2017-18 JAYHAWK CONFERENCE
5. Garden City
7. Neosho County
10. Seward County
12. Cloud County
14. Dodge City
Hutchinson CC Sports Information
With six players back from the 2017 NJCAA National Championship team, the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team was the overwhelming choice to win the 2018 Jayhawk Conference championship in the league's annual Preseason Coaches' Poll released on Tuesday.
Ninth-year head coach Steve Eck returns a good nucleus from last year's team. The Blue Dragons will be bidding for a third-straight conference championship and a fourth-consecutive berth in the NJCAA National Tournament this season.
The Blue Dragons have six players returning, including three who either started or was in the main rotation of players are back, from the 35-2 team of a year ago.
Starting guard J.J. Rhymes averaged 16.0 points shooting 47.7 percent from the field. Rhymes averaged 4.6 rebounds per game.
Guard Devonte Bandoo averaged 13.7 points after shooting 53.0 percent from the field and 31.5 percent from 3-poitn range. Forward Kai Mitchell averages 8.0 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent. Forward Sal Nuhu shot 50.5 percent in averaging 4.7 points and 3.9 rebounds. Also back are forward Fatir Hines and guard Tiylar Cotton.
According to the preseason poll, the Blue Dragons are expected to be challenged by Coffeyville, Butler, Cowley and Garden City, the Nos. 2 through 5 picks in the poll. Coffeyville is the defending Region VI champions after upsetting the Blue Dragons in the championship game last season at Hartman Arena.
The Blue Dragons have one more scrimmage on Thursday at Newman University. That will be a closed scrimmage to the public.
Hutchinson will then open the new season on Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m. against the Friends University Junior Varsity at the Sports Arena. The Dragons will then take on North Lake College and NEO on November 4 and 5 at the Sports Arena.