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Air Force basketball notes: Women's coach would like to see Mountain West scheduling changes

February 28, 2017 Updated: February 28, 2017 at 3:40 pm
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photo - Air Force women's basketball coach Chris Gobrecht is unhappy that her team been at the academy for Wednesday and Thursday classes just once since mid-January. Photo via Twitter (@AFAcoachG).
Air Force women's basketball coach Chris Gobrecht is unhappy that her team been at the academy for Wednesday and Thursday classes just once since mid-January. Photo via Twitter (@AFAcoachG). 

There's a particular stat that has Air Force women's coach basketball coach Chris Gobrecht frustrated to the point where she's ready to do something about it.

The stat? Her basketball team has been at the academy for Wednesday and Thursday classes just once since mid-January.

"When you have a bunch of kids taking aeronautical engineering and physics and stuff like that, that's a problem," she said. "And I'm not happy about it. They have to address it."

The Falcons played road Mountain West games on Wednesdays on Jan. 25, Feb. 8, Feb. 15 and Feb. 22. That travel means the team usually leaves midday Tuesday - often cutting out classes on that day, too - and returns via commercial flight some time on Thursday.

Gobrecht came to Air Force after spending 10 years at Yale, where things are handled quite differently. The Ivy League has teams travel on alternating weekends, with a road game on a Friday followed by a bus trip to a different opponent on Saturday. The next week they would host games on Friday and Saturday.

The must larger geographic landscape of the Mountain West would make that model impossible to replicate, but Gobrecht can't understand why a Thursday-Saturday schedule couldn't be used to clump travel together and allow more consistency with class schedules.

She's also not thrilled that all but one team will play on Friday this week, with the conference tournament then opening on Monday.

"I have a long list of Mountain West scheduling grievances," said the second-year Air Force coach, who has been a head coach in the women's game since 1979. "I hope to have a call with the Mountain West coaches to talk about these things.

"I'm hoping to make some waves here."

Other scheduling issues

The scheduling issue facing the men isn't something that is avoidable - and they're not really complaining - but does force some logistical changes.

The Falcons were the visiting team for Utah State's senior night ceremony on Saturday and will be the same on Wednesday as San Diego State says goodbye to five players.

At Utah State, the pregame ceremony meant the Falcons waited in the locker room for seven minutes after warming up before returning to the floor. Air Force then went scoreless for the first 4 minutes, 46 seconds of the game.

The Falcons will honor their seniors - Hayden Graham, Zach Kocur and the injured Colorado Springs native Kyle Broekhuis - prior to Saturday's 2 p.m. game against Boise State.

Rare chance for sweep

After beating San Diego State 60-57 at Clune Arena on Jan. 24, Air Force has its first chance to sweep the regular-season series against the Aztecs since 2005.

Dave Pilipovich said the key to the victory in January wasn't difficult to identify. The Falcons limited San Diego State to 23 second-half points. And when the Aztecs don't score, they can't set up their press.

Air Force subsequently outscored San Diego State 36-23 in the second half.

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