2018-2019 Blue Devil's Men's Basketball News

  • Ex-Jayhawk Star Brady Morningstar new KCKCC Assistant
    August 13, 2019
    Former University of Kansas star Brady Morningstar is the new assistant men’s basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College. “I’m excited; I think he’ll be great on and off the floor,” says Brandon Burgette, who is in his first year as the Blue Devils’ head men’s coach. “He’s done multiple things as a player that will help in the development of our players along with bringing a winning culture to the program.” Morningstar will begin his new duties next week. This week he’s in Wichita helping coach a team of former Jayhawks named ‘Self Made’ playing in The Tournament, a winner-take-all event with a $2 million prize. The Wichita winner and seven other regional champions will advance to the finals to be played in Chicago Aug. 1-6. For the past two years, Morningstar has been an assistant coach at Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth where he helped the Rams win an NAIA national championship and make two national tournament appearances. “My coach there, Brennen Shingleton, is in his 17th season and knows how to run a program. He taught me a ton of things on and off the court to be successful,” says Morningstar. In addition to coaching, Morningstar has been doing off-season development work with such NBA stars as Willie Cauley-Stein of Olathe and former KU stars Marcus and Markieff Morris. “It’s something I enjoy most, helping players reach their potential by studying their games and finding ways they can improve.” Morningstar said returning to the Kansas City area offers enhanced coaching opportunities. “I have more contacts here so it made good sense. It’s a good area, good facilities and a lot of high schools in the area, one in which I think we can be successful.” Morningstar brings a wealth of playing experience – five years at KU and five playing professionally. Following is career at KU, he played two seasons in the NBA’s D League with the Tulsa 66ers (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Canton Chargers (Cleveland Cavaliers) and three seasons overseas in Greece, Finland, Germany and Argentina, “With his playing background, working five years with Bill Self and then playing professionally, he’ll bring great energy to the floor as well as working with our players on their development and scouting,” says Burgette, whose friendship with Morningstar began as youngsters playing against each other in rival AAU programs. A redshirt member of KU’s national championship team in 2008, Morningstar played in 116 games in a four-year career with the Jayhawks. During his career, he was also part of three NCAA Elite Eights, four NCAA Sweet 16s, five Big 12 regular season titles and four Big 12 Tournament championships. A 2005 graduate of Free State High School in Lawrence where he led the Firebirds to their best record in school history, Morningstar spent a year at New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire where he led the team in scoring with 22 points a game. As a freshman at KU in 2006-07, Morningstar played in 16 games and then took a redshirt year during the 2008 national championship season before becoming a major contributor his final three seasons. Morningstar started 34 of 35 games as a sophomore, leading the Jayhawks in 3-point shooting percentage at 42 percent and finishing second in the Big 12 in 3-point shooting in conference games (44.4 percent). As a junior, he had nine starts in 27 games – all in Big 12 play. Averaging 4.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists, he led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.6. As a senior, Morningstar was named to the Big 12 All-Defensive team, earned All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and All-Big 12 Academic second team. Averaging 7.3 points a game, he was second on the team in assists (3.3) and again led the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.4). In Big 12 play, he was 26-of.49 for a team best 53.1 percent from 3-point and shot 59.5 percent over his final 12 conference games. Morningstar’s father was also a standout at KU. Roger Morningstar was a started on 1974 and 1975 Big Eight Conference championship teams under head coach Ted Owens.
