Well, on the positive side …
I liked the new scoreboards at Clune Arena.
Other than that?
Yikes. There weren’t too many positives to draw from the Air Force men’s basketball team’s 66-63 loss Wednesday night to Brock University, a team from Canada that does not have any scholarship players.
Yes, it was an exhibition. And, yes, Air Force is very young and inexperienced.
But the Falcons didn’t exactly play like it was an exhibition – only nine players were given significant minutes. And they couldn’t claim it was the first time they’d played together because they had the benefit of a five-game trip to Canada in early September and two weeks of practice before that trip.
Here are some other disconcerting observations from the game:
- Brock didn’t have much size – a pair of kids listed at 6-foot-7 who didn't seem that big and didn't seem that athletic – but it still managed to grab as many rebounds as Air Force (29).
- Even though Air Force knew Brock would shoot a bunch of 3-pointers, the Badgers still were able to make 17 of 31. Was that an unusually good shooting performance by the Badgers? Yes, Brock’s coach admitted as much. But Air Force should have done a better job defending the 3.
- It didn’t take Brock long to figure out how to defense Air Force – run a box-in-one defense to neutralize Tim Anderson. The Falcons will be in big trouble unless Anderson gets some help.
- A general lack of emotion, except for when Andrew Henke yelled at his teammates mid-way through the second half.
All that said, however, maybe Air Force needed something like this to make players work harder and understand the value of playing hard and with intensity every minute of every game. The players from last year’s team understood that. Maybe the guys on this year’s team need to learn it the hard way.
"Just because we lost this game, that’s not predicting the season," Anderson said. "Starting off on this kind of foot just says we need to work on our defense more and learn how to play as a team more.”
Indeed. And all of a sudden, a less-than-attractive out-of-conference schedule looks like the best thing that could happen to the Falcons.