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Gameday: Air Force (13-6/4-2) vs #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2)

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Posted: 1/31/2013 9:59 PM

Gameday: Air Force (13-6/4-2) vs #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


Preview: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2)

I remember back in January 2004 when Air Force surprised the MWC and finished the first month of conference play with a 5-0 record and on top of the conference and subsequently went to the NCAA's. I remember back in January 2006 when Air Force surprised the MWC and finished the first month of conference play with a 5-2 record and in second place in the conference and subsequently went to the NCAA's. I remember back in January 2007 when Air Force surprised the MWC and finished the first month of conference play with a 6-2 record and and tied for first place in the conference and subsequently went to the NIT. Well, it has been a long time since then with a lot of basketball having been played, but once again Air Force, picked last in pre-season polls, find themselves at 4-2 at the end of January and tied for second place in the MWC (along with CSU, UNLV and this weekend's foe #22 SDSU.

Saturday, Air Force takes on a team always at or near the top of the MWC standings in #22 SDSU. The Aztecs come to this match up after completing two different weeks of conference competition with differing results. In week two of MWC play SDSU suffered a home loss to UNLV by seven points followed by a poor shooting performance (only 9 total points in the first half of play) resulting in a loss to Wyoming in Laramie. Last week found them rebounding from those losses to pound Nevada while on the road then, in a mild upset, win running away by 21 points over #15 New Mexico in a superb defensive effort. Similar to last season the Aztecs face off with Air Force after having their first bye week of the MWC season to prepare for them. Their coaches are reminding their players over and over again that they also had the bye last year before Air Force walked away with a victory at Clune Arena.

Looking at how both teams got to their current 4-2 MWC records:
AF FG 48.45 FT 71.0% 3Pt 39.4%(8-20.5/gm) Reb 31 Ast 16 Stl 8 Blk 2 TO 12
Air Force Schedule/Roster/Stats

SDSU FG 44.0%. FT 67.6% 3Pt 32.8% (6-18/gm) Reb 37 Ast 12 Stl 7 Blk 5 TO 12
This match up between Air Force and San Diego may come down to how Air Force can defend the lane. As shown above, the Aztecs at 32.8% from the arc, are not a team that wins by the three. They are a team built for going inside the lane and to the glass. In their exceptional win over New Mexico, they made 23-57 FG while only scoring 3-15 (20%) on threes...20 baskets made of 42 inside the paint, a very good 49% against a good NM defense. This will be the similar challenge Air Force faced at Wyoming, another team that wins by going inside instead of looking at the three (in other games for SDSU as a reference: Win over Nevada 6-19 32% 3's; Loss to Wyoming 2-18 11% 3's; Loss to UNLV 3-19 16% 3's; Win over CSU a good one with 13-29 44% 3's). Similar to Air Force's last opponent Fresno State, SDSU 'can and has' surprised opponents by getting hot with the 3 point shot but still not a mainstay of their offense, rather used quite often in transition for a quick shot and points.

SDSU is led by junior guard Jamaal Franklin who did not play during the AF win last year. At 6'5"/205# he is similar in size to AF's Mike Lyons, plays 'long' and creates his own shots off the bounce (17.4ppg/33mpg/FG40.2%/78%FT/27%3's/TO4/team high 9 rpg). He is the player that leads and energizes SDSU. He is paired up with a trio of guards who all contribute in the backcourt: Xavier James (6'3"/190#/Jr G/9.4ppg/28mpg/FG34.5/FT84.6%/41% 3's-had been a starter but did not start last few games as he nurses a sore back); second leading scorer Chase Tapley (6'3"/195# Sr G/14.6ppg/28mpg/FG47.2%/FT85.3%/41% 3's-he and Thames primary long shooters); James Rahon (6'5"/205% Sr G/6ppg/22mpg/FG37%/FT67%/27% 3's).


