Nov. 27, 2006
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Colorado Springs World Arena (8,000), Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Air Force Basketball Network. Locally on NewsRadio 740 KVOR in Colorado Springs and KYOL 1510 AM in Denver. KVOR's Jim Arthur handles the play-by-play.
Fox Sports South. Rich Waltz and Cliff Ellis call the action.
Air Force defeated Radford, 83-59, last Wednesday night at the Academy. Wake Forest defeated Appalachian State, 88-78, Saturday night at home.
Air Force is coached by Jeff Bzdelik (Illinois-Chicago, 1976), who is in his second season as head coach. Bzdelik returned to the college game last year after 15 seasons as a coach and scout in the NBA, most recently as head coach of the Denver Nuggets. Bzdelik has a collegiate career record of 55-39, including a 30-8 mark at Air Force.
Wake Forest is coached by Skip Prosser (US Merchant Marine Academy, 1972), who is in his sixth season with the Demon Deacons. He has a 115-52 record at the school and is 280-130 in his 15-year career.
Wake Forest won the only game the two teams have played, defeating Air Force, 84-44, in the BCA Classic on Nov. 17, 2000.
Third Place at CBE Classic
Air Force finished third at the 16-team College Basketball Experience Classic with a 67-53 victory over Texas Tech on Nov. 21 in the third-place game in Kansas City, Mo.
The Falcons defeated their second Big 12 opponent this season, also defeating Colorado, 84-46, in Boulder on Nov. 18.
CBE Classic Regional Champs
With its 79-45 victory over Stanford on Nov. 15, Air Force captured the Stanford Region of the CBE Classic and was the only non-home team to advance to the CBE Classic semifinals in Kansas City. Duke, Texas Tech and Marquette were the other teams at the tournament.
McCraw Named to All-Tourney Team
Senior Matt McCraw was named to the CBE Classic all-tournament team after scoring a season-high 18 points and grabbing a team-high six rebounds against Texas Tech in the third-place game. McCraw scored nine points in the semis vs. Duke.
Burtschi Named Region MVP
Senior Jacob Burtschi was named the most valuable player for the Stanford Region of the CBE Classic. Burtschi averaged 23 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two games, including a 24-point, 12-rebound performance against Stanford on Wednesday, the third double-double of his career.
Burtschi Named Preseason All-MWC
Senior forward Jacob Burtschi was selected to the preseason All-Mountain West Conference team at the league's media day in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Chickasha, Okla. product earned second-team honors by the conference following the 2005-06 season after finishing second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.4 points per game, and leading the MWC with a school-record 71 steals. He needs eight steals to become AFA's career leader.
Burtschi led the Falcons in rebounding at 6.1 rebounds per game, which placed him ninth in the league.
This is the fourth consecutive year an Air Force player has been selected to the team. Senior Nick Welch was picked each of the past two years and Tim Keller was selected prior to the 2003-04 season. The only other MWC school to have a player on the team each of the last four years is Colorado State.
2006-07 Preseason All-MWC
Jacob Burtschi, Sr., F, Air Force
Trent Plaisted, So., F/C, BYU
Jason Smith, Jr., F, Colorado State
Mohamed Abukar, Sr., F, San Diego State
Brandon Heath, Sr., G, San Diego State
Top Returning Player
Brandon Heath, Sr., G, San Diego State
Stephen Weigh, G/F, Utah
Last Time Out
Air Force 83, Radford 59
Nov. 22, 2006, USAFA, Colo.
Dan Nwaelele tied his career-high with 23 points and Jacob Burtschi added 19 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday night as the Air Force men's basketball team defeated Radford, 83-59, in front of 4,022 fans at Clune Arena. The Falcons, playing their fourth game in five days, improved to 6-1, while the Highlanders fell to 1-5.
Nwaelele was hot from the field all evening, making seven of his nine field goal attempts, including 6-for-8 from beyond the three-point line. He added three assists and two steals. Burtschi, meanwhile, posted the second double-double of the season and fourth of his career and he became Air Force's career steals leader with a pair during the game. He now has 150 thefts in his career.
Air Force broke open the game late in the first half with a 20-6 run to take a 36-22 lead on a Nwaelele three-pointer with less than two minutes remaining in the half. The hot shooting continued in the second half as the Falcons shot 53.8 percent (7-13) from three-point range and was 16-for-21 from the free-throw line.
Much needed rest is in store for Air Force, which finished third in the CBE Classic with a 67-53 victory over Texas Tech Tuesday night in Kansas City. The Falcons flew home Wednesday morning in advance of tonight's game.
Matt McCraw, who was named to the all-tournament team at the CBE Classic after scoring 18 points against Texas Tech, scored 17 points tonight and dished out a game-high five assists.
Reggie McIntyre led the Highlanders with 18 points and three steals.
Notes from the Radford Game
-- Air Force had a season-high nine steals
-- Air Force tied season-highs of 13 3FG made and 25 3FG attempted
-- Air Force has made a three-pointer in 422 consecutive games
-- Air Force has scored 80 or more points three times in one season for the first time since the 1999-2000 season
-- Dan Nwaelele tied his career-high with 23 points
-- Matt Holland scored a career-high five points
-- Matt McCraw tied his season-high with five assists
-- Andrew had season-highs of four rebounds and two assists
-- Jacob Burtschi posted his second double-double of the season and fourth of his career
6-1 Ties Best Start Ever
Air Force's 6-1 record ties the best start ever in program history after seven games. Five other Air Force teams started 6-1 (1974-75, `75-76, `82-83, `86-87 and 2005-06). Last year was the first time Air Force started a season 7-1.
