Air Force hoops launches into 2012-13

Michael Lyons (Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE)

Air Force basketball begins its 2012-2013 season with a free admission exhibition game home at Clune Arena prior to the start of out-of-conference play on the road in a two day All-Military Classic tournament.

Air Force brings back an experienced team that will feature 4 seniors who are all 3 or 4 year starters, to include all top ten leading scorers from last season. They relied heavily on freshmen off the bench last year so they have experienced players returning at all positions this fall. They round out their team with three freshmen that will make up the roster of 15. Air Force hopes to improve on a 13-16 record from last fall under the tutelage of head coach Dave Pilipovich who took over mid-season during conference play last year.

Our Air Force Falcons will begin the season with a match up in an exhibition game with cross-town NCAA Division II Colorado Christian University (CCU) in the first action for both teams in the 2012-2013 season. CCU completed their season last year at 4-24 returning their number two scorer but limited experience behind him. I expect to see Air Force push the tempo up the court then settling into their Princeton/motion offense with 4 senior starters back from last year including last year's leading scorer.

Michael Lyons led the team with 15.6 ppg last season and that was with an early season injury that took him time to recover from. Air Force should dominate the glass in this game with 6-foot-10 senior Taylor Broekhuis leading the way. Rebounding was a key component in Air Force only winning three games in Mountain West conference play last year as they were dominated on the glass during conference play. I expect this should be an emphasis item this fall. We'll see everyone at Clune Arena, November 4th, for a 2pm tipoff. AND DON'T FORGET TO SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD WITH THE TIME CHANGE Saturday to Sunday morning!!!

Next up: Road Trip! Air Force will follow their lone exhibition game by traveling to Charleston, S.C. for the second annual All-Military Classic Tournament hosted this year by The Citadel. The tournament includes Air Force, Army, VMI and The Citadel. The inaugural game was played and won by the Air Force Academy last year, and will rotate venues to all schools over a four year timeframe.

Air Force will open up against Army again this year. Similar to Air Force, Army returns an experienced team. The Black Knights return four starters from last year's squad, including first-team All-Patriot League performer Ella Ellis who averaged a team-high 17.5 points per game. League all-rookie pick Maxwell Lenox is also back for the 2012-13 season after leading the team with 96 assists. Air Force faced Army and triumphed in that game 87-71. Air Force will play either VMI or The Citadel in game two. VMI is young but returns it's leading scorer while The Citadel brings back it's leading scorer and 4 of it's 7 top scorers from last year. It's time for Air Force basketball…..get ready for tipoff!

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