Oct 19, 2021 10:37 AM

Blue Dragon men receiving votes in preseason poll

Posted Oct 19, 2021 10:37 AM

STEVE CARPENTER

HutchCC Sports Information

New Hutchinson Community College men’s basketball coach Tommy DeSalme will see his first Blue Dragon team start the season outside of the NJCAA Top 25, but within striking distance of an early-season entry.

The NJCAA releases its preseason basketball rankings for all three divisions on Monday. The Blue Dragons are one of 12 teams in the receiving votes column of the Division I Men’s Preseason rankings. The Blue Dragons had started the season inside the Top 25 for 10 consecutive seasons.

DeSalme and the Blue Dragons open the season on November 3 against Fort Scott before playing host to the BSN/Blue Dragon Classic. Barton, No. 12 Odessa and NOC-Tonkawa are in that Classic field.

The Blue Dragons were 19-7 last season. Despite a quarterfinal exit in the Region VI Tournament, the Blue Dragons earned an at-large bid to the NJCAA Tournament, where they won an opening-round game, but were eliminated in the second round.

DeSalme and his former team, the Cowley Tigers, were Region VI champions and advanced all the way to the NJCAA Tournament championship game where it lost to Jayhawk East rival Coffeyville.

DeSalme has no returning players from last season’s Blue Dragon team, but five members of his Cowley team followed him to Hutchinson this season.

There are four teams from the Jayhawk Conference earning preseason notoriety. Defending national champion Coffeyville is seventh and Dodge City is ranked 10th. Hutchinson and Colby are receiving votes.

Salt Lake is the unanimous pick for No. 1 with all nine first-place votes. Indian Hills, Florida Southwestern State, South Plains and Mineral Area round out the Top 5.

NJCAA DIVISION I PRESEASON MEN'S BASKETBALL RANKINGS

1. Salt Lake (9) 225

2. Indian Hills 216

3. Florida Southwestern State 207

4. South Plains 198

5. Mineral Area 189

6. John A. Logan 180

7. Coffeyville 171

8. Shelton State 162

9. Kilgore 153

10. Dodge City 144

11. Northwest Florida State 135

12. Odessa 126

13. Chipola 117

14. Eastern Florida State 108

15. Southern Idaho 99

16. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M 90

17. Navarro 81

18. New Mexico JC 72

19. Moberly Area 63

20. Harcum 54

21. South Georgia State 45

22. Northeast Mississippi 36

23. Georgia Highlands 27

24. Northeastern JC 18

25. Columbia State 9

Receiving Votes: Arizona Western, Brunswick, Colby, Hutchinson, Indian River State, Jones, Motlow State, Pearl River, Snow, Triton, Vincennes, Western Wyoming