AIR FORCE vs. UTAH
3 THINGS TO WATCH
1. UTAH’S SIZE
In the Utes’ 71-54 victory over Air Force on Jan. 23, 7-foot-3 sophomore center David Foster blocked six shots, and he and teammates Jason Washburn (7-0) and Kim Tillie (6-11) altered several others. “Their size really bothered us,” Air Force coach Jeff Reynolds said after the game. Foster leads the Mountain West Conference with 4.4 blocks per game (3.0 more than the players in second place), and Washburn ranks fifth with 1.0 per game.
2. POINTS OFF TURNOVERS AND OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS
In Saturday’s 59-56 loss to New Mexico, Air Force had its best shooting performance in 12 MWC games (51.2 percent). But the Falcons committed 14 turnovers, leading to 17 New Mexico points, and they allowed the Lobos to grab 11 offensive rebounds, which led to 12 more points. To have a chance against Utah, Air Force has to protect the ball and limit the Utes’ second-chance points.
3. AIR FORCE F/C ZACH BOHANNON
The freshman has averaged 15.5 minutes in the Falcons’ past two games after not playing in their previous five. And in Saturday’s 59-56 loss at New Mexico, Bohannon scored six points. With freshman center Taylor Broekhuis questionable (broken nose), Bohannon could see more time tonight at the Falcons’ post spot. But Reynolds said Bohannon has played so well of late that when Broekhuis does get back, “Zach still might be the first guy off the bench if he continues to develop like he did Saturday.”
Quote to Note: “David Foster, to me, is the (MWC) Defensive Player of the Year. Nobody impacts the game more than him.” – Utah coach Jim Boylen, on Utes sophomore center David Foster.
Note to Quote: Utah has won five straight games in its series with Air Force. Four of the five games – including the Utes’ 71-54 victory in the first half of MWC play – have come by 15 or more points. The other was decided by eight points.