Falcons Open Season at Third Annual All-Military Classic

    Junior Marek Olesinski
    Junior Marek Olesinski

    Nov. 7, 2013

    GAME #1
    Air Force Falcons vs. Army Black Knights
    Friday, Nov. 8, 2013
    1 p.m. (ET) at Lexington, Va. (ESPNU)
    First Round -- All-Military Classic

    Game Notes vs. Army Get Acrobat Reader

    Live Stats | Watch Live

    SITE
    Location Lexington, Va.
    Arena Cameron Hall
    Capacity 5,000

    RADIO
    Network Air Force / IMG Radio Network
    Station AM 1300 KCSF, Colo. Spgs.
    Play-by-Play Matt Pauley

    TELEVISION
    Network ESPNU
    (DirecTV - 208; Dish - 148; Comcast - 732)
    Play-by-Play Bob Picozzi
    Analyst Cory Alexander

    COACHES
    Dave Pilipovich (Thiel College, 1978)
      Air Force 20-20, Second Full Season
      Overall Same

    Zach Spiker (Ithaca, 2000)
      Army 53-67, Fifth Season
      Overall Same

    ALL-TIME SERIES
      Overall Air Force leads 3-2
      Neutral Site Air Force leads 2-1
      First Game Jan. 29, 1977
      Result Army won 68-49
      Last Game Nov. 10, 2012
      Result Air Force won, 76-65
      Current Streak Air Force - 2

    Falcons Open Season at Third Annual All-Military Classic
     The Air Force men’s basketball team opens its 2013-14 season with the third annual All-Military Classic, Nov. 8-9 at VMI in Lexington, Va. The Falcons will play service-academy rival Army on Friday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. (ET), followed by VMI and Citadel at 3:30 p.m. The third-place game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, followed by the championship game. Both first-round games will be televised on ESPNU and the games on Saturday on ESPN3. 
     This is the third of the four-year deal for the tournament, with each school hosting once. Air Force hosted the first tournament in 2011 and The Citadel hosted last season. Army will host next year. The tournament is played each year during Veteran’s Day weekend.
     Air Force has won both tournaments, defeating VMI 75-65 in the final two years ago and The Citadel 77-70 last season.

    All-Military Classic Schedule (All Times Eastern)
    Friday, Nov. 8 (Both games televised on ESPNU)
    Air Force vs. Army, 1 p.m.
    Citadel vs. VMI, 3:30 p.m.

    Saturday, Nov. 9 (Both games televised on ESPN3)
    Third-Place Game, 6 p.m.
    Championship Game, 8:30 p.m.
     
    Getting Started
     This season marks the 58th year of varsity basketball for Air Force. This is Air Force’s 15th season in the Mountain West. AFA was a member of the Western Athletic Conference for 19 years before joining the MW in 1999.

    Season Openers
     Air Force is 27-30 all-time in season openers. The Falcons are 20-8 at home and 7-22 on the road (including neutral games). Last season, the Falcons opened with a 76-65 victory over Army in the first round of the All-Military Classic at Charleston, S.C. Air Force has won its last 10 season openers.

    Up Next
     Following the All-Military Classic, the Falcons will play their 2013-14 home opener against Jackson State on Thursday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.

    Dave Pilipovich Enters Second Full Season as Head Coach
     Dave Pilipovich became the eighth head coach in the history of the Air Force men’s basketball program on Feb. 8, 2012 and was named permanent head coach on March 3, 2012. Pilipovich was in his fifth season as a member of the coaching staff and first as associate head coach when he was promoted to head coach after Jeff Reynolds was relieved of his duties.
     After taking over the program, Pilipovich won two of his first three games as head coach, including a come from behind 58-53 win at Wyoming in his first road game. He then led his team to one of the biggest victories in program history with a 58-56 triumph over 13th-ranked San Diego State at Clune Arena, marking Air Force’s first-ever win over a Top 20 team.
     In 2012-13, his first full season as head coach, Pilipovich led the Falcons to an 18-14 overall record, tying the fourth-most wins in one season in program history. He also became the first Air Force head coach to beat two ranked teams in the same season and owns three of AFA’s four wins against ranked opponents, including an 89-88 win over #12 New Mexico, the highest ranked opponent ever defeated by Air Force. He also coached Air Force to its first-ever postseason road win with a 69-65 victory at Hawai’i in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament.

    Capt. Nick Welch Joins Staff as Assistant Coach
     Capt. Nick Welch joins the Falcon coaching staff in 2013-14. Previously, Welch spent four years at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana as an aircraft maintenance officer and two at Los Angeles Air Force Base as an acquisition program manager  since his graduation from the Academy.
     Welch, who earned his bachelor’s degree in economics in 2007, enjoyed a stellar basketball career with the Falcons. A four-year letterwinner, he is No. 14 on AFA’s career scoring list with 1,109 points and 10th on the school’s assist list with 255. Welch, who is tied for ninth with 116 career games played, started the last 93 games he played in as a Falcon.

