Air Force opens the season by hosting four home games as part of the Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase at the Academy. The Falcons open the season Sunday, Nov. 12, with Texas State at 2 p.m., followed by games vs. Canisius Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 5p.m., Arkansas-Pine Bluff Monday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m. and Pacific on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.
The “WEST WILL BE WON” in the Rocky Mountains through the San Joaquin Valley when Air Force and Pacific host the 2017 Men Against Breast Cancer Showcase. Thanksgiving weekend will bring round-robin clashes as University of the Pacific hosts Arkansas – Pine Bluff, Texas State, and Canisus in Stockton, California, after each team will first skirmish at Air Force starting opening weekend.
The complete schedule and previews of each team follow.
November 12th – Texas State at Air Force
November 14th – Canisius at Air Force
November 20nd – UAPB at Air Force
November 21st – Pacific at Air Force
November 22nd – Texas State vs UAPB
November 24th – Canisius vs Texas State; UAPB at Pacific
November 25th – UAPB vs Canisius; Texas State at Pacific
November 26th – Canisius at Pacific
Air Force Falcons – Dave Pilipovich (Mountain West)
With over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, Head Coach Dave Pilipovich leads the charge, piloting the Falcons’ ship. It’s his sixth full season manning the controls, and Dave has become one of the most successful head coaches in the history of the Air Force Academy. Under Dave’s leadership, the falcons had their first-ever win over a Top 20 team, added two more wins vs ranked opponents the season after, and he even led the Falcons to their only postseason road win in history. Pilipovich’s 18 wins in his first full season as Head Coach tied the school’s 4th best overall win total across a single season. That season, senior Michael Lyons won the Mountain West Conference scoring title, and become only the 6th Falcon in history to receive first-team all-conference honors. Air Force has posted 3 winning records at home in conference play at Dave’s direction, the most ever by a Falcons Head Coach.
Pacific Tigers – Damon Stoudamire (West Coast Conference)
Entering only his second full season as Head Coach of the Tigers, Damon Stoudamire is a former 13-year NBA veteran and won NBA Rookie of the Year, before he transitioned into coaching. Stoudamire has already made history at Pacific, leading the team to their first ever West Coast Conference Tournament win. Pacific defeated Pepperdine 89-84 in the first round of the WCC tourney, before falling to National Champion Runner-up Gonzaga in the second round. Damon played and learned at Arizona under former two-time National Coach of the Year, Lute Olson. That, in combination with serving as an Assistant Coach for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, plus in the college ranks with the Arizona Wildcats and Memphis Tigers, Stoudamire is well prepared for his opportunity as “Top-Tiger” at Pacific.
Texas State Bobcats – Danny Kaspar (Sun Belt Conference)
Danny Kaspar is one of the most successful Head Coaches in modern collegiate basketball. With 524 total career wins across all collegiate levels in that role, he now enters his 5th season at Texas State. Kaspar is coming off 22 wins which is the best season Texas State has had since the 1993/94 season, which was the Bobcats only other 20+ win season at the Division-1 level across 30 years. After reaching 20 wins throughout the regular season and as runner up in the Sun Belt Conference Championship, the Bobcats scored their first two D1 postseason wins ever while reaching quarterfinals in the CIT.
Canisius Golden Griffins – Reggie Witherspoon (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
College hoops fans at Canisius didn’t have to wonder if their new Coach for the 2016/17 season knew the basketball scene in The Nickel City. Former longtime Buffalo Bulls Head Coach Reggie Witherspoon was given the keys to Canisius this past season, and guided the Golden Griffins to 18 wins, including ten conference wins and record above .500 on the road. A postseason appearance in the CIT marked the 5th time Witherspoon has attained the accomplishment overall. Early in the year, the the team helped Reggie reach a major milestone with 200 career D1 wins. After that accomplishment against MAAC foe Manhattan on December 2nd, it gave momentum to the Griffs as they won 9 of their next 11 games, including a streak of seven straight during that stretch.
Arkansas – Pine Bluff Golden Lions – George Ivory (Southwestern Athletic Conference)
UAPB Head Coach George Ivory is one of the most successful SWAC basketball players in conference history. Ivory remains the leader in scoring, steals, assists, minutes, and games played during his time as a 4-year started at Mississippi Valley State University. In the 2007/08 season as an Assistant Coach at his alma mater, Ivory helped MVSU win the SWAC Tournament Championship and a birth into the NCAA tourney. Once UAPB gave the reigns to Ivory for the 2008/09 season, George brought immediate success when in his first season, UAPB finished with a winning record in SWAC play for the first time ever. As an encore, the Golden Lions went 18-5 in their last 23 games of the 2009/10 season after starting the season 0-11, streaking to a win in the SWAC Tournament Championship and the team’s only NCAA Tournament Championship birth ever. UAPB won their opening round matchup in the NCAA tournament when they defeated Winthrop. The win ended a 17-year winless drought for SWAC teams at the NCAA tourney.
Men Against Breast Cancer (MABC) is the first and only national 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization designed to provide targeted support services that educate and empower men to be effective caregivers when cancer strikes. Since our founding in 1999, MABC has mobilized men across America, including under-served populations, to be active participants in the fight against breast cancer. Our philosophy is to leverage the support of the whole family to help the patient, with special emphasis on the important role of men in caring for the women they love.
Never before has any organization taken such a unique and integrative approach through the implementation of proven programs to educate men on their important responsibilities as caregivers. To develop these tools we continue to work in partnership with a variety of groups such as internationally recognized medical experts who specialize in the psycho-social aspects of coping with cancer, leading medical facilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state and local governments, and corporate partners. Learn more at http://menagainstbreastcancer.org.