WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It might not feel like it but basketball will be here before you know it.
The Elite 14 showcase, which sparks the start of the high school basketball season, is just a week away.
For the Rider Raiders this season they will have a new identity with Ty Caswell and Ben Moffat off to play college ball, but the Raiders say their depth will be one of the best parts about their team.
“We don’t have the one guy that you can point your defense towards," Rider head coach Cliff McGuire said. so now we’ve got multiple guys that can score on any given night. So it’s going to be harder to defend us, you can’t just sit there and focus on one guy.”
“We’ll have ten guys in the rotation that can do whatever they need to to get the team to win," Rider senior guard Carson Sager said. "That’s really important to us this year and that will help us big time.”
Losing a three-time district MVP, like Caswell, and a first-team all-district big-man, like Moffat, can really hurt a team the next year.
But the Raiders say they learned so much about leadership from Ty and Ben that they won’t miss a step this season.
“Ty and Ben were able to teach the other guys stuff so I didn’t have to," coach McGuire said. "I would let them teach them.”
“How to make sure everybody is doing their job," Rider senior guard Kellar Owens said. "Because if one person messes up, it messes up the whole thing.
“Just how they played and the mentality they had when working, during practice and during playing," Sager said. "That just sticks with me still.”
With Rider having mainly juniors and seniors this year that leadership will play a large role in what they can accomplish.
But the Raiders will have a new identity this year, one built around their team chemistry and a history of success.
“I feel like it will just be easier once football gets back to click right away instead of needing a couple of games to come back, Owens said. "I feel like we will already be ready to go.”
“These seniors have played in back-to-back quarterfinals," coach McGuire said. "Nick played as a freshman in the quarterfinals, as a sophomore in the quarterfinals, so these guys have been there and done that.
"Hopefully with that experience, they can take the next step.”