In an attempt to strengthen his teams out of conference schedule, Air Force Falcons head coach Dave Pilipovich looked to add some tough opponents to his 2015-2016 schedule. The Falcons will face the biggest name on their schedule tomorrow night when they travel to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. This version of the Buckeyes is struggling however, as they currently stand with a 3-4 record including losses to power teams like Virginia and Memphis. But, the Buckeyes have also dropped games to Texas-Arlington and Louisiana Tech. No matter how Ohio State has struggled, the Falcons will have their hands full in this difficult road game.
Air Force is currently riding a three-game winning streak since they lost to Colorado before Thanksgiving. The Falcons have captured good wins against New Mexico State at home and a nice road win over in-state rival and former coach Joe Scott's Denver Pioneers. Currently standing at 6-2 on the season, the Falcons will look to make their biggest splash of the year if they can upset Ohio State. The Falcons have gotten steady play all year from junior forward Hayden Graham (14.9 points per game and 9.0 rebounds a game) and sophomore guard Trevor Lyons(15.3 ppg and 4.4 assist per game). What has been helping the Falcons as of late however is the emergence of senior center Zach Moer, who is now averaging 10.4 ppg and junior sharpshooter Zach Kocur, who is almost averaging double digits with 9.9 ppg. With the Falcons playing a more uptempo type of game, having four double digit scorers and scoring balance on the floor will help the team heading forward.
Ohio State will look to their athletic point guard JaQuan Lyles to right the ship and continue to feed an athletic scoring group of wings in their game versus the Falcons. The Buckeyes are led in scoring by junior forward Marc Loving and his 17 ppg. average. Joining Loving in double digit scoring are fellow forwards Jae-Sean Tate (11.7 ppg) and Keita Bates-Diop (12.7 ppg). While the Buckeyes will be more athletic than the Falcons, one area where the Falcons could exploit the Buckeyes is that the Buckeyes turn the ball over at a very high rate. When looking at their assist to turnover ratio, the Buckeyes have 103 turnovers compared to only 84 assist. With Lyles having a 2:1 ratio, the rest of the team is really struggling with making mistakes. Air Force, on the other hand, has 126 assist as compared to only 99 turnovers in one more game played. Air Force's ability to take care of the ball could come be paramount to any type of upset over the Buckeyes.
The Falcons will face the Buckeyes Tuesday night at 6;00 MST. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.