The Rocky Mountain College men’s basketball team has put together an impressive resume, and it’s not even Christmas.
The Battlin’ Bears have wins over NCAA Division II MSU Billings and Division I Montana State, and they led for all but 16 seconds against the Bobcats.
Rocky is 6-1 this year with its only loss coming to Arizona Christian, the No. 3 team in the country, and the Bears have done it with an explosive offense that’s crossed the century mark three times. Their lowest point total against an NAIA school is 84.
“I think when you stay in attack mode and you've got different people out there — they're really starting to figure each other out. Where can this guy get us buckets? Where can this guy score? But we're always going to push it up and down the floor," Rocky head coach Bill Dreikosen said.
Rocky has been lights out from the floor so far, shooting 47% from the field and 41% from beyond the arc. Couple that efficiency with the frenetic pace and you get the No. 6 scoring offense in the country.
“It's rough, but when you're scoring and winning games and going on runs, it becomes easy. You forget that you're tired. When we get timeouts or media timeouts it all catches up with me and I'm like, 'I've been running,'" senior forward Maxim Stephens said. "It's fun, because if we're running like that it usually means we're scoring and doing cool stuff on the court. I'm OK with it if we're winning."
“I'd definitely like to hold the opponent to a little less than 100, too," Dreikosen said. "We've definitely got to continue to work on the defensive and rebounding end, but right now the ball is going in the basket for us and we've got to keep that up."
Dreikosen has adapted his coaching style to fit his team throughout his 29 years at Rocky, but this may be the most exciting edition yet. It’s a crew that’s been playing together for a couple years and is really starting to click.
“I'm not taking credit for any of that. That's just them," Dreikosen said. "They're a great group of guys and they're unselfish. They do a great job of sharing the ball. We look to get assists. We look to move it one more pass. I think that's definitely a benefit when you have five guys who can score in double figures."
“Right at the end of last year we were really getting into our stride. Now it feels like we've taken off from where we left off. It's lovely," Stephens said.
The Bears are back in action on Saturday at Alterowitz Gym against MSUB for Round 2 of the Rimrock Rivalry.