RHYMES NAMED 1ST-TEAM NJCAA ALL-AMERICAN

Blue Dragon sophomore guard J.J. Rhymes was named first-team NJCAA All-American on Tuesday. (Allie Schweizer/Blue Dragon Sports Information)
Blue Dragon sophomore guard J.J. Rhymes was named first-team NJCAA All-American on Tuesday. (Allie Schweizer/Blue Dragon Sports Information)

Hutchinson CC Sports Information

For the third-straight year, the Hutchinson Community College men's basketball team has a first-team NJCAA All-American.

Sophomore guard J.J. Rhymes became the 32nd Blue Dragon to earn All-America honors on Tuesday as the NJCAA released its All-America Basketball Teams. Rhymes is the 11th Blue Dragon to earn first-team status, five have come in the Steve Eck era.

Winning a national championship as a freshman in 2017, Rhymes led the Blue Dragons back to the NJCAA National Tournament this past season, doing so as the Jayhawk Conference's Player of the Year and the league's top scorer.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Phoenix avearge19.6 points per game to lead the conference.

He had a career-high 41 points on December 6 in an 82-80 victory at Butler where the Blue Dragons completed the largest comeback in program history, rallying from 26 points down to win with Rhymes hitting the game-winning shot at the buzzer with a 3-pointer.

Rhymes became the 11th Blue Dragon in history to score 700 points in a season with 704 total points. Rhymes also joined the Blue Dragon career Top 10 scoring list, finishing with 1,295 points.

Rhymes shot 47.0 percent overall, hitting 29.7 percent from 3-point range and 72.7 percent from the foul line. Rhymes also averaged 4.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game.

Rhymes finished his career third in career free throws with 370 and fourth on the single-season list with 197 free throws. His 215 career assists ranked 13th on Hutch's career chart.

Rhymes had one career double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds against Pratt on November 18. In addition to his 41-point game against Butler, Rhymes had six games of 30 or more points and 18 games of 20-plus points. He led the team in scoring in 22 of 36 games played this season.

Rhymes is only one of two Jayhawk Conference players to earn All-America status this season. Coffeyville guard Travis Washington made the second team of the 2018 NJCAA postseason teams.

BLUE DRAGON NJCAA ALL-AMERICANS
First team
2018 – J.J. Rhymes
2017 – Shakur Juiston
2016 – Bashir Ahmed
2014 – Kadeem Allen
2013 – Kadeem Allen
2009 – Darius Johnson-Odom
2008 – Bobby Maze
2004 – Brandon "Pooh" Gary
1994 – Roy "Pooh" Hairston
1987 – Tyrone Jones
1973 – Rudy Jackson

Second team
2017 – Samajae Haynes-Jones
1994 – Ben Davis
1972 – Richard Morsden
1960 – Bill French
1958 – Merle Harris

Third team
1993 – Roy "Pooh" Hairston
1966 – Terry Stratman
1956 – Bob Harvey

Honorable Mention
2015 – Bashir Ahmed
2011 – Joe Mitchell
1995 – Demetrius Alexander
1988 – William Davis
1984 – Ed Manuel
1974 – Charles Terry
1970 – Bob Moser
1969 – Ray Willis
1968 – Lee Allen
1967 – Mike Jones
1961 – Herb Stange
1956 – Al Schwartzkoft
1955 – Artie Schippers