    Falcons Picked 10th in Media Poll 
     Air Force was picked 10th in the 2013-14 Mountain West preseason media poll:

    School (First Place Votes)  Pts.
    1. New Mexico (23) 263
    2. UNLV (1)  214
        Boise State  214
    4. San Diego State  212
    5. Utah State  156
    6. Colorado State  142
    7. Wyoming  112
    8. Fresno State  96
    9. Nevada  84
    10. Air Force  61
    11. San José State  30

    Seven Opponents Played in Postseason 
     Eight of Air Force’s 21 opponents this season played in a postseason tournament last year:

    Regis University Defeats Falcons in Exhibition
     Jarrett Green scored a game-high 30 points to lead Regis University to a 70-65 victory over Air Force Sunday afternoon in an exhibition game at Clune Arena. Green hit nine of 18 field goals, including eight of 14 three-pointers, and four free throws in the final seconds to seal it for the Rangers.
     Regis, who lost by a single point to Colorado State on Saturday, hit all eight of its free throw attempts in the final 30 seconds to hold off the Falcons. Regis finished the game hitting 12 of 16 from the free throw line and out-rebounded Air Force, 35-25. Joseph Bodman added 11 points and seven rebounds while Kevin Marshall chipped in with nine points, six rebounds and a game-high eight assists. Marshall also hit all four of his free throws down the stretch.
     Air Force, playing without starters DeLovell Earls and Kamryn Williams, were led by sophomore Tre Coggins, who had 20 points, four rebounds and a game-high six steals. Max Yon added 16 points and Marek Olesinski chipped in with 11. The Falcons hit 48.1 percent from the field, but just 23.8 percent (5-21) from three-point range. The Falcons had 11 steals and only seven turnovers, while forcing 14 turnovers.
     Regis, which led 32-27 at halftime, responded to a Yon basket to cut the lead to 32-29 with a three-pointer by Green to take its biggest lead of the second half, 35-29. The Rangers kept the margin throughout most of the second half until a basket by Coggins give the Falcons their final lead of the game, 50-48, with 8:01 left. Green answered with another three-point and the Rangers never trailed again.  

    18-14 Overall and Sixth Place in Mountain West Last Season
     Air Force finished the 2012-13 season with an 18-14 overall record and an 8-8 mark in the Mountain West, good for sixth place. The Falcons tied Boise State for the largest jump from predicted to actual finish in the Mountain West (three spots). Air Force was picked ninth in the pre-season poll.

    Seventh Postseason Appearance Ever
     Air Force made its seventh postseason appearance in school history with an invitation to the CollegeInsider.com Tournament for the second time in the last three years. The Falcons defeated Hawai’i in the first round, 69-65 in Honolulu, then saw their season come to an end with a 78-57 loss at Weber State in the second round. Air Force is now 5-7 overall in postseason history.

    First Road Postseason Victory Ever
     Air Force’s 69-65 victory over Hawai’i in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament was the first postseason win on the road in program history. The Falcons are now 1-1 in postseason road games, the other game an 88-75 loss at Santa Clara in the second round of the 2011 CIT.

    18 Wins Ties Fourth-Most in Program History
     With its win over Hawai’i in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, Air Force posted its 18th victory of the season, tying the fourth-most wins in one season in the 57-year history of the program. Air Force had 26 wins in 2006-07, 24 in ‘05-06, 22 in ‘03-04 and 18 in ‘04-05. This is also the sixth season in program history with at least eight conference wins (8-8 in Mountain West).

    Air Force Defeated Highest-Ranked Team in Program History
     Air Force’s victory over #12/11 New Mexico marked the highest–ranked team Air Force has ever defeated. Air Force is 4-79 against ranked opponents in program history. The three other victories in program history came against No. 21 UTEP (75-72) on Feb. 15, 1992, No. 13 San Diego State (58-56) on Feb. 18, 2012 and #22/20 San Diego State (70-67) on Feb. 2, 2013.

    All But Two Losses to Winning Teams
     The 12 teams that defeated Air Force last season had a combined 276-136 record (.670 winning percentage). Weber State was 30-7, Wichita State was 30-9, New Mexico was 29-6, Florida was 29-8, Colorado State was 26-9, UNLV was 25-10, San Diego State was 23-11, Colorado was 21-12, Boise State was 21-11, Richmond was 19-15, Nevada was 12-19 and Fresno State was 11-19. Eight of the teams, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida, UNLV, Wichita State, Colorado State, San Diego State and Boise State earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament last season, while Richmond and Wyoming played in the College Basketball Invitational.

    One of the Best Seasons at Home in Program History
     Air Force’s 13 wins at Clune Arena this season tied the third-most in program history for home wins in one season. The 2006-07 team won 16, the 2005-06 team won 15 and the 2003-04 team won 13. The Falcons’ 13-2 record (.867 winning percentage) is the eighth-best home winning percentage in program history.

    What a Difference a Year Makes
     Air Force’s projected starting lineup for this weekend started zero games and averaged 12.7 points per game last season. In fact, the entire Air Force roster enters the All-Military Classic with just 36 career starts (DeLovell Earls 22, Kamryn Williams 14).
     In contrast, last year’s opening game starting lineup, comprised of five seniors, had started 108 games and averaged 44.7 points per game the previous season.

    Big Personnel Losses
     Air Force enters the 2013-14 campaign after losing its top six scorers and four of its top five rebounders from last season. Only 22.4 percent of the team’s scoring and 40 percent of the rebounding returns this season.


     

     

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