Point guard and leading scorer Tre’ Coggins did not join the Air Force basketball team on a road trip that takes it to Boise State tonight and to Nevada on Saturday.
“We left him back. We didn’t bring him,” coach Dave Pilipovich said Wednesday morning. “The reason being we have standards that we expect out of our cadet athletes and he hasn’t met those standards the last couple of days. We left him behind and we’ll revisit the situation once we get back on Monday. I expect him back at practice on Monday.
“It was not an academy decision; it was a men’s basketball program decision. Sometimes players just have to mature and get through some things and this was for the betterment of the team right now and where we’re at.”
Pilipovich did not offer specifics as to the behavior or incident that led to Coggins being left out off the trip.
Coggins leads Air Force (9-9, 3-4 Mountain West) in scoring at 17.4 points per game and had a run of four consecutive 20-point games earlier in the conference season. He also leads the team in minutes played, as a true backup point guard has not emerged. Pilipovich said the job of point guard, which in Air Force’s offense primarily means advancing the ball up the court and calling the offense, would fall on a committee that will include Max Yon, Kamryn Williams, Justin Hammonds and Zach Kocur.
The pivotal role Coggins plays for the team no doubt made the decision even more difficult for Pilipovich.
“It’s like disciplining one of your children at home,” the coach said. “If they’re not meeting the standards that your family has and you have to take something away from them, or you tell them they can’t do this or that. It’s hard, because he is a good person; he just maybe hasn’t been what we’ve expected here for the standards of our cadet athletes. We’re looking forward to the players we have here and the challenge tonight from a very good Boise team.”