Air Force Men’s basketball Coach Dave Pilipovich walked quickly and purposefully off the court at CSU Wednesday Night. He was angry and bewildered by his teams 87-64 loss to Colorado State, which dropped the Falcons to 5-10 and 0-3 on the season. He knew the Rams had been struggling and felt it was a lost opportunity. Colorado State played, maybe, their best game of the year. But all Pilipovich was thinking about was how much Air Force needs to work on. The defense has really struggled at times. Both CSU and Utah State before that, pretty much did what they wanted to. The Falcon defense is not making anyone’s life really tough or hard. What’s really frustrating is the Falcons defense against New Mexico, especially in the second half, was pretty good. Defense can’t come and go. It has to be a constant, and it isn’t for the Falcons. On offense the Falcons are one of the top 2 point percentage teams in the conference, and in the top 25 in the nation. Yet Air Force is second to last in the Mountain West in points per game. They are getting consistent scoring from Lavelle Scottie and Ryan Swan, and increased scoring from Keaton Van Soelen. The backcourt has struggled to score. They need more, consistent points from AJ Walker, Sid Tomes, Caleb Morris, and Chris Joyce. The Falcons have only 5 wins halfway through the season. The year isn’t lost, but at the same time Air Force has to play much much, better the rest of the way to make this mean something. The defense has to play with a snarl, with a passion and make every team feel it. When the Falcons have the ball they must value every possession, they have to shoot better from the 3 point line, the guards have to be a constant threat to score, and they have to move the ball with an energy and quickness that opposing defenses will dread. It’s what’s being done to them by other teams. Otherwise a potential breakthrough year becomes just another forgotten season.
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