  • Brandon Burgette Named KCKCC Men's Basketball Coach
    June 05, 2019
    Assistant coach at top NJCAA programs at Indian Hills, Johnson County No sooner than he learned he would be the new men’s basketball coach at Kansas City Kansas Community College, the recruiting began for Brandon Burgette. “Non-stop; it’s never too late,” says Burgette, who was announced today as the sixth Blue Devil head men’s coach since the opening of the new campus in 1972 and the 16th in the history of the 95-year-old college. A graduate of Lee’s Summit North High School, Burgette brings nine years of coaching experience to the position, the last seven at two of the top NJCAA programs in the nation – four at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the last three at Johnson County Community College. A standout player at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar, Mo., Burgette was a student assistant at Southwest for two years. “Along with his past successful coaching experience, knowledge of the Jayhawk Conference and his recruiting ties to the Kansas City metro area made Brandon the ideal candidate,” says KCKCC Athletic Director Tony Tompkins. “A winner and an outstanding leader of young men, he has a passion for teaching the game of basketball and student-athlete success and I’m truly excited about the future of Blue Devil basketball.” Burgette also played professionally for two years with the Springfield Thrill of the United States Basketball and for the past three years, has directed his own basketball training service, BreedBallers “I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity, especially in my backyard,” said Burgette, 33. At Johnson County, he was the No. 1 recruiter for a Cavalier team that advanced to the national tournament twice and won two Jayhawk Conference championships in his three years there. “Coach (Mike) Jeffers gave me free reign on recruiting and many other areas that helped prepare me to achieve my long time goal of becoming a head coach.” Burgette will not pursue any players he recruited for JCCC. “Not at all but there are still some good players left, guys with talent. It’s never too late,” says Burgette, He will also have five returning players from this year’s 14-17 Blue Devil team. Offensively, Burgette promises up-scale, faced paced basketball. “Defensively, we’ll guard for 40 minutes, full court press and trapping man-to-man; try to speed up our opponents and create turnovers; and make teams take quick shots so our offense can get out and run.” As word got out of Burgette’s hiring in the coaching ranks, accolades poured in. “KCKCC hit a home run in hiring Coach Burgette,” said Marquette Coach Stan Johnson. “He’s one of the bright young coaches in the country; a winner who will build a culture and program that the community and college can be proud.” “What a home run hire for KCKCC,” agreed Portland State Coach Barret Peery. “Brandon has tremendous experience at the community college level and won wherever he’s been. In his hometown, he’ll work tirelessly and take pride in being successful there.” “A proven coach not only in the Kansas City metropolitan area but on the national level, he’s a tireless worker and relentless recruiter,” says Grand Canyon Coach Isaac Chew. “The thing that separates him is his ability to connect with student athletes through is playing experience and pure love for teaching.” Burgette would like nothing better than to add a men’s national championship to the two won in the past four years by the KCKCC women’s basketball team. “I’ve known (Coach) Joe McKinstry since he was at William Penn and he’s done a great job. Usually it’s the women’s team trying to keep up with the men’s team but now we have to live up to the women’s side.” In his two years as a player at Southwest Baptist, the Bearcats won two MIAA titles and two NCAA DII national tournament appearances. Averaging 9.8 points in his career, he was voted Sixth Man of the Year in 2009. In his four years as an assistant at Indian Hills, the team made three trips to the NJCAA DI national tournament and finished runnerup in 2013-14. Burgette earned his bachelor’s degree in community recreation from Southwest Baptist and a master’s degree in sports marketing from the University of Central Missouri. He and his life, Briana, have a son, Brayden, and live in Lee’s Summit.
  • Blue Devils tie for second with fifth win in last six games
    January 31, 2019
    Kansas City Kansas Community College continued its late season Wednesday, knocking off Fort Scott 65-58 for the Blue Devils’ fifth win in their last six starts. The win elevated the Blue Devils (10-13) in to a tie for second place in the Jayhawk Conference heading into a big home court collision with No. 3 ranked Highland (18-2) Saturday at 4 p.m. Both the Scotties and Blue Devils are 2-1 behind Johnson County (3-0). The Blue Devils lead almost wire-to-wire against Fort Scott, building leads of 14 and 15 points and then turning back every challenge by the Greyhounds, who fell to 13-10 overall and 1-2 in the league. Calvin Slaughter, a 6-2 freshman guard from Macon, Ga., led the Blue Devils with a game high 18 points including 11 in the opening half. Kelyn Bolton added eight points; Daiyon Taylor, Jalen Davis and Malcolm Tate seven points each; Cody Dortch six and Arother Ratliff and Taylor Turner five apiece in the well-balanced KCKCC attack. “An all-around good team win,” said KCKCC Coach Kelley Newton. “Calvin Slaughter played well, was real aggressive and got some big rebounds.” KCKCC opened a 32-25 halftime lead despite only going to the free throw line one time while Fort Scott was 7-of-9. “We did a better job the second half (9-of-16),” said Newton. “It was an ugly win but that’s okay. We kept pounding away. A win anytime this time of the season is a big win.” Good ball-handling was a big factor in KCKCC gaining control – just three turnovers in the 32-25 first half and 10 for the game compared to 16 Fort Scott errors. Three Slaughter field goals and two each by Bolton and Davis fired KCKCC to an early 19-7 lead and the Blue Devils opened the margin to 27-13 on 3-pointers by Slaughter and Dortch. However, the Greyhounds closed the gap to 27-25 before a 3-pointer by Tate and a Slaughter layup in the final 30 seconds reopened the halftime lead to 32-25. The Blue Devils opened a 43-28 lead with 15 minutes left in the game only to have Fort Scott cut the deficit to 47-44 midway through the second half and the KCKCC lead was just 51-46 when Tate scored on an acrobatic layup and Dortch drained a 3-pointer to open a game-clinching 10-point lead.
