honor and a privilege to present that to her,” Williams said.

    The presentation also reinforced to the younger players that Williams is interested in their success off the court as well.

    “It was cool,” Williams said. “It was a nice night.”

  • Reynolds hopes for postseason berth

    Mon, February 21, 2011 by admin with 4 comments

    Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said he hoped his team got some consideration for a spot in any of the four postseason tournaments in college basketball, but quickly followed up that thought.

    “First of all, we’ve got to have a winning season to do that,” Reynolds said. “So we’ve got to win our games and take care of our business now.”

    While technically not true – the CBI has taken a few losing teams and the NIT no longer has a rule requiring teams have a .500 record for inclusion – an Air Force team with a sub .500 record would not be very enticing. If the Falcons win two of their final four regular-season games they would finish the regular season 15-14, and then have to win one game at the Mountain West tournament to post a winning record. Air Force also would guarantee itself a winning record by winning at least three of its last four regular-season games.

    That might not be enough for a bid, but Reynolds said an invitation to any tournament would benefit the program. He compared it to college football’s bowl games. Football coaches often talk about the benefit of going to any bowl game, because of the extra practice time, experience and exposure for the program.

    “How many bowl games are there out there, where guys are 6-6 and going to a bowl game?” Reynolds said. “What does that do to their programs?

    “I think those other two tournaments are getting some significant interest. Whether we’re going to be worthy to be able to do that, we’ll see. We’ve got to be able to take care of our business.”