Michael Lyons expressed himself this week the way college players do these days, via social media.
After a blowout loss to Colorado State in which Air Force was bullied, the senior guard retweeted a message that read: “People only treat you one way … the way you allow them.”
Who says you can't lead in 140 or fewer characters?
With five seniors, leadership is one area in which this Falcons team certainly does not run short. That guidance will be absolutely crucial during a stretch of games for Air Force (9-6, 1-2 Mountain West) starting Saturday with a 2 p.m. home game against Boise State (13-3, 1-1).
“We know how important these next couple games are,” senior Todd Fletcher said. “We need to make our mark if we want to have a chance in this conference.”
After Boise State comes a nonconference home game against New Orleans, followed by a trip to Wyoming and a home game against Fresno State.
On the other side of this stretch are games against conference powers San Diego State and New Mexico. A poor showing leading into those two could make this a long season.
The 79-40 loss at Colorado State on Wednesday was likely as lopsided as it was for reasons beyond the actual matchup. The Falcons were clearly reeling from their disappointing overtime loss at UNLV. They had their most turnovers of the season, fewest assists and just laid an egg.
“I think we just played scared and soft,” Lyons said. “That might not have been the case, but that’s what showed. That’s not going to be a regular thing coming from us. It’s just one of those games that teams have – I’m just glad we got ours out of the way early.”
The seniors and coaching staff have tried to lead the charge in moving forward. Thursday’s practice, generally dedicated in part to recapping the previous game, was entirely focused on Boise State.
“There was just nothing good that was probably going to come out of (reliving the CSU game),” coach Dave Pilipovich said.
Lyons wasn’t quite ready to forget it. Instead, he wanted to use that feeling of being pushed around by the Rams as motivation to avoid experiencing it again.
It was in this mindset that he hopped on Twitter.
“That (message) has a lot do with everything – basketball and life in general,” Lyons said. “I came across it and it really resonated.”