The Falcons play the first of four consecutive games at Clune Arena on Saturday, Dec. 2 against IPFW. Tip-off is scheduled for noon.
Seven Games in 12 Days!!
Air Force started the season playing seven games in 12 days, including four games in five days, culminating with its 83-59 victory over Radford last Wednesday. Air Force was just one of three Division I teams (Winston-Salem College and Fairfield Univ.) to play seven games before Thanksgiving this season.
First Top Ten Opponent Since `98
Duke was the Falcons' opponent ranked in the Top Ten since AFA played fifth-ranked Utah on Feb. 21, 1998. The Falcons have never beaten a Top Ten team.
Fourth NCAA Appearance in History
Air Force made its fourth appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season, falling to Illinois, 78-69, in the first round. The Falcons lost to North Carolina in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament, 63-52, which was their first time in the "Big Dance" since 1962, when the Falcons lost in the first round, 68-66, to Texas Tech. Air Force's other appearance in the NCAA tournament was in 1960, losing in the first round to DePaul, 69-63.
Air Force has made a three-point shot in 422 consecutive games. The last time the Falcons failed to make a three-pointer was Dec. 4, 1991 in a 57-51 victory over Adams State College.
New School Record for 3s ...
The Falcons set a new school record last year for the most three-pointers made in a single season. They drained 276 long-range shots last season, bettering the old record of 266 in 2004-05.
... No. 2 in 3-Pt. Percentage
Air Force's percentage of 40.4 (276-684) from three-point range last year is the second-best by any Falcon team, behind the 1988-89 squad, which shot 40.5 percent (137-338).
... And No. 3 in FG Percentage
Air Force's field goal percentage of 48.3 percent last year is the third-best in school history and the best since 1989.
Burtschi Sets Career Steals Mark
With his two steals against Radford last Wednesday, senior Jacob Burtschi became the all-time steals leader at Air Force. He has 150, two more than Raymond Dudley, who played from 1986-90.
Falcons Receive Votes in Polls
Air Force received votes in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and the AP poll released Nov. 27. The Falcons received 35 votes in teh coaches poll and eight in the AP poll.
Falcons Picked Third in MWC Poll
Air Force was picked third in the 2006-07 preseason media poll released at the Mountain West Conference media day in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 26. The Falcons received three first-place votes, the second-most in the conference.
School (First Place Votes), Pts
1. San Diego State (17), 192
2. BYU (1), 156
3. Air Force (3), 147
4. Utah, 114
5. New Mexico, 101
6. UNLV, 99
7. Colorado State, 68
8. Wyoming, 51
9. TCU, 27
24 Wins Set New School Record
Air Force finished the 2005-06 campaign with a 24-7 record. The 24 victories are the most wins in one season in the history of the program. The previous mark was 22 set by the 2003-04 team.
Home Win Streak at 19
The Falcons have an 19-game winning streak at Clune Arena. The team's current home-court winning streak is tied for the third-longest in the nation with Akron.
Non-Conference Home Streak at 27
With its 83-59 victory over Radford on Nov. 22, Air Force has a 27-game winning streak at home against non-conference opponents.
The last loss at home to a non-Mountain West team at Clune Arena was to Tennessee Tech on Dec. 29, 2001 (64-44).
Nearly Unbeatable at Clune
The Falcons have been close to unbeatable at Clune Arena the last three seasons. Including the final home game of the 2002-03 season (a 68-60 victory over New Mexico), Air Force has won 41 of its last 42 home games. The team was 13-0 in `03-04, 12-1 in `04-05 (lost to Utah, 65-56) and 15-0 last season.
AFA's 41-1 home record since the beginning of the 2003-04 season is the second-best in the country for winning percentage.
Second Time With 30-Point Wins
Air Force's 36-point victory at Stanford and 38-point win at Colorado marked just the second time in school history that the Falcons have won consecutive games by 30 points or more.
The first time was in the program's inaugural season of 1956-57, when AFA defeated Colorado College, 104-53, and Eastern New Mexico, 102-69. Both of those games were at home.
Falcons vs. the ACC
Air Force is 2-8 overall against teams in the ACC, including a 71-56 loss to nationally-ranked Duke
earlier this season.
The Falcons' victories over Miami and Georgia Tech gave them a 2-0 mark last season against one of the top conferences in the country.
The Falcons were 0-7 against ACC teams entering the `05-06 season. In the past, AFA posted two wins against teams that are currently in the ACC (Georgia Tech in 1972 and Florida State in 1965), but those teams were not in the ACC at the time of the game.
AFA in the Computer Rankings
The Falcons have posted their highest ratings ever in the Sagarin ratings and the RPI. The Falcons were No. 19 in the Sagarin on Nov. 26. and No. 14 in the RPI on Nov. 20.
All Five Starters in Double Figures
All five of Air Force's starters are averaging in double figures this season. Jacob Burtschi leads the way at 14.1 ppg, followed by Dan Nwaelele (12.4), Nick Welch (11.6), Matt McCraw (10.9) and Tim Ansderson (10.9).