BLUE DRAGON MEN'S BASKETBALL
No. 16 Hutchinson (17-4, 13-4) vs. Neosho County (7-14, 5-12)
When: Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Where: Hutchinson Sports Arena
Game Time: 7:30 p.m.,
Videostream: Blue Dragon Sports Network, 7:20 p.m.
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
The Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team hopes the roller coaster ride that has been the month of January ends with another upslope on Wednesday night.
The No. 16-ranked Blue Dragons take on Neosho County at 7:30 p.m. at the Sports Arena. The game will be broadcast on Blue Dragon flagship station KHUT-FM (102.9) and sister stations KWBW-AM/FM (1450/98.5) at 7:20 p.m. with Glen Grunwald (play-by-play) and Rusty Hilst (analysis) calling the action.
When the Blue Dragons returned from the Christmas break, they were ranked No. 6 in the country and alone in first place in the Jayhawk Conference with a 12-1 record. The month of January started off with an 81-74 loss at Cowley. Hutch is 5-3 in the month of January after Saturday's 72-70 loss at Coffeyville.
Now the Blue Dragons are No. 16 in the NJCAA and are tied with Coffeyville for second place in the Jayhawk, two games behind Barton.
The biggest difference in the first eight games of January is offensive efficiency.
In the five games Hutchinson has won, the Dragons are averaging 92.2 points per game while shooting 51.1 percent, including 43.6 percent from 3-point range. Hutch is averaging 6.8 3-pointers and 22.8 assists per game. In the three losses, Hutch is averaging only 71.3 points per game, shooting 38.5 percent and less than three 3-pointers per game, shooting only 22.2 percent.
Hutchinson defeated Neosho County in their first meeting of the season 76-64 on November 25 in Chanute. Devonte Bandoo and James Rojas has 19 points each and J.J. Rhymes added 10 as the Blue Dragons shot to that point a season-low 37.3 percent with 19 turnovers. Lual Dung led four Panthers in double figures with 16 points. The Panthers shot 42.9 percent with 19 turnovers.
The Blue Dragons will have to defend the Jayhawk Conference's third-leading scorer in Austin Downing, who is averaging 15.5 points per game. Downing has been to the free-throw line more than any other player in the league, going 109 of 148 from the line this season. Downing also leads the Jayhawk in steals (39) and is third in assists (96).
Hutchinson has two players in the league's top 10 scorers. Rhymes still leads the league in scoring at 20.7 points per game. Bandoo is seventh at 15.2 points per game.