With the cold, crisp autumn air setting in and the leaves falling to the ground, the 2013-2014 Brother Rice basketball team began its first practice on November 11, 2013. As the season approaches, the Crusaders look to repeat another twenty win season and a Catholic League title.
Surely the Crusaders will be hungry for a state championship after a disappointing early exit during last year’s playoffs against DuSable. The Crusaders will surely be pushed hard by first year head Coach Rich Harrigan.
Coach Harrigan, Brother Rice alum from the class of 2002, has had a long history with the sport, not only coaching, but playing as well. Coach Harrigan landed his first coaching job at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., and then found his way back to his home state, landing a position at Elmhurst College. Most recently, Coach Harrigan was an assistant coach at Augustana College for two years where he also played during his college years. Coach Harrigan has kept himself plenty busy over the last several years that finally earned him a head coaching job at his own high school.
“I plan to have a team who plays smart and that takes advantage of mistakes made by the other team,” said Coach Harrigan. “Physically we might not stack up against some of the better teams in the league and in the state, but we look to make up for it by being smart and by playing good defense.” Coach Harrigan also said that he has great confidence in his two senior guards, Ray Rubio and Quinn Niego, and looks for them to lead the team. He also said to keep an eye out for junior guard Connor Finn, who will see some significant playing time headlining into his first year on the varsity level.
The Crusaders will look to replace some key players from last season, including All-Area six foot seven guard Alex Majewski and All-Area point guard Jim Barista. Senior Ray Rubio said he was excited and wanted nothing more than to fill the spot as the leader of the team. “Being captain is a privilege and a responsibility, and being a captain (means) you have to be the most intense and supportive teammate, pretty much being the second coach on the team,” said Rubio. “Most importantly, being a captain is doing well in the classroom. You have to show up on time for every class and you need to show the underclassmen how important grades are and how school will open more doors than just dribbling a basketball,” said Rubio, making it clear that he is a student first and an athlete second.
“This year I look to attack every team from start to finish. I want to be the team putting the other team on their heels,” said Rubio. Another key point Rubio mentioned was that he wants himself and his teammates to regroup and keep focus when things are going bad.
So make sure to get your Crusader gear, because the Crusaders look to repeat last year’s success and go beyond. They look to do so by team leadership and hard work through the seniors Jack Gorman, Sal Perez, Danny Scanlon, Jimmy Gallagher, Kevin Whirty, Ray Rubio, and Quinn Niego. Coming in with a new head coach and only two returning starts, the Crusaders will surely be under the radar. Coach Harrigan and his Crusaders look to come out guns blazing when they take on their first opponent on Monday, November 25, against Oak Park-River Forest.
High School Cube is pleased to announce that the Bill VandeMerkt Thanksgiving Tournament will be broadcast live from Riverside-Brookfield High School. Watch your Crusaders live throughout the week.
Brother Rice vs. Oak Park & River Forest
Varsity Boys Basketball – 8:00 PM
Monday, November 25, 2013
Brother Rice vs. Kenwood
Varsity Boys Basketball – 6:30 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Riverside-Brookfield vs. Brother Rice
Varsity Boys Basketball – 6:00 PM
Friday, November 29, 2013
Brother Rice vs. Rich Central
Varsity Boys Basketball – 4:00 PM
Saturday, November 30, 2013
This isn’t any normal opening game. For the first time in 25 seasons, Pat Richardson will not be leading the Crusaders from the bench.
Rick Harrigan ‘02, will begin his tenure as Brother Rice’s head coach Monday night at 8:00 P.M. as the Crusaders tip off against OPRF in the first game of four games throughout the week.
After playing at Augustana, Harrigan played professionally for two years before coming home to coach at Gallaudet University, Elmhurst College, and finally Augustana before returning to Brother Rice.
After a couple weeks of practice, the Crusaders are ready for games. “We are looking to build upon the success and foundation that Coach Richardson paved for the past 25 years,” Harrigan said. “He took the program to new heights and we are looking to not only get back to those levels, but exceed them.”
Joining Coach Harrigan on the varsity staff are Ryan O’Reilly ‘01 and Tim Harrigan ‘04. O’Reilly played college basketball at Iowa Wesleyan and won a CCL title as a senior. Tim Harrigan graduated from St. Ambrose, where he played golf, and as a Crusader, was a member of the undefeated CCL team.
“I am very excited to have both Ryan and Tim on staff,” said Coach Harrigan. “They come from Crusader basketball lineage, bring lots of energy, and are valuable assets to the team.”
Also on that undefeated CCL team were sophomore coaches Jim Murtaugh ‘05, and Dave Wills ‘04. Both of these Crusaders are returning coaches and have earned 6 CCL titles, as players and coaches, combined.
“We expect to be very good with a balanced effort,” Coach Wills said. “Our offense should be fun to watch.”
Rounding out the freshman staff are Mark Klutcharch ‘82 and Bob Alberts ‘85. Alberts is coming out of coaching retirement for this assignment, as Klutcharch did with the sophomore team last year. Both have been coaching at Brother Rice for 20 years, and between them have a combined 505 wins – 193 for Klutcharch and 312 for Alberts.
When asked about what they were looking forward to this season, the response was “working with the kids, and being back on the bench with a great friend.”
Visit the basketball website for a full schedule for the 2013-2014 season.