Q/A with boys basketball coach Cliff McGuire


Sheridan Allen/Rider Media

Rider basketball coach Cliff McGuire is entering his seventh season leading the program.

Meghan Helton, Reporter

Rider boys basketball team is coming off another district title and has high expectations for the 2019-2020 season. 

Cliff McGuire is entering his 14th season coaching and his seventh with the Raiders. The Rider Chronicle spoke with McGuire about coaching, this year’s season and upcoming players to look out for. 

Q: What can the fans expect from losing Ty Caswell and Ben Moffat?

A: You know, it’s going to be big shoes to fill for sure. There’s a lot of uncertainty on who’s going to step up. We’ve got a lot of guys that I feel like are going to be capable of doing that. But also with that, we don’t have the two guys that you could aim your defense toward. I feel like we’ve got a bunch of guys that are capable of scoring on any night. So, hopefully that versatility makes it hard to defend against us. 

Q: Who do you think will be your go-to players to replace Ty and Ben?

A: To be determined. We’ll see as we go. I don’t know. Somebody will step up, we just don’t know who it is yet. 

Q: How do you think losing them affects the team and their expectations for the season?

A:  I don’t think it does. I think these kids know what it takes to win. We’ve been in back-to-back quarterfinals. These kids expect to step up and do that or better. 

Q: Who are some players that you expect to make an impact on the team?

A: Really, you know, Kellar Owens is going to have to take more of a leadership role and Nick Darcus on the aspect of the ball handling and some of the offense. It’s going to have to go through those guys. Jacob Rodriguez. He plays quarterback, yeah, he’s good. But he’s one of our guys that we’re going to count on to make plays for us on the court. We have our main guys that do it. But those are kind of some guys that are going to need to step up. 

Q: Are there any freshmen or sophomores you’re expecting to step up?

A: Dylan Fettkether was on varsity last year as a freshman, now he’s a sophomore this year. We’re expecting big things from him. He’ll get some starts in and you never know, but he’s going to have a big role in what we do this year as our sixth man. 

Q: Is it difficult maintaining such a high win status and keeping your program that high?

A: There’s a target on your back and you just have to embrace it. You’ve got to know that people are going to come for you every night. The deal is you’ve got to have high standards every night, you’ve got to be able to meet those standards. Or somebody’s going to beat you. And that’s happened to us before. We weren’t ready to play and people beat you. They celebrate it, they rush the court and take pictures after the game. But you’ve earned that right. You’ve earned the right to have that. So you just embrace it and take the challenge and go.