SDSU does have a strong presence inside with strong play from their forwards. Sophomore JJ O'Brian leads the way at 6'5"/225#/6.6ppg/26mpg/FG52%/FT34%/ 4.4rpg. Other bigs include Stevens (6'8"/225#/Sr/6.3ppg/5rpg/FT54%), Shepard (6'8"/210#/Fr/5.7ppg/20mpg/3.6rpg/FT57%) and Spencer (6'9"/235#/Fr/3.5ppg/15mpg/FT38%). Note that none of their big men are exceptional shooters from the FT line. It will be interesting to see if that factors into how the Falcons defend on the interior.

Note that from press conference, both James and Tapley are game time decisions on playing. James due to his back and has seen limited action but still played 20 minutes in last game but did not start. Evidently Tapley hurt his wrist in the last game vs NM and has not practiced much this week. Most do expect both to play but no update at the time of this report.

Keys for Air Force to win this game versus a very good San Diego State team:

1) Do not be a one player/one dimensional scoring team. The strength this season for Air Force is not having one player having to score each and every game, rather different individuals are stepping up as the game and the opponent's defense dictates. In recent games different Falcons have stood up to lead in scoring:
vs Frenso State Fletcher 19pts Lyons 15
vs Wyoming Broekhuis 16pts Lyons 11 Earls 10pts
vs New Orleans Fitzgerald 16pts Lyons 14pts Fletcher 14pts
vs Boise Lyons 37pts Fitzgerald 17pts
vs UNLV Fitzgerald 22pts, Lyons 19 Earl 10
vs Nevada Fitzgerald 30pts

This gives latitude for Air Forces offense to use their complete offense and run plays for different members of the offense if one player is keyed upon. Key for the Falcons is to find multiple players to fulfill that role in this game.

2) On offense continue to go inside out. In previous years against the SDSU defense, Air Force did not adequately attempt to go into the lane aggressively to score, at times shut down their effort to penetrate due to the length and athleticism of the Aztecs. This year's Falcons seem much more aggressive in going to the lane and the glass and either getting the shot, getting fouled or kicking to the open three. This is a must for AF to do to have success.

3) Use that home court 'know how and comfort' and shoot at least the current team average from the three. We do this then the offense will click for the whole game opening up the inside as commented on in (2) above.

4) On defense, be stingy with the matchup zone denying entry into the lane. SDSU is going to go try to get into the lane and take the 12-15' shot or go to the rim. It must be contested and stopped and force them to repy on the three. I believe the better movement by AF on defense, similar to what Wyoming did to SDSU, can have positive effects for the Falcons.

5) Be aggressive on the glass and deny second chance shots for the Aztecs. Great blocking out and rebounding especially in the last two games, need to continue the trend.

6) I will say it again...minutes and points off the bench especially from Olesinski at the '5', Coggins and Green at guard and Hammonds and Williams at forward. I believe it is time for a breakout performance for Max Yon. It has been an awkward quiet few games for this young man. Taking a deep breath, playing under control and I think he can provide surprise in defending and scoring for the Falcons.

7) Lastly, how many times can you say 'Free Throws' win games. Air Force needs to keep shooting with the accuracy they have shown in leading the MWC from the FT line (in MWC games AF FT 83% SDSU Ft 69%.

Big game for the Falcons and big weekend for the MWC:

#22 SDSU (4-2) at Air Force (4-2)
Nevada (2-4) at #20 NM (5-1)
Wyoming (2-5) at CSU (4-2)
UNLV (4-2) at Boise St (2-4)
Bye Frenso State (2-4)

Time for the fans and Section 8 to show up to Clune Arena and make it 'The Chamber' once again.

BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

Last edited 2/2/2013 8:27 AM by ltcpilot

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Posted: 2/1/2013 6:58 AM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 




Matchup Edge

SDSTEdge in:AIRFC
Points/Game
Field Goal %
Free Throw %
Defense
Rebounding
Turnovers
Bench



1 Feb 2013 New: AF versus #22 SDSU, AF over Frenso St, AF Lady's lose, Around the MWC

Rick's Falcon Review: Preview: Air Force vs #22 San Diego State
Rick's Falcon Review: Postgame Win: Air Force 62 over Frenso State 50
Matchup Stats: Air Force vs SDSU
Pilipovich's philosophy on and off the court has brought 'Ws' to Air Force
Video: Coach Pilipovich of Air Force 1/31/13 with game highlights
Fletcher Lifts Air Force Past Fresno St., 62-50
Falcons win game they had to have
Recap: Air Force vs. Fresno State
Fresno State men's basketball loses to Air Force
Fresno State men's basketball team falls short despite hot scorer
KLEE: Top prep basketball prospects too rare in Colorado
You can't spell San Diego without a 'D'
Aztecs win proves MWC is underrated
SDSU's JJ O'Brien and the subtle art of playing basketbal
Franklin changes the makeup of SDSU
JJ O'Brien of SDSU Named MW Player of the Week
Week 13 Mountain West Men's basketball schedule
MWC repped by New Mexico and San Diego St. in power rankings
Mountain West Notebook: League Coaches Happy With Lobo Loss
MWC back at No. 2 in RPI, down to No. 6 in Sagarin
Hornung explodes as Colorado State basketball beats Boise State, 77-57
Recap: Colorado State vs. Boise State
Boise State men can't stop streaking Colorado State
No. 20 New Mexico beats Wyoming 63-59
Wyoming throws away chance to beat No. 20 Lobos
Recap: Wyoming vs. New Mexico
Recap: UNLV vs. Nevada


MWC Women

Air Force Falls to Fresno State, 60-47
Fresno State women's basketball wins 20th straight at home
CSU Women's Basketball Preview Vs. Wyoming
CSU women's basketball beats Boise State on the road
Women's basketball recap: Rams win late thriller at Boise State
Nevada women's basketball : In-state battle goes to Rebels


BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

Last edited 2/1/2013 7:06 AM by ltcpilot

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Posted: 2/1/2013 7:51 AM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


I'm watching this game very closely. It is a pivotal game in the MWC race. Air Force needs to get off to a quick start and make San Diego State play for 40 minutes.
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Posted: 2/1/2013 8:28 AM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


wow...surprise, surprise....does this game keep getting bigger for the Falcons?  Didn't see the word 'bubble' coming up recently!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://thecatchandshoot.com/20...n-this-weekend/


Air Force (13-6, 4-2 MWC, No. 72 RPI)

Much like La Salle, Air Force has also crept onto the bubble in the past few weeks. But unlike the Explorers, the Falcons are still looking for a Top-25 win, although they did come close at UNLV on January 12.

On Saturday afternoon, the Falcons will host No. 22 San Diego State, presenting them with a huge opportunity. Until Air Force gets a win over a Top-25 team, it will remain on the outside looking in.

Wyoming (15-5, 2-5 MWC, No. 63 RPI)

In non-conference play, Wyoming looked like it could be a Mountain West contender with a 13-0 start to the season, including a win over then-No. 19 Colorado. In league play, the Cowboys have really struggled with losses to Boise State and Air Force at home and Fresno State on the road. Their only quality win is over San Diego State at home.

At this point, Wyoming’s chances for winning the conference are slim, but they can get back to the right side of the bubble with a rare road win at Colorado State on Saturday night.The Rams are yet to lose at home this season, and they lost there only once last year.

Boise State (14-6, 2-4 MWC, No. 60 RPI)After starting conference play at 2-2, Boise State was on the right side of the bubble with wins at then-No. 11 Creighton and at Wyoming, which had been undefeated at the time. But last week the Broncos picked up an ugly loss to Nevada and were subsequently blown out by Colorado State on Wednesday.

Still, they will have plenty of opportunities for big wins, as they still have to play UNLV and San Diego State twice each and Colorado State and New Mexico once each.

