While new Montana State men's basketball coach Brian Fish has been on the job for two months now, he's only been able to see his players on the floor a handful of time. June 23rd they all return for summer session, and he's looking to hit the ground running.
"Establishing a way we do things, establishing protocol on what's required in study hall and in the training room, what's required in the weight-room. If we establish that now, that's something we can build on, and that's something over the first 12 months that is invaluable is establishing who we are, and how we do things,"
A big part of his first two months on the job have been spent meeting with Bobcat fans across the state, trying to grow the fan-base. And Fish says that starts from a young age, including the summer camps the team holds for elementary age students.
"I don't think you can ever put a correct amount of importance on it, because if you get the young kids in the camp, and they meet the players and get attached to those players, it usually ends up allowing the parents to buy tickets to come see the games, which is what builds your crowd. Certainly there is a formula to get additional crowds to the games, but having kids interested in your team and your program builds it quicker than anything,"
With eight returning players, and a crop of freshman all expected to compete for playing time, coach Fish believes a big key for the team will be the leadership of guards Marcus Colbert and Michael Dison.
"I love Marcus' work ethic, and his fight. Dison has come in and been energetic in the program, and come out of his shell some-what, so for us to take a step this year in the right direction, it's going to fall directly on those two guys shoulders' because they have some experience, and know what the road is like, what the league is like, so they have to be able to be vocal and talk to our young guys coming in