Q/A with boys basketball coach Cliff McGuire

November 19, 2021

Rider boys basketball is already off to a great start, beating Decatur Tuesday night.
With the 2021-22 season heating up, The Rider Chronicle sat down with boys head basketball coach Cliff McGuire to discuss key returning players and expectations.

Q: How do you and your team feel about going into this season?
A: We’re bringing a lot of returners back, a lot of guys that got a lot of valuable experience as juniors, sophomores and freshmen. But just some guys with valuable experience last year that kind of got thrown into the fire. So you know a year older with a year of experience.

Q: How will the season differ from previous ones?
A: We got a bunch of kids that just enjoy being around each other and enjoy being together, and it makes it a lot of fun. They work hard every day and that just makes it enjoyable to coach.

Q: Who are your key returning players this year?
A: Keitenn Bristow and Cameron FitzHenry. Two other returners that are going to have good impacts for us, Matthew Brown and Braeden Arias. These two guys started as sophomores last year. You know we talked earlier about expectations, guys that got a lot of minutes last year. Keitenn started as a freshman, Matthew started as a sophomore and Braeden started as a sophomore. Those three starters right there, that really are anchoring us as a program now with a lot of experience to go with Cameron.

Q: Who are some newcomers that you expect to make an impact on the team this season?
A: Our two post guys Carson Brown and Dylan Bragg have really come along and are going to be able to anchor us on the inside. Another newcomer would be Kip Royal, you know some older guys that were on JV last year that are coming in able to contribute now on varsity.

Q: How does it feel to be able to have tournaments again after the lack of them due to COVID?
A: Tournaments are kind of like microwaves, you get a lot of games really fast and you really learn a lot about your team. So it is a really good way to figure out things about your team, try different things, you know win or lose we get to play again this afternoon kind of deal. Let’s fix what we’re doing and get it going. Tournaments are like microwaves, it’s going to really heat us up real fast and it’s good to have those back and get exposed in some ways like that.

Q: What are your biggest obstacles this year?
A: We are not the biggest, we’re not the most athletic. It’s going to be a deal we got to show up to fight every night, I mean it’s got to be a street fight every night.

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