Internet Video, Live Stats: www.bluedragonsports.com, 7:50 p.m.
BLUE DRAGONS, BEAVERS TO MATCH UP WITH FIRST PLACE ON THE LINE
Locked in a three-way tie for first place in the Jayhawk West after four games, the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team looks to maintain its share of the top spot with a road battle against one of the other teams that are a part of the deadlock.
The No. 19 Blue Dragons play the first of two-straight road games on Saturday as they travel to Pratt for a 8 p.m. game on Saturday at the Dennis Lesh Sports Arena. The game will be videostreamed live by the Blue Dragon Sports Network and will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5).
Hutchinson (17-3), Pratt (13-7) and Seward County (13-7) are tied at the top of the Jayhawk West standings with 3-1 records. Seward County plays host to Dodge City on Saturday.
The injury-depleted Blue Dragons shot better than 55 percent from the floor on Wednesday as they scored 61 second-half points defeat Cloud County 102-82 at the Sports Arena.
Kadeem Allen led six players in double figures with 29 points, a career-high eight steals and seven assists.
Hutchinson will again be without the services of forwards Tafari Whittingham and Andre Sands. Now add freshman guard Zach Winter to the injury list. He will miss the rest of the season.
Winners of their first three Jayhawk West games, Pratt lost on Wednesday to Garden City 83-71. A 6-2 record on their home floor, Pratt has four players who average in double figures offensively.
Defense is where the Beavers have gotten it done. Ranked third in the Jayhawk West in scoring defense at 67.2 points per game, Pratt leads the conference in blocked shots with more than six rejections per game.
Hutchinson has defeated Pratt in eight straight, winning four in a row at Pratt, and in 10 of the last 11 games against the Beavers.
About the 2013-14 Blue Dragons
+ The Blue Dragons are No. 2 in the Jayhawk West in scoring average at 89.6 points per game. HCC has scored 80 or more points in 15 of 20 games and have reached the 100-point mark five times this season. The Blue Dragons are No. 2 in field-goal percentage (48.5 percent). HCC ranks last of eight teams in 3-point percentage at 29.0 percent, but now leads the league in free-throw percentage at 71.5 percent.
+ HCC ranks last in the Jayhawk West in defensive scoring average (82.4 ppg.), seventh in field-goal defense (42.8 percent), but is second in the 3-point defense (30.7 percent). Hutch has allowed opponents 80 or more points in 12 of 20 games.
+ Through four Jayhawk West games, The Blue Dragons offensively are scoring 88.0 points per game. HCC is shooting 47.9 percent in conference play, a much-improved 30.9 percent from point range (17 of 55) and 73.6 percent from the free-throw line. Defensively, the Blue Dragons are allowing 84.3 points per game. Opposing teams are shooting 46.0 percent and 30.6 percent from distance.
+ All-American Kadeem Allen is leading the Jayhawk West and is second in the nation in scoring at 28.5 points per game. He is shooting 46.6 percent overall, 32.4 percent from 3-point range and 74.8 percent from the free-throw line (ninth in the Jayhawk West). He is averaging 7.2 rebounds, 5.9 assists (2nd in the Jayhawk West) and 2.3 steals per game (4th in the Jayhawk West). In conference play, Allen is averaging 28.8 points per game.
+ Allen has been named the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week six times and NJCAA National Player of the Week twice.
+ Second-leading scorer DeShawn Freeman is four games into his return after missing nine games because of an injury. Freeman is averaging 15.8 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 55.1 percent from the field. In the conference, Freeman is at 12.8 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 53.3 percent from the floor.
+ Sophomore Coreantae DeBerry continues to produce in the paint. DeBerry is now averaging 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. He is shooting 64.3 percent, which ranks second in the Jayhawk West. DeBerry is also hitting 80.0 percent of his free throws, which leads the Jayhawk West. DeBerry averages 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 73.3 percent in Jayhawk West games.
+ Sophomore Tafari Whittingham may be out for a while with an injury. He is HCC's leading rebounder with 7.8 boards per game, which ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West. He is averaging 10.2 points per game. Whittingham has three double-doubles this season.
