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January 28, 2014

Top Jayhawk West offenses to meet

TOP OFFENSES CLASH AS BLUE DRAGONS TRAVEL TO BARTON ON WEDNESDAY



The Jayhawk Conference Western Division's top two offenses will meet on Wednesday night as the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team renews its rivalry with the Barton Cougars.

Tipoff at the Barton Gym will be at 7:30 p.m. in Great Bend. 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) beginning at 7:20 p.m.

Barton is No. 1 in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 90.8 points per game. Right behind the Cougars are the No. 15 Blue Dragons at 89.5 points per game. Hutch is No. 1 in field-goal percentage at 48.5 percent. Barton is right behind at 48.4 percent.

Wednesday's game features two of the top 4 scorers in the league. Hutchinson's Kadeem Allen leads the West and is second in the nation in scoring at 29.6 points per game. Barton's Darius Gibson is fourth in the West in scoring at 19.6 points per game.

Hutchinson (18-3, 4-1 Jayhawk West) remained in a tie for first place in the league on Saturday after a gritty 88-85 overtime victory at Pratt. Allen scored 31 points, DeShawn Freeman added 20 points and Coreantae DeBerry had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

After a 1-2 start in the league, Barton (15-6, 3-2) has wins over Seward County and Colby in the last week. Barton defeated Colby on Sunday 79-69.

This is the first time since last year's Region VI championship game for the Blue Dragons and Cougars to meet. Hutchinson won its first regional title since 1997 after a 74-57 victory at Hartman Arena after the teams split regular-season games.

Hutchinson head coach Steve Eck will be looking for his 450th career victory as a junior college head coach. In his 14th season as a junior college leader, Eck has a 449-79 junior college record.



About the 2013-14 Blue Dragons

+ The Blue Dragons are No. 2 in the Jayhawk West in scoring average at 89.5 points per game. HCC has scored 80 or more points in 16 of 21 games and have reached the 100-point mark five times this season. The Blue Dragons are No. 1 in field-goal percentage (48.6 percent). HCC ranks last of eight teams in 3-point percentage at 28.9 percent, but now leads the league in free-throw percentage at 71.8 percent.

+ HCC ranks last in the Jayhawk West in defensive scoring average (82.5 ppg.), sixth in field-goal defense (43.2 percent), but is second in the 3-point defense (31.1 percent). Hutch has allowed opponents 80 or more points in 13 of 21 games.

+ In Jayhawk West games, the Blue Dragons offensively are scoring 88.0 points per game. HCC is shooting 47.8 percent in conference play, 30.0 percent from point range and 73.8 percent from the free-throw line. Defensively, the Blue Dragons are allowing 84.4 points per game. Opposing teams are shooting 45.5 percent and 32.6 percent from distance.

+ All-American Kadeem Allen is leading the Jayhawk West and is second in the nation in scoring at 28.6 points per game. He is shooting 45.9 percent overall, 31.6 percent from 3-point range and 75.6 percent from the free-throw line (5th in the Jayhawk West). He is averaging 7.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists (2nd in the Jayhawk West) and 2.3 steals per game (tied for 1st in the Jayhawk West). In conference play, Allen is averaging 29.2 points per game.

+ Allen has been named the Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week seven times and NJCAA National Player of the Week twice.

+ Second-leading scorer DeShawn Freeman is getting more comfortable since returning at the start of league play from missing several games because of injury. Freeman is averaging 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while shooting 57.8 percent from the field. In the conference, Freeman is at 14.2 points and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 61.5 percent from the floor.

+ Sophomore Coreantae DeBerry continues to produce in the paint. DeBerry is now averaging 11.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He is shooting 64.9 percent, which leads the Jayhawk West. DeBerry is now hitting 73.9 percent of his free throws, which ranks third in the Jayhawk West. DeBerry averages 12.6 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 74.2 percent in Jayhawk West games.

+ Sophomore Tafari Whittingham will 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 had three double-doubles this season.

+ Guard Darrick Wood returned from a six-game absence on Jan. 8. He has started the last two games. Wood is averaging 10.1 points, 9.8 points in conference play. Wood is now the Jayhawk West leader in free-throw percentage at 81.4 percent.

+ Sophomore Nathan Jackson has scored in double figures in 11 of 21 games. He is averaging 9.3 points while shooting 56.7 percent from the floor. Jackson is also averaging 5.2 rebounds per game. He is averaging 5.6 points and 4.2 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 42.4 boards per game, including 13.8 offensive caroms per game. The Dragons allow 39.6 boards per contest.

+ HCC turns the ball over 15.1 times per game and forces 15.0 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.



Scouting Barton

+ Craig Fletchall's Cougars have had a pair of four-game winning streaks so far this season and are currently on a two-game win streak after starting the Jayhawk West at 1-2.

+ The Cougars have found plenty of ways to score points this season, breaking the 100-point mark eight time so far in 2013-14. Barton is the league leader in scoring offense at 90.8 points per game. Barton is second in field-goal percentage at 48.4 percent overall, third in 3-point efficiency at 35.5 percent and are sixth at the free-throw line at 64.4 percent.

+ Defensively, the Cougars have had some solid games and not-so solid games. Barton ranks sixth in the Jayhawk West at 77.3 points per game, fourth in defensive field-goal percentage at 40.0 percent and eighth in 3-point defense at 35.3 percent. The Cougars have allowed 100 or more points in a game four times this season.

+ The Cougars have hit a league-high 153 3-pointers this season, an average of 7.29 makes per game from long range.

+ Individually, three Cougars reside in the Jayhawk West's Top 10 in 3-point percentage and made 3-pointers. Isaac Williams is second at 45.3 percent and is third in makes at 2.29 (48 total treys). Tyler Corley is eighth in percentage at 36.4 percent (24 makes). Trey Unrau is 10th in percentage at 33.7 percent and fifth in makes at 1.62/game (34 total). Deniece Parks is sixth in makes at 1.57/game (29 makes).

+ Darius Gibson is the Jayhawk West's fourth-leading scorer at 19.6 points per game. Gibson is shooting 55.2 percent overall, which is 10th in the West this season.

+ Corley is Barton's second-leading scorer at 15.7 points per game. He ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West in assists at 4.5 per game and sixth in steals at 1.90 per game.

+ Parks is third in scoring at 13.2 points per game and averages 4.1 rebound/game.

+ Raheem Johnson scores at an 11.3 point-per-game clip. Johnson is the league's third-leading rebounder at 8.2 rebounds per game. He is the conference leader in blocked shot at 2.35 rejections per game, which is 23rd best in the league.

+ The Cougars are averaging 43.8 rebounds per game, including 15.4 offensive boards. Barton allows 35.5 rebounds per contest.

+ The Cougars turn the ball over just 13.9 times per game, the second-fewest in the league. Barton forces 13.7 turnovers per game.

+ Barton is averaging 15.6 assists, 8.5 steals and 4.6 blocked shots per game.

+ Barton is 9-2 at home, 3-3 on the road, 2-1 on neutral floors and 2-0 in overtime.



Series history vs. Barton

This will be the 102nd meeting between Hutchinson and Barton in a series that began in 1970.

The Blue Dragons own a 79-22 record all time against the Cougars, including a 39-5 mark in the Sports Arena. Hutchinson is 29-15 in games played in Great Bend.

Hutchinson and Barton have met 13 times in the postseason. The last postseason meeting game in the 2013 Region VI championship game in Park City. The Blue Dragons own a 10-3 series lead in Region VI meetings.



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