By Eric Norwood Jr.
PNT staff writer
Eastern New Mexico University’s new women’s basketball coach Joshua Prock plans to head west in pursuit of players.
Prock, who was hired the first week of June after five seasons at Division III Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Texas, said the program will be targeting players not only in Texas and New Mexico, but other western states such as California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.
Prock, a 1996 Clovis High graduate, also believes in the “level up” philosophy.
“At Howard Payne we would look for players who shouldn’t be playing D-III,” Prock said. “We would try and find players that should be maybe playing D-II or NAIA. We’re going to apply the same philosophy here.”
Convincing players to come to the area of Portales isn’t an issue for Prock either. Prock believes Eastern is an ideal place to have an athletic career.
“If you want to go to school, get a good education, and play the game of basketball, then Eastern is as good a place as any to do it,” Prock said.
Prock replaces Lindsey Wilson, who left for a job at Fresno Pacific University after two seasons. Wilson’s teams went 17-39, but reached the Lone Star Conference tournament both years.
The Zias returned nine players, including seven underclassman.
Before Wilson departed, she signed Cara Barnard and Cassidy Doherty of Melrose and Floyd’s Tori Tucker, who transferred from Howard College.
Prock said he wasn’t sure if he would bring in any other new players.
“We’re not gonna sign a kid just to sign a kid,” Prock said. “We’re gonna sign the right ones.”
Prock is in the process of evaluating the current roster and assessing team needs, which won’t be completed until he finishes filling out his coaching staff.
“Offensively, we’re gonna figure out what their strengths are and go with that. If we’ve got a bunch of shooters, then we’re gonna spread the floor. If we’ve got a bunch of girls who can pound it inside then that’s what we’ll do. On defense we’re going to stick to our system,” Prock said.
Prock is excited to return to this area after stints at Oklahoma, Kentucky Wesleyan, Denton (Texas) Ryan High School and Howard Payne, where his record was Howard Payne was 108-31.
“The people of the Clovis/Portales community are some of the best in the country, no doubt about it,” Prock said. “That’s an angle we’re definitely going to sell.”