[ By STEVE CARPENTER ]
[ BLUE DRAGON SPORTS INFORMATION ]
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The top two individual scorers in the Jayhawk Conference will meet for the first time this season as sophomore guard J.J. Rhymes and the No. 8-ranked Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball team hits the road Wednesday to meet the Independence Pirates and guard DeAnthony McCallum.
Game time at the ICC Fieldhouse is at 8 p.m. Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and on sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) beginning at 7:50 p.m. with Rusty Hilst (play-by-play) and Daren Dunn (analysis) calling the action. The Blue Dragon Sports Network will also stream the game live beginning at 7:50 p.m.
Rhymes comes off a 31-point game in Hutchinson’s 103-75 win over the Allen Red Devils on Saturday at the Sports Arena. He’s had 56 points in his last two games combined and has five games of 25 or more points. On Saturday, Rhymes became the 22nd Blue Dragon to reach the 900-point mark for his career.
The sophomore guard from Phoenix leads the Jayhawk Conference at 20.6 points per game. Rhymes is shooting 49.6 percent from the field, 34.3 percent from 3-point range and 68.2 percent from the free-throw line. Rhymes goes to the free-throw line 7.3 times per game, the most in the Jayhawk Conference.
Indy’s McCallum is second in the Jayhawk at 18.3 points per game. McCallum shoot 46.4 percent, 38.9 percent from 3-point range and 81.3 percent from the foul line. McCallum averages 2.0 3-pointers per game and goes to the foul line 6.5 times per game. McCallum has scored a season-high 29 points twice and comes off a 26-point game in a victory on Saturday over Dodge City.
The Blue Dragons play their final road game before a four-game homestand that begins on Saturday with Dodge City. Hutchinson is 13-2 overall and 9-2 in the Jayhawk, tied with Barton for first place in the league. Coffeyville and Cowley are tied for third at 8-3. Colby and Garden City are tied for fifth at 7-4.
As the league season approaches the halfway mark on Saturday, Independence finds itself four games off the paces of the Blue Dragons and Cougars at 8-6 overall and 5-6 in conference play.
The Blue Dragons rallied from last Wednesday’s road loss at Cowley with a 103-75 victory over Allen at the Sports Arena. J.J. Rhymes and Devonte Bandoo scored 31 and 25 points, respectively, in Hutchinson’s victory over the Red Devils.
Hutchinson enters play on Wednesday as the No. 3 scoring team in the Jayhawk Conference at 89.1 points per game. At 47.9 percent shooting, the Dragons are No. 4 in the league in field-goal percentage. Hutch is fifth in the league at 36.1 percent from 3-point range. The Blue Dragons are the leading rebounding team in the conference at 47.6 boards per contest. The Dragons are No. 2 in the KJCCC in scoring defense at 69.1 points per game, allowing 37.3 percent field-goal shooting and 27.9 percent from long range.
The Pirates are 10th in the conference in scoring at 79.6 points per game. Indy shoots 43.9 percent overall and 33.8 percent from 3-point range. The Pirates make 7.6 3-pointers per game, fifth most in the KJCCC. The Pirates are eighth in scoring defense at 74.0 points per game allowed. Opposing teams are shooting 43.8 percent overall and 36.9 percent from 3-point range.