This weekend, the Broncos host UNLV in what is starting to look like a must-win if they want to get back on the right side of the bubble.

BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

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Posted: 2/1/2013 10:17 AM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


Word is getting out about the Falcons, Air Force Sporting news and the MWC.....THANKS TO ALL THAT VISIT in support OF OUR FALCONS and MWC basketball and football.

Pageviews Rick's Falcon Review 
 



Need to keep spreading the word and 'they will come back to Clune' and once more make it the Chamber!!

BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

Last edited 2/1/2013 10:21 AM by ltcpilot

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Posted: 2/1/2013 10:42 AM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


SDSU fan on their forum questioned AF moving away from their roots and going uptempo and jacking up threes...my comments......

Today at 8:46am, miners22 wrote:

To the Air Force Fan. I am certain that it is good for you as a fan and

the players that AF "offensive tempo" is different from past years.

 

This is a blessing and a curse for AF. The blessing is that AF fans do not

have to wait 34 seconds for AF to shoot the basketball!! The curse

is that AF has lost its basketball identity with this new found "offensive

game!"

 

Now, AF is playing Zone, getting out on fast breaks and still jacking up

3 points shots. AF sounds and resembles an old MWC foe (BYU). Hmmm.

 

Teams dreaded playing AF because of their "slowdown" tactics. Now,

teams are looking forward to playing AF because AF wants to play

uptempo. That's the curse!

 

AF has the same personnel they had last season. San Diego State added

to their personnel. Bascially, last season, San Diego State had 6 players

and AF had 20!

 

This season, Aztecs can go 9 deep! I am, however, happy that AF no

longer plays "slowball" like Wyoming. I despise "slowball" teams, but

understand that their coaches must use whatever strategy they can

to win a game.

 

That's why the shot clock was invented for teams like Air Force and

Wyoming! Now, Fresno State has joined the "slowball" club. Maybe

Air Fore, Wyoming and Fresno State should get together with Wisconsin

and form a "slowball league!"

 

Can't wait to see "up-tempo" Air Force play.




I understand where you are coming from and 'yes and no' on your view of the Falcons. I think (and hope) you will see something that will surprise you and in many ways will very much look like the Falcons of old.

If you read my comments the emphasis is on up tempo in the transition game. In the past with the true Princeton it was 'take your time anytime the ball is in your hands from the ref handing you the ball until 34 seconds gone on the shot clock. The empahsis now is to get the ball up court quickly after an offensive rebound or even a make by the opponent and look for that transition opening, thus possibly getting good looks before the defense is set. Many times in the past we didn't even do this when wide open.

The big differrence from 'uptempo' teams you are comparing us to is that if it is not there then it is back into the Princeton (or the similar version to what we run). We do not jack up threes. We run the offense inside out, look for backdoor cuts and/or the inside/out pass. One more nuance in the offense is that, unlike the true Princeton (or how Wyoming is playing) if we find a good shot early in the clock we will not pass it up we will take it. So now it is on the opponent defense to defend inside, outside and not 'anticipating' we will run the clock for 35 seconds. On defense, Air Force has been playing the matchup zone since 1999 when we began the Princeton on offense and we still use that as our base defense but now have the athleticism to play man when needed.

Player wise, you are not the only team to have been upgraded. We have our 5 seniors (4 are starters) but behind them are all sophomores. Last year behind our (then) juniors we had inexperience freshmen, straight out of basic training, no summer workout with the team and with academics starting the 6th of August. Except for what some had from being at the prep school, it was nothing but inexperienced reserves after the top six players. 'But' those freshmen were the top 7-12 players off the bench. Fast forward to this year and we are playing 10-12 deep in most games and the physical level of play has also gone up. With that we have 10 players averaging double digit minutes with players 11-12 8.5mpg. First time AF has had depth in many years....ok...in many, many years.

