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January 4, 2013BLUE DRAGONS TRAVEL TO DODGE CITY TO OPEN JAYHAWK WEST AFTER LONG BREAK
The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team won't get much of an opportunity to knock the rust of the Christmas break off as the No. 4-ranked Blue Dragons travel to Dodge City on Saturday to open the 2013 Jayhawk West season.
The Blue Dragons and Conquistadors will tip off at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Dodge City's United Wireless Arena. The game can be heard on Blue Dragon Flagship Station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister station KWBW-AM (1450) beginning at 5:50 p.m. The game can also be seen and heard on the internet on the blue Dragon Sports Network (bluedragonsports.com).
The Blue Dragons (14-0, 0-0 Jayhawk West) haven't played in 28 days since defeating Northeast Nebraska at Hill College in the Hutchinson Clinic Classic at the Sports Arena.
This will be the third-straight year that HCC didn't play a non-conference game after the break and before the start of the conference season. Last season, Dodge City defeated HCC 78-75 and two years ago, the Blue Dragons defeated Seward County 80-75.
Dodge City did get a chance to play after the holiday break. The Conquistadors, who have a new head coach this season in Kyle Campbell, lost to Northwest Tech 77-68 on Wednesday night in Goodland.
Hutchinson's 14-0 start ties for the sixth-best start in team history with the 2006-07 and 2010-11 Blue Dragons.
Saturday will be the start of three games in five days for HCC. On Monday at the Sports Arena, Garden City comes to town and on Wednesday, HCC goes to Butler.
If HCC remains clean, there will be an opportunity to move up in the NJCAA poll. Both No. 1 South Plains and No. 2 Howard College lost over the break.
Monday's Game with Garden is "Dollar Night"
Monday's Jayhawk West home opener will be "Dollar Night" at the Sports Arena.
The Blue Dragons will meet Garden City at 7:30 p.m. Before that game, the No. 2 HCC women will play No. 12 Garden City.
There will be $1 admission and $1 hot dogs all night long on Monday. The game is being sponsored by Great Western Dining service.
Blue Dragons No. 2 in NJCAA in all-time wins
With their 76-64 victory over Mesa Community College on Nov. 3, the Blue Dragons reached 1,600 wins in their illustrious history.
The Blue Dragons are 1,611-556, a winning percentage of .743 in their 81st season of men's basketball.
The Blue Dragons trail only Southeastern Iowa in all-time wins. Southeastern Iowa.
HCC played its 2,100th game on Dec. 4, 2010 vs. Harcum College.
With their 76-69 victory over Seward County on Jan. 3, 2010, the Blue Dragons moved past Moberly Area Community College for second place on the NJCAA all-time wins list.
With a 79-53 victory over Labette on Nov. 1, 2008, the Blue Dragons became only the third NJCAA program to post 1,500 victories. Win No. 1,400 came on Feb. 9, 2004 at Butler.
Blue Dragons in national poll
For the fifth-straight poll, the Blue Dragons are in the NJCAA Division I Top 10, climbing into the Top 5 for the first time in two seasons on Nov. 13.
Hutchinson is now No. 4 in the latest poll, maintaining that spot in the poll for two-straight polls. The next poll is January 8.
The Blue Dragons opened the 2012-13 season ranked No. 13 in the Preseason Basketball Poll and was No. 7 in the first regular-season poll on Nov. 13.
After a one-year absence from the preseason poll, the Blue Dragons returned this season. It's the second time in head coach Steve Eck's four seasons that the Blue Dragons are ranked in the preseason NJCAA poll.
Last season, the Blue Dragons were unranked in the preseason poll, but started the season 10-0 and climbed all the way to No. 8. That marked the sixth-straight season that the Blue Dragons have appeared in an NJCAA regular-season poll.
Two seasons ago, the Blue Dragons started the season ranked No. 4 in the preseason poll and climbed all the way to No. 1 in early January after starting the season with 17-straight victories. HCC spent two weeks at No. 1 before finishing the season ranked No. 25.
Start ties for sixth best in Blue Dragon history
Fast starts in the under the Steve Eck watch have been nothing new to the Blue Dragons.
This season's 14-0 start ties for the sixth best in team history, matching the 2006-07 and 2010-11 Blue Dragons.
In Eck's four seasons at Hutchinson, the Blue Dragons have gone 12-2, 14-0, 13-1 and 14-0 in non-conference play.
The best start to a season came in 1974-75, a 24-0 start to a season.
The 14-game winning streak ties six other Blue Dragon teams (1929-30, 1959-60, 1966-67, 1985-86, 2006-07) for the 13th-longest winning streak in team history.
The Blue Dragons have had 33 winning streaks of 10 or more games in program history. The longest is 24 games, which was done in 1967-68 and 1974-75.
About the 2012-13 Blue Dragons
+ The Blue Dragons average 85.1 points per game offensively. HCC is shooting 49.0 percent overall and has shot 50 percent or better in six times this season. The Dragons are shooting 33.8 percent from 3-point range and is 67.2 percent from the foul line. HCC is second in scoring offense in the Jayhawk West, third in both field-goal and 3-point percentage and leads the league in free-throw percentage.
