The Hawks look to gain momentum in the 22-23
We’re about six weeks away from the opening night of college basketball. Here’s what Air Force Falcons fans can expect during the first two months of the season.
Air Force at Bowling Green
Date: November 7
The Falcons will go through a transitional period in 2022-23 as Deguan Blueden and Trey Diggs finish their college careers. Keep an eye out for well-traveled Samarie Curtis, base guard Caden Metheny and Duquesne who has moved on to Leon Ayers to lead the offensive line for head coach Michael Hoger’s side.
Air Force 60, Bowling Green 67
Air Force vs. Delaware November 11
Delaware heads to the academy for Falcons game two of the 2022-23 season. The hens went to dance in March but lost to four novices. The only player to return is Jamir Nelson Jr, son of former NBA star Jamir Nelson Sr.
Prediction: Air Force 57, Delaware 73
Air Force vs Texas A&M Commerce
Texas A&M Commerece heads to Colorado Springs for one of their first games as a D1 basketball team. As a transition team, it’s going to be a rough time for the Lions in their first D1 season.
Prediction: 71st Air Force, Texas A&M Commerce 61
Air Force vs. Portland
Date: November 17
Shantai Leganes quickly turned the Portland show into a WCC laughingstock into a lovable underdog in 12 months. After winning 18 games, the Flyers brought back six top scorers, including guards Tyler Robertson and Mike Meadows and former Mountain West opponent Moses Wood.
The heavy three-point shooting attack can help the air force if the shots do not fall. However, Portland’s pace is too fast for the Air Force to play against. A convincing win for the pilots
72nd Air Force Prediction, Portland 87
Air Force vs. USC Upstate
Date: November 21
USC Upstate is not known for basketball success, but Jordan Gainey’s dynamic comeback is big for the program in 2022-23. The skilled sophomore from Tucson, Arizona averaged 13.8 points in 32 games and shot 74 points out of 150, 49 percent of three.
The USC Upstate doesn’t have the size of the Air Force, so I’ll take the Falcons for another victory down the road.
Prediction: Air Force 73, USC Upstate 66
Air Force vs. Mississippi Valley State
Date: November 23
I’ll keep it brief here. The Mississippi Valley State has won 7-75 in the past five seasons and is lacking in talent again this season. Perhaps a double-digit victory for Coach Scott’s team.
Prediction: Air Force 80, Mississippi Valley 63
Air Force vs. Montana
Date: November 27
The Grizzlies return to dynamic striker Josh Bannan, who scored 15.1 points last season. Moving Bannan and Colorado State Deshaun Thomas would give the Air Force problems with regard to its size and ability to drop outside shots. The play of front-court players Nick Jackson and Lucas Moorman will decide whether the Air Force can sneak up on victory.
Prediction: Air Force 70, Montana 73
Air Force vs Arkansas Pine Bluff
Date: November 30
Last season was a forgotten season for the Arkansas Pine-Bluff, as they finished 11th in SWAC and won just seven games. Furthermore, gate coach Solomon Boseman adding SIUE’s Sean Doss and Rashad Williams will help bring back lead Kaelin Melton to ease the scoring burden. The Lions don’t have enough yet to win on the road against a Mountain West opponent.
Prediction: Air Force 80, Arkansas Pine Bluff 64
Portland Air Force
Date: December 3
Sophomore coach Gus Coburn made serious films at the transfer gate, rocking points guard Cameron Parker and powerhouse winger Kishon Saunders, among others. The non-conference schedule may present some difficulties due to the number of new players on the roster. So I have the Air Force win a road contest here. Jake Heidbreder will not fuss as an experienced bucket builder who heads into a challenging road environment.
Air Force 74, Portland State 72
Air Force vs. Arkansas
Date: December 9
Arkansas State lost Norshad Omer, Daisy Seals, and several other major contributors from last season. The Redwolves haven’t made huge moves in the gate and they have a roster of inexperienced guys. Air Force expertise and a local stadium advantage should help the Falcons return victorious.
Prediction: Air Force 69th, Arkansas State 63
Air Force vs. South Dakota
Date: December 6
As many top league teams do, South Dakota can put together 90 points in any competition. The big news is outstanding goalkeeper AJ Plitzuweit is back from a serious knee injury after averaging nearly 20 points two seasons ago. Coyotes have a lot of guarding talent and can keep their skills in the front yard with Tasos Kamateros. I’ll take a South Dakota walk to Mountain West country and back to Vermillion with a win.
Prediction: Air Force 65, South Dakota 72
Air Force vs. Tarlton State
Date: December 18
I expect both AFA and Tarleton to maintain very low scores. While the Air Force shoots a lot of triples, it takes a minute for things to roll in their attack at Princeton, while Tarleton likes to play solid defense. The Texans will consider transfers from Coron Rochen and Courtney Carter from Chicago St. and SIU Edwardsville, respectively, to play significant recording roles. However, it is not enough to eliminate the Mountain West opponent.
Air Force Forecasting 59, Tarleton State 55
Air Force Northern Colorado
Date: December 20
I’m excited about this. Top scorer for the Bears, Dylan Koontz, was a top 10 scorer nationally, and he’s driving incredibly well to the hoop. Everyone knows it’s coming but it’s hard to stop and the AFC won’t have an answer for that. Other contributors like Matt Johnson and Dalton Knecht will help the Bears win at home in Greeley.
Prediction: 73rd Air Force, 75th North Colorado
conclusion: The Hawks finished 6-7 in their non-conferences. While the tables don’t have a single “big” opponent, they do feature some very good teams from one of the big leagues. It’s going to be a long season for Coach Scott, as Jay Walker is gone and it’s going to take time to figure out who the right guy is. For my money, it’s Heidbreder, but we’ll have to wait and see when the season ends
More Mountain West football!
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