Posted On: 10/28/18 3:19 PM

Riverdale Warriors

The 20-point Class AAA quarterfinal blowout at the hands of Clarksville Northeast shouldn’t dampen the wonderful Riverdale season. 

Under Riverdale Head Coach Michael Voss RHS won 26 games, losing six of them to Class AAA state tournament teams.  Blackman beat Riverdale four times all by themselves.

Shove all of that into the past now.  Blackman lost a lot and RHS lost just a single transfer (Javontay Rollings) from that sparkling 26-win team.  

FRONTCOURT:   Elijah Cobb and Brayden Siren are the tallest public school frontcourt pair in the state aside from Memphis East (James Wiseman, Malcolm Dandridge).

Cobb will play basketball in college and Brayden Siren could have, but Siren is verbally committed to Middle Tennessee baseball.  Siren is string-thin for a post player.  His technique is good, not great at this stage.  Elijah can dribble or post up to score.  His hips are stiff though his athleticism is nice.  Elijah can and should have a breakout season for this Riverdale iteration.

Senior Kai Crawford is a nice high energy guy off the bench. 

BACKCOURT: Deron Perry and Rashaad Thompson tend to initiate the attack.  Of the two Perry is more aggressive attacking the tin off the dribble. Both players have more to give this year.  Perry is a volume scorer who scored in volume quite a lot.  Still, he can be more vocal and intentionally involve Siren in the flow.  Thompson doesn’t have to score more for this team to be great, but he should get into the lane more often. 

Too many Riverdale possessions consisted of Thompson meandering out high without much purpose.  Surely this was somewhat dictated to him by the coaching staff as RHS played a consistently deliberate, low-scoring style.  Even so Rashaad (pictured right) and the entire team will be more dangerous if either the ball or a player with the ball (Thompson) break down the defense more often. 

When Maliek McAllister makes outside shots Riverdale is extremely difficult to defend.  Although each of the five starters can score Maliek is the most unique offensive option.  Powerful beyond measure Maliek is a rugged warrior capable of scoring inside or outside.

KEY TO SUCCESS: Stout defense.  Riverdale’s identity was and probably will be discouragingly difficult defense.  The height of Siren and Cobb make interior shots challenging.   With a year of maturity and development the Warrior offense should be more efficient.  If they are not much better offensively, then the Warriors must suppress the opposing scorers again.

MOST IMPROVED: Elijah Cobb drew a little college interest and a Florida College offer over the summer.  “He has been more aggressive on both ends of the floor since the spring,” said Riverdale Assistant Coach Omar Smith. “We look forward to him taking a big step forward this season.”  For a player ranked #34 in the state to also be ‘taking a big step forward’ is a real testament to Cobb’s refusal to relax or plateau. 

Warrior’s Top Ten. Here are ten important games for Riverdale.

    1. McCallie (11/15)
    2. @ East Hamilton (12/7)
    3. @ Baylor (12/17)
    4. Maryville at Fultonl (12/21)
    5. Oakland (1/4)
    6. Blackman (1/18)
    7. @ Stewarts Creek (1/25)
    8. @ Oakland (1/29)
    9. @ Blackman (2/1)
    10. Siegel (2/5)

    For Starters

    • C Brayden Siren
    • PF Elijah Cobb
    • SF Maliek McAllister
    • PG Deron Perry
    • PG Rashaad Thompson

    2017-2018 Record: 26-8

    Head Coach: Michael Voss

    NEWCOMERS: Javon Nelson and Jarod Russell bring another wrinkle to the RHS roster…heft.  Both play lineman for the Riverdale football team and when you group in McAllister the Riverdale basketball team can trudge out three 250 pound players at once!  Javon Nelson used to play junior varsity for Brentwood Academy and his defensive rebounding is a sight to behold.  

    OUTLOOK: No team in the state returns a larger share of their scoring and defense than Riverdale.  Continuity is key to program ascension.  The last wait for Riverdale High to return to state was 22 years.  Can the starting five make the current wait 11 months?