After the Falcons were blown out at home against Colorado State Saturday February 2nd I drove home wondering what’s next for this team. They had won 4 of 5 MW games, with the lone loss a respectable showing against #6 Nevada. They played a poor first half against San Diego State and lost by 15, but I thought they had a great shot against CSU, and then with games against Wyoming, and on the road at faltering UNLV, believed Air Force could really put together a nice run. Saturday, a combination of a poor start, and an injury to leading scorer Lavelle Scottie, and off the court challenges for second leading scorer Ryan Swan doomed the Falcons. But it wasn’t even the loss to the Rams they had me thinking, it was how they lost. Again, Air Force came out with no energy, no enthusiasm, no urgency. I get tired of writing those words, but I have seen enough games to know when Air Force comes out early and plays desperate they can be a very good team. And when they don’t, they struggle. In the last 4 games they have fallen behind by double figures in the first half. Yes, they have won 2 of those games, but only because they started the second halves of those games like they should started the first halves. And with the regular season winding down, in a conference that isn’t as strong as its been in recent years, and with a Falcon team that has the potential to be the best squad Dave Pilipovich has had in 8 years, I just wonder if the Falcons can re-discover that magic out of the locker room to open games with. There’s still time to find it, but it has to come from within, and those 15 players in the White and Silver. The calendar is a not so gentle reminder that it’s not how you start, but how you finish.
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