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February 9, 2014

Hutch men looking to rebound

GAME 25 - No. 12 Hutchinson (20-4, 6-2) at Garden City (18-6, 4-4)

Date: Monday, February 10, 2014

Tipoff: 7:30 p.m.

Site: Perryman Athletic Complex, Garden City, KS (Capacity: 2,500)

Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9); KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) - Glen Grunwald (PBP); Daren Dunn (Analysis), 7:20 p.m.

Internet Video, Live Stats: www.bluedragonsports.com, 7:20 p.m.

Twitter: @bluedragonsport



BATTERED BLUE DRAGONS LOOK TO REBOUND WITH MONDAY BATTLE AT GARDEN CITY


With injuries mounting and being stuck in the middle of a four-game-in-eight-day stretch with two long road trips within 48 hours of each other, nothing is coming easy for the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team these days.

Just 48 hours after suffering a gut-wrenching two-point loss to Seward County at home, the No. 12 Blue Dragons have a short turnaround for Monday's rescheduled game at Garden City.

Tipoff at the Perryman Athletic Complex in Garden City is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The game will be videostreamed on the Blue Dragon Sports Network and 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.

The Blue Dragons relinquished sole possession of first place by one-half game over the Saints after an 84-82 loss on Saturday. A victory on Monday would knot the league race, but the head-to-head tie-breaker goes to Seward County.

Hutchinson (20-4, 6-2 Jayhawk West) has played without sophomore Tafari Whittingham for the past five games because of injury. Now second-leading scorer DeShawn Freeman has missed the last two games because of injury. Reserve guard Zach Winter had season-ending surgery two weeks ago.

Garden City (18-6, 4-4) earned a 62-55 victory over Colby on Saturday night to even its Jayhawk West record. The Broncbusters are currently fifth in the Jayhawk West standings, just one game out of fourth place and a first-round Region VI home game. The Perryman Athletic Complex has normally been a tough place to play for HCC. Over the last 10 seasons, but the Blue Dragons are 3-7 in Garden City, but have won 3 of the last 4 games played on the Busters' home floor.

HCC won the first meeting this season with Garden City 82-77 on Jan. 15 in Hutchinson. The Blue Dragons led by 17 points only to see Garden gash that deficit to two in the final minute of the game.



About the 2013-14 Blue Dragons

+ The Blue Dragons are No. 1 in the Jayhawk West in scoring average at 90.2 points per game. HCC has scored 80 or more points in 19 of 24 games and have reached the 100-point mark six times this season. The Blue Dragons are No. 1 in field-goal percentage (48.8 percent). HCC ranks last of eight teams in 3-point percentage at 30.3 percent, but leads the league in free-throw percentage at 72.2 percent.

+ HCC ranks last in the Jayhawk West in defensive scoring average (82.5 ppg.), sixth in field-goal defense (42.5 percent), but leads in the 3-point defense (30.4 percent). Hutch has allowed opponents 80 or more points in 15 of 24 games.

+ In Jayhawk West games, the Blue Dragons offensively are scoring 90.8 points per game. HCC is shooting 49.2 percent in conference play, 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 74.8 percent from the free-throw line. Defensively, the Blue Dragons are allowing 83.5 points per game. Opposing teams are shooting 43.5 percent and 29.6 percent from distance.

+ All-American Kadeem Allen is leading the Jayhawk West and is second in the nation in scoring at 28.0 points per game. He is shooting 45.1 percent overall, 32.2 percent from 3-point range and 76.8 percent from the free-throw line (5th in the Jayhawk West). He is averaging 7.1 rebounds, 5.71 assists (2nd in the Jayhawk West) and 2.21 steals per game (tied for 2nd in the Jayhawk West). In conference play, Allen is averaging 27.0 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 has missed the last two games and nine games total because of injuries. Freeman is averaging 15.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while shooting 56.5 percent from the field. In the conference, Freeman is at 14.0 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 57.4 percent from the floor.

