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Air Force basketball notes: Kammerer's farewell

By: Brent Briggeman,
March 8, 2014 Updated: March 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm
Caption +
Air Force forward Chase Kammerer ducks under San Jose State guard Devante Wilson as he looks for an open shot. Air Force beat San Jose State 77-62 Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at Clune Arena. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

The lasting image Chase Kammerer took from Saturday was nothing he had done. Instead, it was Max Yon converting a layup and drawing a foul, essentially sealing Air Force's victory over Boise State.

"That was an awesome moment," Kammerer said.

He could have picked several others, from his on-court pregame ceremony or his steal late in regulation, or his four points, five rebounds and five assists, or the final singing of the alma mater. Senior day, in which Kammerer was the only senior, was all about him. Yet he was most happy for his team.

Coach Dave Pilipovich said it was this mentality that has allowed Kammerer to be such an important role player for the Falcons.

"He just shows such unbelievable heart and hustle," Pilipovich said. "He's going to be an outstanding officer. You have players who are high-maintenance, but not here. Here you have players who are mid-maintenance, and you've got some low-maintenance. He's no-maintenance. He just does everything he needs to do academically, military and basketball-wise. He just plays so hard and he loves to be around the people and he's always where he needs to be 10 minutes early. I'd hire him in a minute if I had any type of job for him, he's such an outstanding young man."

Lineup change

Kammerer drew the start at center for Air Force as a senior day honor, but he might not let it go.

Pilipovich liked the hustle Kammerer showed and how the entire team seemed to find its legs as a result. Kammerer played a career-high 31 minutes and the team played its best game in at least a month.

While Kammerer was playing, struggling junior Marek Olesinski was not. Olesinski, who had started all 28 games before Saturday, played just 10 minutes off the bench, scoring two points on 1-for-5 shooting.

"He's really finding himself," Pilipovich said.

"He's just lost. Poor kid. He just needs to get away on some beach for a couple days and not think about things. I wouldn't be surprised if we go with this lineup again on Wednesday."

Containing Watkins

Early in the second half, it looked like Boise State's Ryan Watkins would again take control of the game against Air Force.

That's what he did the first time around, grabbing six offensive rebounds in the second half and bullying the Broncos to the victory.

Watkins started to do the same thing on Saturday, pulling down several early boards in the second half as Boise State outscored Air Force 21-9 to open the half. But a switch to a more compact zone did the trick.

Kam cam

Kamryn Williams expects to see his overtime dunk on the video board at Clune Arena next season.

"I plan on seeing that next year in the pregame stuff," said Williams, referring to a highlight package.

The dunk was the highlight, but Williams' 13 rebounds were an even bigger factor in the game and were the most for an Air Force player since Jacob Burtschi against TCU on Jan. 14, 2006. His double-double (22 points, 13 rebounds) was his third of the season, the first time an Air Force player has had that many since Burtschi in 2006-07.


Air Force shot 42.3 percent, its first time over 40 percent in seven games. .. This was the Falcons' first overtime victory since defeating Radford 52-47 on Nov. 19, 2007.

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