I hope we compete well with you tomorrow and look for a good game. Thanks for letting me stop by and talk BBall!

BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

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Posted: 2/1/2013 1:18 PM

RE: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


A couple of quick stats:

- Air Force has won 100% of the time this season (9-0) when its field goal percentage has been 50.0% or better.
- AF has won 100% of the time this season (7-0) after holding an opponent to under 37.5% field goal percentage.

OK, it's kind of a BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious). . . Shoot great, play great defense. It's a simple game!!

72 Eagle Driver
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Posted: 2/1/2013 1:24 PM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 



ltcpilot wrote: wow...surprise, surprise....does this game keep getting bigger for the Falcons?  Didn't see the word 'bubble' coming up recently!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://thecatchandshoot.com/20...n-this-weekend/


Air Force (13-6, 4-2 MWC, No. 72 RPI)

Much like La Salle, Air Force has also crept onto the bubble in the past few weeks. But unlike the Explorers, the Falcons are still looking for a Top-25 win, although they did come close at UNLV on January 12.

On Saturday afternoon, the Falcons will host No. 22 San Diego State, presenting them with a huge opportunity. Until Air Force gets a win over a Top-25 team, it will remain on the outside looking in.

BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

If the Falcons want to go dancing this year at the prom vice the malt shop, tomorrow would be a good time to start.  So far this year, 0-2 against Top 25 teams and 0-5 against teams in the Top 50 RPI. 

However, the Falcons are playing excellent team basketbal and are a confident team.  It's the perfect time for them to put the upset.

72 Eagle Driver
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Posted: 2/1/2013 2:56 PM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


hoops.gifEagle agree wholeheartedly. Our Falcons are playing their best basketball in some time. We need to keep the mojo going and tomorrow would be an excellent time to show the world we are a pretty damn good team. GO FALCONS! Beat the Aztecs.
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Posted: 2/1/2013 3:17 PM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


ESPN also has AF #5 in the conference and predicts post season play in one form or another. 

This has got to be the biggest home game in years. 
ltcpilot wrote: wow...surprise, surprise....does this game keep getting bigger for the Falcons?  Didn't see the word 'bubble' coming up recently!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

http://thecatchandshoot.com/20...n-this-weekend/


Air Force (13-6, 4-2 MWC, No. 72 RPI)

Much like La Salle, Air Force has also crept onto the bubble in the past few weeks. But unlike the Explorers, the Falcons are still looking for a Top-25 win, although they did come close at UNLV on January 12.

On Saturday afternoon, the Falcons will host No. 22 San Diego State, presenting them with a huge opportunity. Until Air Force gets a win over a Top-25 team, it will remain on the outside looking in.

Wyoming (15-5, 2-5 MWC, No. 63 RPI)

In non-conference play, Wyoming looked like it could be a Mountain West contender with a 13-0 start to the season, including a win over then-No. 19 Colorado. In league play, the Cowboys have really struggled with losses to Boise State and Air Force at home and Fresno State on the road. Their only quality win is over San Diego State at home.

At this point, Wyoming’s chances for winning the conference are slim, but they can get back to the right side of the bubble with a rare road win at Colorado State on Saturday night.The Rams are yet to lose at home this season, and they lost there only once last year.

Boise State (14-6, 2-4 MWC, No. 60 RPI)After starting conference play at 2-2, Boise State was on the right side of the bubble with wins at then-No. 11 Creighton and at Wyoming, which had been undefeated at the time. But last week the Broncos picked up an ugly loss to Nevada and were subsequently blown out by Colorado State on Wednesday.

Still, they will have plenty of opportunities for big wins, as they still have to play UNLV and San Diego State twice each and Colorado State and New Mexico once each.

This weekend, the Broncos host UNLV in what is starting to look like a must-win if they want to get back on the right side of the bubble.

BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

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Posted: 2/1/2013 10:14 PM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


This says it all........................


SDSU faces an Air Force team you might not recognize By Mark Zeigler 5:41 p.m.