+ Sophomore Coreantae DeBerry is averaging 11.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting a Jayhawk West-best 66.3 percent from the floor, which ranks No. 13 in the NJCAA. DeBerry is now hitting 78.0 percent of his free throws, which ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West. DeBerry averages 13.9 points and 8.4 rebounds while shooting 73.7 percent in Jayhawk West games.

+ Sophomore Tafari Whittingham remains out - five games - because of an injury. He is HCC's leading rebounder with 7.8 boards per game, which ranks fourth in the Jayhawk West. He was 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. Staring the last four games, Wood is averaging 11.8 points, 13.6 points in conference play. Wood is now second in the Jayhawk West in free-throw percentage at 82.4 percent.

+ Sophomore Nathan Jackson has scored in double figures in 13 of 24 games, coming off his first career double-double on Saturday. Jackson is now averaging to 9.1 points while shooting 56.6 percent from the floor and 5.3 rebounds per game. He is averaging just 6.5 points and 4.8 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 39.8 boards per contest, including 16.6 offensive rebounds allowed.

+ HCC turns the ball over 14.8 times per game and forces 14.4 takeaways per game.

+ The Dragons are averaging 16.7 assists per game, which ranks second in the West.

+ HCC is second in the league in blocked shots with 5.7 per game. Hutch had a season-high 10 swats vs. Garden City.



Scouting Garden City

+ Under first-year head coach Brady Trenkle, the Broncbusters have been very defensive. Garden City leads the Jayhawk West in scoring defense at 62.7 points per game. The Busters lead the league in field-goal defense at 36.4 percent overall shooting and are fifth in 3-point defense at 34.5 percent.

+ Offensively, Garden City ranks seventh in scoring offense, but the Busters are still averaging 79.4 points per game. The Busters lead the league in scoring margin at plus-16.6. Garden City is second in field-goal percentage at 47.7 percent and is sixth in 3-point shooting at 32.5 percent. Garden is eighth in free-throw percentage at 62.1 percent.

+ Jade Cathey is Garden City's leading scorer and the Jayhawk West's 11th-leading scorer at 13.0 points per game. Cathey is shooting 55.3 percent from the field (9th in the Jayhawk West) and averages a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game, which ranks in a tie for sixth in the conference.

+ Jeremy Wilson averages 12.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Wilson is shooting 50.2 percent from the floor and is shooting 75.3 percent at the free-throw line, which is eighth in the Jayhawk West.

+ Talan Whitaker is shooting 60.8 percent (5th in the league) and averages 9.5 points per game. Whitaker averages 6.2 rebounds per game.

+ Three other players, Jalen Variste (7.5 ppg); Reuben King (7.3 ppg) and D'Shon Taylor (7.0 ppg) average in the 7-8 point-per-game range.

+ Garden City is one of the top rebounding teams in the league at a plus 14.2 rebounding margin. The Busters are averaging 45.6 rebounds per game, while allowing just 31.46. They are getting 15.9 offensive rebounds per game, pulling 29 offensive boards vs. HCC on Jan. 15.

+ Jalen Variste is seventh in the Jayhawk West in assists at 3.36 per game. The Busters average 14.2 assists per game.

+ Jeremy Wilson is 10th in the league in blocked shots at 1.04 rejections per game. Garden City averages 3.3 blocks per contest.

+ Garden City is turning the ball over at 13.7 turnovers per game while forcing 16.7 takeaways per contest.



Series history vs. Garden City

This will be the 172nd meeting between Hutchinson and Garden City in a series that began in 1929.

Garden City is one of four opponents that the Blue Dragons have at least 100 victories against. HCC is 125-46 overall against the Broncbusters. The 125 victories are the second most against any opponent.

HCC is 69-9 in games played in Hutchinson and 56-7 in games played at the Sports Arena. HCC is 46-34 at Garden City. The Dragons are 10-3 in Region VI meetings with the Busters.



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