TOP-RANKED BLUE DRAGONS GET VISIT FROM OLD RIVAL BUTLER ON SATURDAY

Posted 1 year ago

By Glen Grunwald

mbb020813Meeting No. 1 between the Hutchinson Community College and Butler men’s basketball teams took place on Jan. 4, 1929. Saturday night’s encounter between the  two long-time Jayhawk Conference rivals will be the 177th clash.

The NJCAA No. 1-ranked Blue Dragons will meet the Grizzlies at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Sports Arena. The game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister station KWBW-AM (1450) beginning at 7:20 p.m. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will provide a live videostream and audio-only stream beginning at 7:20 p.m.

Hutchinson (24-0, 10-0 Jayhawk West) looks to maintain its cushion in the Jayhawk West. Second-place Seward County defeated Pratt on Friday. Entering the weekend, HCC had a two-game lead on the Saints (9-2 Jayhawk West).

HCC maintained that cushion on Wednesday after rallying from a halftime deficit for the first time this season in defeating Garden City 62-57 in Garden City.

Butler (17-6, 5-4) has been a bit up-and-down on conference play after a dazzling 13-2 start to the season. The Grizzlies snapped a two-game losing streak last Saturday with a 69-55 home victory over Garden City at the Power Plant. Butler is 4-4 over its last eight games.

When Hutchinson and Butler met for the first time this season on Jan. 9 at the Power Plant, the Blue Dragons and Grizzlies were locked up in an intense battle, but a Kadeem Allen three-quarter-court shot at the first half severely changed momentum toward the Blue Dragons. After snatching the halftime lead away from the Grizzlies, HCC outscored Butler 44-32 with a stellar defensive second half in an 81-67 victory.

HCC looks for its 25th consecutive victory at the Sports Arena.

GAME 25 – No. 1 Hutchinson (24-0, 10-0) vs. Butler (17-6, 5-4)
Date: Saturday, February 9, 2013
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m.
Site: Hutchinson Sports Arena, Hutchinson, KS (Capacity: 7,000)
Radio: KHUT-FM (102.9), KWBW-AM (1450) – Glen Grunwald (PBP), Rusty Hilst (Analyst), 7:20 p.m.
Free Internet Video and Audio:  www.bluedragonsports.com, 7:20 p.m.
Twitter: @bluedragonsport
Tickets: Reserved – $7; General Admission – $5
Promotion: Youth Hoops Night

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 1,621-556, a winning percentage of .745 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 second time in three seasons, the Blue Dragons have reached the No. 1 spot in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Poll. The Blue Dragons have maintained that top spot for four-straight weeks.

Before Jan. 15, the last time HCC was ranked No. 1 was in 2010-11. That team held the top spot for two weeks.

Before that, the last time that Hutchinson was ranked No. 1 in a regular season poll was on Jan. 7, 1992. The Blue Dragons – the starting point guard on that team was current HCC women’s coach John Ontjes – started that season 15-0 and spent one week in the nation’s top spot before getting bumped off. That team finished 22-7 and was Region VI runner-up.

The latest No. 1 national ranking is only the fourth since 1975 for the Blue Dragon men. The 1974-75 Blue Dragons, coached by Dick Gisel, started their season 24-0. That Blue Dragon team finished 32-3, won the Jayhawk West and Region VI crowns and finished eighth in the 1975 NJCAA Tournament.

HCC has now been ranked in 12 consecutive NJCAA polls, dating back to last season.

24-0 start ties for best in Blue Dragon history
The 2012-13 Blue Dragons have topped all fast starts but one other in this program’s tremendous history.

Now 24-0 to start the season, this Blue Dragon team tied the 1974-75 Blue Dragons for the best start in team history.

That 1974-75 team, coached by Dick Gisel, finished 32-3, won the Jayhawk West and Region VI titles and finished eighth in the NJCAA Tournament.

There have been 10 starts of at least 10-straight victories in Blue Dragon history. The 2013 Blue Dragons became only the third team in 82 years to reach a start of 20-0.

Current winning streak tied for longest at HCC
Hutchinson’s 62-57 victory over Garden City on Wednesday tied the team record for winning streaks.

HCC’s current 24-game winning streak ties the 1967-68 Blue Dragons, coached by Gene Keady) and 1974-75 team that was coached by Dick Gisel.

The Blue Dragons have had 33 winning streaks of 10 or more games in program history and five of 20 or more.

About the 2012-13 Blue Dragons
+ The Blue Dragons have risen to the No. 1 spot in the Jayhawk West in scoring offense at 82.1 points per game. The Dragons rank first in the league in field-goal percentage at 48.2 percent. HCC ranks second in the league in free-throw percentage at 67.4 percent. HCC is fifth in 3-point percentage at 31.6 percent and have made a league-low 73 for the season.

+ Defensively, the Blue Dragons rank seventh in scoring defense at 67.3 points per game. Opponents are shooting 38.9 percent overall and 26.9 percent from 3-point range. The Dragons lead the Jayhawk West in 3-point defense and are second in defensively field-goal percentage.

+ The Blue Dragons have been particularly strong defensively over the last six games, holding two opponents to less than 30-percent shooting. Over the last six games, the Dragons are allowing 62.3 points per game. Opponents are shooting 36.1 percent overall and just 20.9 percent from 3-point range.

+ Through 10 Jayhawk West games, HCC is averaging 77.9 points, shooting 47.1 percent overall. The Blue Dragons haven’t utilized the 3-point shot as much in conference play. Shooting 28.1 percent, the Dragons are just 25 of 89 from distance in league play. Defensively, HCC is allowing 66.1 points, 38.3 percent field-goal shooting and 24.3 percent from 3-point range.