Florida's Michael Frazier II, right, defends Air Force's DeLovell Earls, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Rhona Wise) Florida's

Michael Frazier II, right, defends Air Force's DeLovell Earls, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Rhona Wise) — AP  


the san diego state players and coaches can look at this air force juggernaut they face saturday afternoon at clune arena, at the 9-1 home record, at the three straight mountain west wins for the first time in six seasons, at the conference-leading 48.4-percent shooting, at the 73 points per game (the aztecs average only 70.3), at the five games in the 80s and two in the 90s and one of 102.

and blame themselves.


the aztecs came here 352 days ago as the nation’s no. 13-ranked team and left with a 58-56 loss that, it says right there in the second paragraph of coach dave pilipovich’s bio, was “one of the biggest victories in program history.”

it was more than a two-point squeaker against a sdsu team that was without injured jamaal franklin and finished the game with seven healthy scholarship players. it came a week after jeff reynolds had been fired, and it probably got the interim tag removed from pilipovich’s title.


that the falcons wouldn’t win again the rest of the season didn’t matter. when your program is 0-64 in its history against top 20 opponents, it’s hard to blow out the guy who knocks off no. 13.


“a monumental win for us,” pilipovich said. “i think it gave our players the opportunity to believe that, yes, we have the skill level maybe to go out and compete with a nationally-ranked team and a great team in our conference.


“we were able to build on that. we’ve talked about that game numerous times as we prepare for different games this year. as we try to build our program, that’s one of the building blocks. it was very big.”


air force’s personnel largely has not changed from last year. but its confidence has. its style. its swagger.  its scores.“we definitely have to tweak a couple things,” fifth-year senior james rahon said. “it’s definitely a different team than last year.”

This is not the Air Force that, with 32, holds the Mountain West record for fewest points in a conference game. That walks it up, runs false motion for 15 seconds, then starts the dizzying sequence of high-post rubs and back cuts and flare screens, taking the shot clock down to its final harrowing ticks.

This Air Force does not park the jets in a hangar. This Air Force roars down the runway and takes the first good shot. This Air Force scored 91 and 90 points in its two games last week, the 91 (against Boise State) marking its most in Mountain West history. This Air Force is 9-2 when it scores 70 or more, and 4-4 when it doesn’t.


This Air Force has four senior starters and only one loss to a team with an RPI lower than 25, and that was at No. 75 Richmond. This Air Force (13-6) is 4-2 in the Mountain West after winning three confererence games last year. This Air Force took UNLV to overtime and beat Wyoming by nine on the road. This Air Force would be 10-0 at home had it not shot 14 of 25 from the line in a 72-69 loss to No. 15 Wichita State.

“We felt we had an opportunity to maybe play a little bit faster, to give them a little bit more freedom, to allow us to maybe be a little bit more efficient offensively,” Pilipovich said. “As you’ve seen in the past, there’s been some struggles to score points.”

Or as UNLV coach Dave Rice put it: “Coach Pilipovich has kind of got the best of both worlds, where they’re scoring in transition and if they don’t have anything they’re setting up and running their Princeton/Air Force stuff.  The transition offense gets Air Force easier baskets, certainly, than spending 35 seconds trying to bait you into a layup off a back cut. But it does something else. It keeps teams off the offensive boards and negates Air Force’s inherent disadvantages in size and athleticism. The Aztecs have averaged 15.3 offensive rebounds in their last four games against Air Force and held a commanding 63-15 advantage on second-chance points. But do they commit extra bodies to glass this time at the risk of a Falcons run-out? “They bring a different element to the table,” said SDSU coach Steve Fisher, whose 22nd-ranked Aztecs (16-4, 4-2) had a bye Wednesday and thus a full week to prepare. “Before, you talked about make sure you take care of the ball because possessions will be limited. Now, Air Force is playing still the way Air Force used to play but they’re playing to some degree like everybody else playing. “They’re pushing the ball, quick shooting it when they’ve got it, then they spread it and make you guard all the things they’ve run for years with success. They’re a very, very good basketball team, and they are even doubly that at home.”

