Jim’s Blog

CONSISTENT-INCONSISTENT

It’s the story of the season for the Air Force Mens Basketball team. Up and down..Good, and not good….The Falcons can’t find that consistency-the kind of play that helped them get 2 wins over Colorado State, a solid victory over New Mexico, and oh-so-close games against UNLV (twice) and Nevada. Instead, they lay an egg at San Diego State, and allow 14 3 pointers on the road at Boise State this past Saturday in a blow out loss.  Part of that is youth-AF has been starting 2 sophomores and a freshman, with 2 sophomore guards getting more time as the season has gone on. Head Coach Dave Pilipovich has preached consistency the last month of the season, but its fleeting. Its why the Falcons are 10-15. 5 games are left before the end of the season tournament in Las Vegas. 5 games to find that consistent play for an Air Force team that has shown they can hang with the best teams in the conference. 5 games to start shooting the ball better…5 games to start playing better defense. Otherwise, this season ends with a whimper. The Falcons can be better than that. 

WINNING GAMES

Another tough Air Force Basketball loss at home Saturday January 27th as the Falcons fell to Boise State 70-64. If I hear one more person talk about moral victories I’m jumping off a bridge. A loss is a loss. But, can a loss sometimes help? I think so, but only if it produces tangible results (wins) moving forward. The Falcons, I thought, played their best game of the season against the Broncos. Their defense was the best it has been in a while, and the Falcon offense showed inside out balance. I get teams pack it in on the Falcons, leaving the 3 point shot open. Doesn’t mean it’s a good shot. Air Force shot 16 of their 46 field goal attempts from behind the line. That is a good mix. The Falcons have had trouble shooting the 3 ball this year. So go inside, especially in a year when you have Ryan Swan and Lavelle Scottie. Swan has had a solid year and will receive all conference votes at this pace. What I liked most of all was,  shooting less 3s, and playing better defense, zone defense, put Air Force in position to win Saturday. I believe that same formula will result in more conference victories. That’s the good that comes out of Saturday’s loss to Boise State. The margin of error for the Falcons is not great, and key miscues late cost them that game. Clean those things up, and bring the formula of better defense and less 3’s, and the hope is we’re talking about wins versus positive things that come from a loss. It gets old, and, in case you didn’t notice, there is no column labeled “Moral Victories.”

IT’S TIME

There are moments in life when you receive a promotion, or change jobs, or move into the next phase of adulthood and it’s a significant accomplishment. That moment came for the Air Force Men’s Basketball Team Wednesday night when they beat Colorado State in Fort Collins 76-71. It was much more than one team outscoring another. This was a moment in time where the Falcons showed they are getting better, they are maturing, and are a basketball team on the rise. Now you may say, “Wait, all they did was win a game on the road.” It’s much more than that. Recent history shows the Falcons struggling to win games anywhere. And on the road, the losses have mounted. When the Falcons beat San Jose St Saturday, it ended a 24 game conference road losing streak that dated back 3 YEARS!!!. Now the Spartans of San Jose State have the worst record in the league, so it is easy to say big deal. But for me, the question became, “Can they do it again, back to back, against a better team, in a tougher environment?” CSU had beaten Air Force 12 straight times. The Falcons had not won in Fort Collins since 2008. Heck, Air Force hasn’t had back to back road wins in 7 years. And all those negatives melted away as the Falcons played tougher, and harder, and smarter, than maybe all season long, in the last 6 minutes of their game against the Rams. To those who closely follow the Falcons this win is a seminal moment. But only if Air Force keeps progressing. There are a lot of games remaining, and for the Falcons they represent opportunities. But it’s so gratifying to see hard work pay off, not in moral victories, but in wins. It’s Time.

IT’S WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

So far it’s been a challenging Air Force Men’s basketball Season. Heading into Wednesday Night’s home game against UNLV the Falcons have lost 3 in a row, and 6 in a row overall against Division-1 Competition. But there were signs of progress in Saturdays loss to Nevada. I came away impressed with the following-Air Force came out with urgency, especially on offense. They shot the ball better, and overall played with a better sense of desperation. In my mind, that could be the key to the season. Air Force has to come out hungry and desperate from the opening tip. When they haven’t, they have fallen behind early, and have been unable to rally. Effort, no matter what kind of talent you have, is something you can control. Teams will have nights when the ball just won’t go in the hoop-that happens to everyone. But when you can bring urgency and intensity to every game, you have a shot to win, doesn’t matter who the opponent is. Nevada’s RPI was 14, and the Falcons put a big scare into them, because of how hard they played. But you have to bring that every single game. I saw New Mexico for the first time this year. The Lobos are not as talented as in years past, but let me tell you, they out-work EVERY TEAM they play. Doesn’t mean they’ll always win, but they compete-big time. The Falcons are going to have to bring it, every game, to turn this season around.

Join us for the Dave Pilipovich Show Thursday Night January 11th at 630 at Old Chicago Pizza and TapRoom at I-25 and Woodmen. The show will then move to Mondays, beginning Monday January 15th

CAN’T LOOK BACK

The Air Force loss to Army last week, 21-0,  may someday turn into a case history. Nobody saw that coming. Call it a trend of Army rising to the level of Air Force and Navy, call it a one off, whatever. This much I know. There’s no time to figure it out. The Falcons can salvage this season with 3 games remaining. A lot is on the line, beginning Saturday night with Wyoming at 815 on KVOR. Everybody wants to figure out what happened last week. The hell with last week. The better team that day won. If the Falcons start worrying about last week Saturday night, history will repeat itself. Air Force needs to win 2 of 3 to become bowl eligible. Win all 3, and get some help from Colorado State, in the form of a win Saturday night against Boise State, and Air Force is heading to the Mountain West Conference Championship game. So, bottom line is, can’t look back. Just get better, coach better, play better, execute better. Wyoming has a shutdown type defense. Their offense, even with a stud like Josh Allen, is very pedestrian. The numbers prove it. So focus on Saturday night, and getting back in the win column. Wins, and Goals remain, but only if Air Force does not look back.

Listen to Saturdays game with the kickoff at 815pm on 740 KVOR.

WINNING GAMES

Another tough Air Force Basketball loss at home Saturday January 27th as the Falcons fell to Boise State 70-64. If I hear one more person talk about moral victories I’m jumping off a bridge. A loss is a loss. But, can a loss sometimes help? I think so, but only if it produces tangible results…MORE

IT’S TIME

There are moments in life when you receive a promotion, or change jobs, or move into the next phase of adulthood and it’s a significant accomplishment. That moment came for the Air Force Men’s Basketball Team Wednesday night when they beat Colorado State in Fort Collins 76-71. It was much more than one team outscoring…MORE

IT’S WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL

So far it’s been a challenging Air Force Men’s basketball Season. Heading into Wednesday Night’s home game against UNLV the Falcons have lost 3 in a row, and 6 in a row overall against Division-1 Competition. But there were signs of progress in Saturdays loss to Nevada. I came away impressed with the following-Air Force…MORE

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