The men's basketball season at Rocky Mountain College will get under way Friday afternoon in Dillon.
Coach Bill Dreikosen's Battlin' Bears will open up against Walla Walla University at 3 p.m. at the Craig Finberg Memorial Tournament hosted by Montana Western.
The Bears will play the College of Idaho at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Former Rocky head coach Garry Matlock is an assistant at the Idaho school.
Dreikosen, two wins shy of career victory No. 200 at Rocky, said he is ready to begin his 13th season at the helm.
"You've got to get out there and find out where you're at for real," he said. "We've had a few scrimmages. We have a lot of new faces this year, but we also have some guys back.
"I just like the mixture of guys that we have. One of the big things, I think, with our guys is they have to continue to get used to each other. The best way to do that is to put you in the fire. It will be good to get started on Friday."
The Bears, who have been dealing with injuries throughout their preseason workouts, will have two starters back in Joel Barndt and Doundrekyc (Dun-Dun) Parham. Newcomers Malachi Roberts and Matt Strickland, along with redshirt Joe Stulc, have also emerged as probable first-game starters for the Bears, depending on the team's injury situation.
Matlock, back on the C of I bench after a few years away, resigned as Rocky's coach in 2000 and was replaced by Dreikosen, a former RMC player.
He has been at C of I since 2000.
"Coach Matlock and I are great friends," Dreikosen said. "I owe most everything that I've been blessed with to him. He's the one that taught me a lot about the game from a playing standpoint and coaching standpoint. A lot of the successes people see in the Rocky Mountain men's basketball program were definitely started by him and the foundation that he put together here in his seven years."