+ Freshman guard Kadeem Allen has posted five 20-point games in conference play. Overall, he is third in the Jayhawk West in scoring at 17.4 points per game. He has scored in double figures in 21 of 22 games played this season, averaging 19.6 points per game in Jayhawk West games. Allen is shooting 43.9 percent, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 71.4 percent from the foul line. Allen also has team highs of 78 assists and 52 steals. Allen ranks fourth in the KJCCC West in steals and seventh in assists.

+ Sophomore guard A.J. Spencer is second in scoring at 14.9 points per game, which is sixth in the Jayhawk West. Spencer ranks third in field-goal percentage at 58.8 percent, while leading the West at the free-throw line (83.5 percent). Spencer is averaging 16.2 points in conference play, shooting 58.8 percent. The sophomore is averaging 6.2 rebounds per game.

+ Sophomore forward Alex Davis averages 13.1 points per game with a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game. Davis is 13th in the Jayhawk West in scoring and third in rebounding. Davis is shooting 49.8 percent from the field.  Davis leads the Jayhawk West lead in blocked shots at 2.63 rejections per game.

+ Sophomore point guard D’von Campbell returned to the line-up three games ago after missing six in a row because of injury. Campbell is averaging 11.1 points and 3.9 assists. He is fourth in the league in assists.

+ Sophomore Rozell Nunn is averaging 8.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He is shooting 49.0 percent from the floor and 75.4 percent from the foul line. Nunn has 73 assists and steals.

+ The Blue Dragon bench is averaging 19.4 points for the season, but that number has dropped to 14.5 points in conference play. Freshman Tafari Whittingham is the leading scorer off the bench at 9.0 points per game, shooting 51.3 percent. Sophomore Dre Henley is averaging 6.1 points, shooting 52.5 percent from the floor.

+ The Blue Dragons have out-rebounded 11 of 24 opponents this season. HCC is plus 1.7 in rebounding advantage, pulling down 41.0 boards per game. The Blue Dragons are averaging 13.3 offensive rebounds per game.

+ The Blue Dragons average 17.8 assists per game and 9.2 steals.

+ Hutchinson averages 15.3 turnovers and forcing opponents into 18.9 turnovers per game. The Blue Dragons had a season-low six turnovers vs. Garden City on Saturday.

+ HCC is 18-0 at the Sports Arena this season, averaging 83.4 points per game.

+ HCC is 6-0 on the road this season, averaging 78.2 points per game.

Scouting Butler
+ Butler coach Mike Bargen is the son of Blue Dragon coaching great Gary Bargen, who is a member of the HCC Quarterback Club Hall of Fame.

+ When Hutchinson defeated the Grizzlies 78-65 on Jan. 8 at El Dorado, that snapped a nine-game Grizzly winning streak.

+ The Grizzlies have gone 4-4 since a 13-2 start.

+ Butler is a much-improved offensive team this season, ranking third in the Jayhawk West at 75.3 points per game. Shooting better than 50 percent over their first 16 games, the Grizzlies are now second in field-goal percentage at 47.6 percent. Butler is last in 3-point percentage at 29.9 percent on 111 makes.  The Grizzlies rank ninth of nine teams in free-throw percentage at 61.2 percent.

+ The 2013 Grizzlies are also a lot better defensively. Last season Bargen’s team allowed 73.5 points per game. This season Butler is allowing just 63.3 points per game. Opposing teams are shooting 40.3 percent overall and 27.9 percent from 3-point range.

+ Butler’s offense is very balanced. Only one player averages in double figures, but eight average better than six points per game.

+ Sophomore Sean Osler is Butler’s leading scorer at 11.1 points per game. Osler is shooting 42.7 percent overall and 27.0 percent from long range. He has 24 made 3-pointers. Osler averages 4.9 rebounds per game.

+ Shomari Triggs averages 9.7 points per game and is tied for fourth in the Jayhawk West in assists at 3.88 per game.

+ Trent Richardson averages 9.6 points per game, shooting 56.6 percent, which is fourth in the league in individual field-goal percentage.

+ Jordan Madrid-Andrews and LaMont Pruitt are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the Jayhawk West in field goal percentage. Madrid-Andrews (6.2 ppg) is shooting 63.2 percent. Pruitt (6.8 ppg) is shooting 62.9 percent.

+ Eric Watson has a team-high 30 3-pointers and averages 8.4 points per game.

+ The Grizzlies are averaging 37.9 rebounds per game, while allowing 32.3 boards.

+ The Grizzlies average 13.3 assists per game.

+ Butler leads the Jayhawk West in steals at 11.3 per game.

+ Butler takes care of the ball, turning it over only 15.8 times per game, while forcing 18.9 turnovers per game.

+ The Grizzlies are 11-2 at the Power Plant this season, going 5-4 in road games.

Series history against Butler
This will be the 177th meeting between Hutchinson and Butler in a series that began in 1929.

Butler is one of four opponents that the Blue Dragons have at least 100 victories against. HCC is 116-60 overall against the Grizzlies.

HCC is 61-21 in games played in Hutchinson and 46-14 in games played at the Sports Arena. HCC is 46-35 in El Dorado. The Dragons own a 9-4 advantage in Region VI meetings with the Grizzlies.

Hutchinson won the first meeting this season 78-65 on Jan. 9 at El Dorado.

(HCC Sports Information)

FULL GAME NOTES (PDF Format)