+ Guard Darrick Wood returned from a six-game absence on Jan. 8. He'd seen limited minutes since returning before returning to the starting lineup vs. Cloud County. Wood is averaging 10.0 points, 9.3 points in conference play.
+ Sophomore Nathan Jackson has scored in double figures in 11 of 20 games. He is averaging 9.5 points while shooting 58.2 percent from the floor (eighth in the Jayhawk West). Jackson is also averaging 5.5 rebounds per game. He is averaging 5.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in conference play.
+ The Blue Dragons have been hot and cold in the rebounding department this season. HCC is fourth in the Jayhawk West in rebounding at 42.8 boards per game, including 13.9 offensive caroms per game. The Dragons allow 39.5 boards per contest.
+ HCC turns the ball over 15.4 times per game and forces 15.1 takeaways per game.
+ The Dragons are averaging 16.5 assists per game, which ranks second in the West.
+ HCC is second in the league in blocked shots with 5.4 per game. Hutch had a season-high 10 swats vs. Garden City.
+ The Beavers were enjoying a season-long four-game winning streak before being upended at Garden City on Saturday. After starting 8-3, the Beavers have won 8 of their last 11 games. Pratt was averaging 86.8 points during that win streak.
+ Offensively, the Beavers rank seventh of eight Jayhawk West teams at 79.5 points per game. They rank fifth in field-goal percentage at 47.1 percent, tied for third in 3-point percentage at 34.6 percent and is third in free-throw percentage at 65.9 percent.
+ Defensively, Pratt is allowing 69.2 points per game, which ranks third in the Jayhawk West. The Beavers are second in the conference in field-goal defense at 38.6 percent. They are fifth in 3-point defense at 333.8 percent.
+ Jesse Shaw's team is balanced offensively with four players averaging in double figures.
+ Kevin Allen is the 13th-ranked scorer in the Jayhawk West averaging 12.6 points per game. He is fourth in the league in field-goal percentage at 62.8 percent and is fifth in rebounding at 7.56 rebounds. As part of the top shot-blocking team in the league, Allen is second in the conference in rejections at 2.11 per game.
+ Robert Davis is a true 3-point threat at 35.9 percent (8th in the West). Davis is averaging 12.1 points per game, shooting 44.4 percent.
+ Deshun Roberts averages 10.6 points per game. He shoots 52.3 percent overall and 37.0 percent from 3-point range and averages 4.6 boards per game.
+ Phoenix Bills is averaging 12.6 points per game, but hasn't played in the last six games.
+ Point guard Javis Flynn averages 5.4 points per game, but he is the Jayhawk West leader in assists at 6.74 helpers per game. Defensively, Flynn is a stalwart as well. He is second in the conference with 2.37 steals per game.
+ Kaion Seals is shooting 50.5 percent from the field, averaging 9.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
+ Taylor Schieber ranks fourth in 3-point percentage at 44.3 percent and averages 1.56 made 3s per game. Schieber averages 8.8 points per game.
+ The Beavers pull down 42.1 rebounds per game and allow opponents 32.5 caroms per game. Pratt gets 14.6 offensive rebounds per game.
+ Pratt has done a good job of taking care of the ball, turning the ball over just 13.2 turnovers per game. The Beavers are forcing 13.0 turnovers per game.
+ Pratt averages 18.8 assists, 8.2 steals and a league-high 6.2 blocked shots per game.
Series history vs. Pratt
This will be the 157th meeting between Hutchinson and Pratt in a series that began in 1939.
The Blue Dragons own a decisive 133-23 all-time record against the Beavers. The Blue Dragons have won eight in a row and 11 of the last 12 against the Beavers.
The Blue Dragons are 64-11 all-time against Pratt in games played in Hutchinson and 54-7 at the Sports Arena. HCC owns a 57-11 record at Pratt. Hutchinson and Pratt have met 11 times in the postseason. HCC has won 10 of the 11. The last Region VI meeting was 1994. Pratt's only postseason win over Hutchinson came in 1959.
The 133 victories are the most by Hutchinson against any opponent.