PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) -- The itch to coach returned and Brian Meny could do nothing else but scratch it.
Away from the game for a few years as an administrator, the leader of the 2004 state champion Van-Far basketball team is back in the coaching business and he's already making an impression with his new team.
Two weeks into practice and Meny has the Palmyra basketball program believing in what he's trying to preach. The interest in the sport has also increased with 70 players from the junior high to the high school level looking to earn a spot.
Meny says it's made for a seamless shift in leadership.
"It's like I told them, 'Any time you change a coach it doesn't matter who you change to or from, styles are going to change and expectations are going to change,'" Meny explained.
"The style is the biggest thing for the kids, to play fast and up tempo, pressure basketball, and things like that. They are adjusting quickly."
According to senior guard Kevin Bross, "It's been a transition. We've got to get used to a new coach and a new system. We've never run this fast paced offense before and it's a change of tempo we've got to get used to."
Palmyra's strength lies on the perimeter thanks to the return of Brock Butler and Josh Hultz. Couple that with the emergence of Jordan Nutt and Meny's son, Trevor, and the guard play is strong.
On the inside Will Funkenbusch is back after sitting out last season.
But the emphasis for the Panthers will be a much faster pace of play.
"We're just getting better with it and I feel like we'll be a much better ball club after Christmas than we are early," Meny mentioned.
"They're getting used to it and the conditioning is a big piece especially with the football kids."
Bross says the Panthers will rely on their guards.
"We don't have a lot of size so it's nice to have a good back court with good ball handlers and shooters to kind of overcompensate for the fact we don't really have a lot of size this year," Bross indicated.
"We have a couple big men but we have a solid back court, and I think we'll be able to adjust and compensate."
The Panthers open the season at Bowling Green next Tuesday. It's all part of a busy early season which includes a tough road challenge at Canton.
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