+ Defensively, the Blue Dragons rank sixth in scoring defense at 68.1 points per game. Over the last six games, the Dragons have allowed 70.5 points per contest. Opponents are shooting 39.2 percent overall and 28.6 percent from 3-point range. HCC leads the Jayhawk West in 3-point defense and is second in field goal defense.
+ Freshman guard Kadeem Allen, the two-time Jayhawk Conference men's basketball player of the week, is fifth in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 15.6 points per game. In his last three games, Allen is averaging 20.7 points per game. Allen is shooting 43.9 percent, but is shooting 55.3 percent over his last three games.
+ Sophomore guard A.J. Spencer ranks sixth in the Jayhawk West in field-goal percentage at 58.8 percent. He is 11th in the league in scoring at 14.0 points per game. Spencer is also second in the league in free-throw shooting at 84.2 percent. Spencer is averaging 6.1 rebounds.
+ Sophomore forward Alex Davis has three double-doubles this season and averages 13.9 points per game with a team-high 7.6 boards per game, which is tied for sixth in the Jayhawk West. Davis is shooting 48.9 percent and is averaging 2.3 assists, 2.3 blocked shots and 1.3 steals per game.
+ Sophomore point guard D'Von Campbell, a UTEP transfer, is averaging 11.6 point and 3.7 assists, which is eighth in the Jayhawk West. He is shooting 40.0 percent from 3-point range with a team-high 16 3-pointers.
+ The Blue Dragon bench is averaging 22.9 points. Freshman Tafari Whittingham is averaging 9.9 points and sophomore Dre Henley is averaging 6.7 points off the bench.
+ Henley is fourth in the Jayhawk West in field-goal percentage at 63.0 percent and Whittingham is eighth at 56.8 percent.
+ The Blue Dragons have out-rebounded 7 of 14 opponents this season. HCC is a plus-2.9 in rebounding advantage, out-rebounding opponents 41.0-39.1. The Blue Dragons are averaging 14.3 offensive rebounds per game.
+ The Blue Dragons average 18.9 assists per game and 10.1 steals.
+ Hutchinson averages 15.3 turnovers and forcing opponents into 20.1 turnovers per game.
+ HCC is 11-0 at the Sports Arena this season, averaging 85.2 points per game.
+ The Blue Dragons will be playing only their second game away from the Sports Arena this season. Back on Nov. 17, HCC defeated Allen on the road 84-67.
Scouting Dodge City
+ The Conquistadors feature the Jayhawk West's top scorer in Vic Adams, who is averaging 20.5 points per game. He is second in the league in made 3-pointers with 38 and he shoots 34.2 percent from behind the arc. Adams is tied for ninth in steals at 2.0 per game and 10th in free-throw percentage at 71.0 percent. Adams has a team-high 45 assists.
+ Under first-year head coach Kyle Campbell, the Conquistadors are 8-6, falling to Northwest Tech 77-68 on Wednesday. Other quality wins this season for Dodge City are against Clarendon College, Seminole State and an overtime victory over Missouri State-West Plains.
+ Dodge City ranks sixth in the Jayhawk West in scoring offense at 74.3 points per game. The Conqs are fourth in field-goal percentage at 44.9 percent. DCCC shoots 62.9 percent from the foul line.
+ Dodge City ranks last of nine teams in the Jayhawk West in 3-point percentage at 30.2 percent. But the Conquistadors have hit the third-most treys in the league with 80.
+ Defensively, Dodge City allows 64.8 points per game, which is fifth in the league. Opponents are shooting 42.1 percent overall and 30.2 percent from 3-point range.
+ Aaron Tate is second on the team in scoring at 11.2 percent. Tate leads the Jayhawk West in field-goal percentage at 66.7 percent from the floor.
+ Delvon Rencher averages 10.2 points per game. He also averages a team-high 8.3 rebounds per contest, which ranks second in the Jayhawk West in the non-conference season.
+ The Conquistadors are 5-1 at home this season, 2-2 on the road and 1-3 in neutral court games.
+ Dodge City is pulling down 36.6 rebounds per game, while allowing 35.1 boards per game.
+ The Conqs force 17.2 turnovers, while giving it up 15.0 miscues per game.
Series history against Dodge City
This will be the 169th meeting between Hutchinson and Dodge City in a series that began in 1935. Dodge City is one of four opponents that the Blue Dragons have at least 100 victories against. HCC is 107-61 overall against the Conquistadors. The 107 victories are the fourth most against any opponent.
HCC is 52-22 in games played in Hutchinson and 42-17 in games played at the Sports Arena. Dodge City has won 4 of the last 5 games played at the Sports Arena. HCC is 42-32 at Dodge City and 9-6 in Region VI meetings with the Conquistadors.
The teams split games last season, winning on each other's home floor. Dodge City defeated Hutchinson 78-75 in the conference opener at the Sports Arena, but the Blue Dragons returned the favor in Dodge City one month later winning 81-67 in its first game played at United Wireless Arena.