'Rockers looking to overcome adversity

Things have been a touch hectic around the South Dakota School of Mines men's basketball team as longtime head coach Jason Henry was fired in an unusual move weeks before the season ...

Eric Glenn said, "You know, our guys are doing good. It's an adverse situation, we're always talking about handling adverse situations, so the big thing for them is to control what they can control, move forward and they've done that. Our practices have been very good, very spirited, and they've been a tight-knit group from the beginning anyway ... I'm grateful that I get a chance to keep these guys moving forward in this type of situation and that our administration thought enough of me to be able to step into a role like that."

While the situation is less than ideal, the 'Rockers have as much continuity as can be expected as Henry's longtime assistant, Eric Glenn, has been named the head coach and plenty of experience is returning.

Glenn said, "We've got a junior class finally with multiple ... we've got five guys in the junior class and that's more upperclassmen than we had last year total and hat's really been evident in our practices, the leadership, the talking to the younger guys on the side, it's really been a big help from a coaching standpoint. And now we're ahead of the curve because now we've got guys with some experience, have been in the system, there hasn't been many changes, just a few tweaks here and there."

Glenn, who is being assisted by longtime Rapid City Stevens mainstay Ron Riherd, and former Alliance, Nebraska head coach Roger Trennepohl, thinks the turmoil to start the season might actually be a future blessing.

"The unity of it is a strength, the resolve that they have and that's big in basketball. Basketball is a game of transition, you can't get too high, you can't get too low, and these guys just really do a good job of not getting frustrated when things are bad and not getting too high when things go good."

Mines is looking to bounce back from an 8-19 campaign last season as Glenn returns six of his top seven scorers from last season ... but his focus, like most coaches, is on the other end of the floor.

"We've got to be a better defensive team, I mean that's the bottom line. Statistically speaking we were probably the third or fourth worst team in the league and that's going to be our biggest challenge because that's obviously our biggest weakness going into the season ... and if we can do that, then everything else becomes a lot easier and I'm really confident that we're going in that right direction right now."