No. 22 SDSU at Air Force Site/time : Clune Arena, Colorado Springs, Colo./Noon PST Saturday. TV/radio : Time Warner Cable SportsNet/AM-600, FM-101.5 Records : SDSU is 16-4, 4-2; Air Force is 13-6, 4-2. Series : SDSU leads 17-14 and has won eight of the last nine, the lone loss coming last year on the road. Aztecs outlook : Xavier Thames (back) and Chase Tapley (right wrist) have practiced minimally all week and are questionable, although both seem to be improving. Tapley hurt his wrist against New Mexico and it swelled afterward. He had X-rays and an MRI, both of which showed evidence of an old injury but nothing new. Going to Air Force with injuries is a familiar tale. In the 58-56 loss last year, Jamaal Franklin (ankle) didn’t dress and Garrett Green (ankle) sat out most of the second half. Over the past two years, SDSU has held Air Force to three of its eight worst shooting performances, including 34.7 and 34.9 percent last season. James Rahon leads the nation in fewest turnovers per minutes played, averaging one every 89 minutes.

Falcons outlook : They have five seniors and start four, with a combined 464 college games played and 328 starts. G Michael Lyons (18 ppg, 4.6 rpg) is second in the Mountain West in scoring. G Todd Fletcher is tops in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.08. The Falcons lead the MW in overall field-goal percentage (.484) and are second in 3-point percentage (.394), and since conference started they are making 82.7 percent of their free throws. And at 4-2 they are tied with SDSU, UNLV and Colorado State for second place. Not bad for a team picked to finish last in the preseason media poll.

This begins their moment of truth, however, with the four of the next five against SDSU, New Mexico, UNLV and Colorado State. This is the third straight year they have hosted SDSU on a Saturday afternoon. --MARK ZEIGLER BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

Last edited 2/1/2013 10:21 PM by ltcpilot

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Posted: 2/2/2013 7:51 AM

Re: Air Force (13-6/4-2) versus #22 San Diego State (16-4/4-2) 


Quick hits for gameday Air Force vs San Diego State............

Big game for both teams but more so for the Falcons. Hoping for a big crowd at Clune Arena. Scroll to previous blog entry for full AF vs SDSU preview. Gameday news links......

San Diego St.-Air Force Preview
CBSSports.com
San Diego State
appeared to be in trouble two weeks ago, falling out of the Top 25 after two consecutive losses. Then ... 22 San Diego State will be tasked with slowing down the Mountain West's top shooting squad on Saturday when they travel to Air Force.

Scouting Report: San Diego State

Air Force defeated San Diego State at home last season, but that win came at a point in time when the Falcons had absolutely nothing to lose. This Saturday, the Falcons can legitimately throw themselves into the NCAA tournament conversation if they can conquer the Aztecs. It's showtime in Colorado Springs. Full Story

Ticket sales surge in advance of Air Force's matchup with No. 22 San Diego State

Air Force seems to have the attention of its audience. Now what will it do with it?

Advance ticket sales for Saturday’s 1 p.m. game against No. 22 San Diego State went past 3,000 by noon Friday. That’s nearly double the Falcons’ average home attendance this ..........Read more


Falcons Host Nationally-Ranked San Diego State on Saturday

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U.S. Air Force Academy Athletics - 18 hours ago
The Air Force men's basketball team will play its fourth ranked opponent of the season this Saturday, Feb. 2 against the #22/20 San Diego State ...


Conference Power Rankings: MWC

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ESPN (blog) - Feb 1, 2013
Air Force can disrupt the league race with games upcoming against San Diego State and at New Mexico. I have said for weeks that the ...


GO FALCONS..........BEAT SAN DIEGO STATE

GO FALCONS

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