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Young Falcons Look to Finish Season of Growth

The Falcons head to California to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. PST. Air Force will be playing their last regular season game of the 2014-15 season and are hoping to capture a 7th seed in the upcoming Mountain West Tournament.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Before the first tick of the clock was played during the 2014-2015 season, the Air Force Falcons were a senior dominated team that held visions of making a run at some type of postseason action. As the regular season concludes Wednesday evening in Fresno for the Falcons versus the Fresno State Bulldogs, the Falcons are sitting at 124 missed games by key players that were being counted on for this season. While the senior class has seen some disappointing absences and injuries, the door has been opened for a young group of players that have the Falcons optimistic about the future of the program.

An entire new starting backcourt has been introduced to the Falcons in freshman point guard Trevor Lyons and sophomore sharpshooter Zach Kocur. Kocur has given the Falcons one of the most deadliest three-point attacks in the country by averaging 51% shooting from outside the arc. Lyons has been a steady starter since being inserted into the starting lineup in game six of the season versus Texas Tech. Lyons has played the prototypical point guard game by leading the team in assist and getting others involved in the game.

On the front line, the emergence of Hayden Graham has been the most promising development this season. Graham replaced senior captain Kamryn Williams after he tore his Achilles tendon and has responded with a slashing and rebounding game that is comparable in Colorado to former Buffalo and current Oklahoma City Thunder player Andre Roberson. Graham, a sophomore, has been especially efficient as of late, recording three double-doubles in his last six games. Graham is the lone frontcourt underclassmen, as he has been joined by seniors Marek Olesinski, DeLovell Earls and Justin Hammonds. Olesinski and fellow senior Max Yon have been the leaders of the team with Olesinski being the only senior to play in every game this season.

The Falcons will be taking on the surprising Fresno State team that had a rough non-conference stretch before finding themselves in the conference schedule with a 9-7 record and solid hold on sixth place in the league. The Bulldogs are lead by guards Marvelle Harris (17.3 ppg), Cezar Guerrero (10.8 ppg) and forward Paul Watson (11.1 ppg). The Bulldogs and Falcons will be meeting for the first time this season, but Fresno State enjoyed a three-game sweep in the series last year, including knocking the Falcons out of the Conference Tournament with a 51-49 victory. The Bulldogs have an overall edge in series matchups with a 13-5 record.

Game time is at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time and can be seen on the MW Network.