Riverside-Brookfield High School boys basketball coach Tom McCloskey has won 348 games in 21 seasons with the Bulldogs. RBHS has won 15 straight conference championships under his watch as well.
While a track record of success is clearly established in the RBHS program, the last few seasons have been particularly special. Despite playing their toughest schedule in school history last season, the Bulldogs won 22 games, including their own Thanksgiving tournament and a Metro Suburban Conference title. In 2015, RBHS won its first sectional championship and finished 28-4. And oh by the way, RBHS hosts arguably the best collection of summer league gmaes and tournaments in the state.
While program visibility is at an all-time high, McCloskey is focused on the task at hand.
“We are excited and ready to go,” McCloskey said about the upcoming season. “We did a lot of good things last season. I think we were hoping to go a little farther in the state tournament but it is what it is.”
Although the Bulldogs lost point guard Daniko Jackson and center Mark Smith to graduation, plenty of talent remains on the roster. Three-year varsity players Jalen Clanton and Henry Trelenberg comprise one of the best backcourts in the state. Junior guard Ryan Cicenas adds even more offensive firepower as an elite shooter with size at 6-foot-3.
“Jalen and Henry are very experienced and talented players,” McCloskey said. “Ryan Cicenas is certainly ready to go. He has great upside and is good in a lot of phases of the game.”
Along the frontline, 6-4 guard/forward Jalen Brooks and 6-6 center Calvell Randall should make an impact at both ends of the floor.
“Jalen is a very athletic player. We’re hoping he provides a lot of different things for us,” McCloskey said. “Calvell is off to a good start. We’re hoping he can rebound and provide us with some basket protection (defensively) as well as score inside.”
Reserves like 6-1 forward A.J. Meindl, 5-11 guard Zach Vaia, 6-1 guard Devin Moody and 6-3 forward Jason Bageanis are talented but unproven at the varsity level.
“To be honest, I don’t know’s around the corner with those people,” McCloskey said about the bench. “Hopefully, they’ll step up and be good contributors.”
One thing’s for sure, the Bulldogs will be on everybody’s radar in the Metro Suburban Conference.
“There are a bunch of good teams in our conference,” McCloskey said. “As usual, we’ll have to be ready to play every night.”