Air Force Men's Basketball 2013 CIT Tournament Capsule

Air Force Falcons
Mountain West (17-13, 8-8)

 

Considering the strength of the Mountain West, Air Force put together a very good season under Coach Dave Pilipovich. The Falcons managed to finish 8-8 in conference play and garnered victories over San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico. Air Force have played their usual style of smart, savvy basketball and that can make up the difference against more talented teams as this group has proven time and time again.

Big Wins: 1/19 Boise State (91-80), 2/13 UNLV (71-56), 3/09 New Mexico (89-88)
Bad Losses: 2/09 at Nevada (69-74), 3/02 at Fresno State (41-56)
Coach: Dave Pilipovich (1 season at Air Force)

Why They Can Surprise:
The Falcons share the ball extremely well and they can knock down shots efficiently, especially from beyond the arc. Michael Lyons is the go-to-scorer and he can go off and drop 30 or more points on anybody. The 6-5 senior is not the most efficient shooter on the team, but you can be sure Lyons will take all of the big shots for Air Force. But Lyons can afford to shoot 32.3 percent from long range since he is so efficient inside the arc. However, a knee injury suffered during the Falcons loss to UNLV in the Mountain West tournament has Lyons status for the postseason in serious doubt. Todd Fletcher is the more consistent long range threat and knocks down 45.5 percent of his attempts. Fletcher is also the point guard and spearheads the strong defensive effort and does a great job of keeping the turnovers down. With players like Kyle Green and forwards Mike Fitzgerald and DeLovell Earls, the Falcons have a lot of options when it comes to shooting from long range. However, this team will go as far as Lyons can take them.

Why They Can Disappoint:
Air Force will have to keep the turnovers under control, which they usually do, in order to help neutralize their lack of strength on the glass. Lyons actually leads the team with 3.9 rebounds per game. Center Taylor Broekhuis is a decent defensive presence and a tough post player to defend since he can step outside and knock down the mid-range jumper with consistency, but he is not effective on the glass. It will take a team effort for this group not to get beat on the glass and they will not be able to afford to give up too many second chance points. The only way they can make up for it is by getting hot from beyond the arc or getting yet another huge performance from Lyons and he may not even be available.

Probable Starters:
Todd Fletcher, Senior, Guard, 9.6 ppg, 3.7 apg
Michael Lyons, Senior, Guard, 17.7 ppg, 2.3 apg
Mike Fitzgerald, Senior, Forward, 9.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg
DeLovell Earls, Sophomore, Forward, 4.0 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Taylor Broekhuis, Senior, Center, 8.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Key Roleplayers:
Tre’ Coggins, Freshman, Guard, 2.5 ppg, 1.2 apg
Kyle Green, Senior, Guard, 5.0 ppg, 1.4 apg
Kamryn Williams, Sophomore, Forward, 3.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.0 (88th in nation, 4th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 67.4 (197, 8)
Field-Goal Percentage: 47.7 (19, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 44.5 (250, 8)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.3 (18, 1)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.2 (28, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.6 (99, 4)
Rebound Margin: -2.7 (276, 7)
Assists Per Game: 15.9 (17, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.7 (50, 3)

Last Five Postseason Appearances:
2011    CIT        First Round win over North Dakota
2011    CIT        Second Round loss to Santa Clara
2007    NIT        First Round win over Austin Peay
2007    NIT        Second Round win over Georgia
2007    NIT        Quarterfinal win over DePaul
2007    NIT        Semifinal loss to Clemson
2006    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to Illinois
2004    NCAA    Round of 64 loss to North Carolina

*all team stats through 3/10

 

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