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Montana Tech will lean on defense to get program out of rebuild

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-20 01:10:33-04

BUTTE – Montana Tech finished the 2017-18 men’s basketball season with an overall record of just 13-17. Despite the sub-.500 finish, head coach Adam Hiatt has some high expectations for this year.

“We like where we are. We met expectations last year, we wanted to be competitive in every game, and have a chance to win, and we had a chance to win every game — like a literal chance to win, that’s what we wanted with such a young group,” said Hiatt.

It’s a young group of players that will look to feed off one another. The Diggers come in with one of deepest rosters in terms of overall depth in the Frontier Conference.

“Our biggest strength is our depth and versatility. We have a lot of guys that can play. We have 15 guys on our roster who we could probably play any number of combinations of those 15 players and be pretty successful with all the versatility we have,” added Hiatt.

The 2018 squad has a lot of young talent, but one thing every player will tell you that they have is great team chemistry. That’ll be huge for Montana Tech to lean on throughout the season, being such a young squad.

That’s not all the Diggers can lean on. Last year their defense was ranked one of the best in the nation — best in the conference and third nationally in turnover margin, and second in the conference in scoring defense, which was good enough for 13th overall in the country.

“Coach always emphasizes defense, maintain the ball, ball control, control the game, and that’s a huge thing for us being such a young team. Going on the road to places, that’s how we’ll win games, dictating the pace, dictating the game, really controlling the game,” said junior forward Dylan Pannabecker.

Despite still being in the rebuilding stages of the program, the guys know that they’re right on the cusp of being a contender again in the Frontier Conference.

“We believe that if we have more consistency this year, which we will because we have continuity with 10 returners, and we’re going be able to close out games, and we’re looking forward to a pretty good season,” added Hiatt.