  • Defense Shines as Blue Devils get revenge in 76-75 thriller
    January 15, 2019
    Kansas City Kansas Community College’s defense stepped up when it was needed most Monday night, paving the way for a 76-75 win over North Central Missouri in Trenton. “We had three good stops down the stretch,” said KCKCC Coach Kelley Newton. The last one was a heavily contested North Central 3-pointer that went astray at the horn. The win avenged an earlier 78-52 home loss to the Pirates and set the Blue Devils (6-12) up for back-to-back home games Thursday and Friday that will close out non-conference play. KCKCC will host Saint Mary JV Thursday at 7 p.m. after the Blue Devil women entertain Southeast Nebraska at 5 p.m. On Friday, the Blue Devil men will host Park University JV at a time yet to be determined. A spectacular 3-point shooting performance by Taylor Turner, a 6-1 freshman guard from Albuquerque, N.M., paved the way for the win at North Central. Turner drained 8-of-11 3-pointers in a career high 26-point performance. “Taylor was on fire; he really gave us a great lift offensively.” Sophomore Arother Ratliff added four 3-pointers in 10 attempts and 17 points and a game high eight rebounds for the Blue Devils. Calvin Slaughter and Daiyon Taylor scored eight points each, Kelyn Bolton and Jonathan Richmond six apiece and DuVonte’ Beard five to round out the KCKCC scoring. Bolton led in assists with five and hauled in seven rebounds while Daiyon Taylor had six rebounds and Taylor Turner five. Trailing 41-31 at the half, the Blue Devils were down by as many as 13 points at one time and were still down by nine before their big comeback. Ratliff finally put KCKCC ahead for the first time 64-63 with a 3-pointer with 6½ minutes left and the Blue Devils never trailed again although the Pirates twice pulled even. Daiyon Taylor broke a 67-67 deadlock with a rebound shot with 4:30 left and Slaughter put KCKCC ahead to stay 70-67 with a layup and free throw a minute later. Ratliff’s follow shot made it 74-69 but former Blue Devil Solomon Thomas hit a trey with 2:03 to go. Two Taylor Turner free throws with 1:48 left were just enough to hold off another Pirate trey with 1:18 to go before the Blue Devil defense twice stepped front and center in the final 59 seconds. “Our guys really stepped up and competed for 40 minutes,” said Newton. “It was a growth spurt that was very great to see. To get those three last stops, two in the final minute, was really showed growth as a team. Our defense really came up big down the stretch.”
  • Blue Devil Classic Highlights six games in 11 days for KCKCC Men
    January 09, 2019
    Idle three weeks for the holiday break, Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s basketball team will return to action in a rush – six games in 11 days heading into Jayhawk Conference play. The Blue Devils (4-10) resume play against Northern Oklahoma (9-5) in Tonkawa Tuesday at 4 p.m. before hosting four of the next five games. Highlighting the remaining non-conference games will be the Blue Devil Classic, a four-team event Friday and Saturday. Fort Scott (9-8) will open the Classic against Metropolitan Community College Friday at 5:30 p.m. with KCKCC hosting On Point Academy at 7:30 p.m. Three games will be played Saturday. Fort Scott will play On Point Academy at 2 p.m.; the KCKCC women will play McCook (Neb.) at 4 p.m. and the Blue Devils will take on Metropolitan at 6 p.m. The Blue Devils will then close out non-conference play, facing North Central Missouri on the road Jan. 14 and then entertain Saint Mary JV Jan. 17 and Park University JV Jan. 18 before opening Jayhawk play with a home game against Labette Jan. 23. The busy non-conference schedule will give Coach Kelley Newton a chance to fine tune the Blue Devils for conference play. “Our focus will be the same, getting better position by position day by day,” says Newton. “We have a lot of young players (nine freshmen) and will try to match up against whomever we play.” An extremely balanced 13-man squad, nine Blue Devils have started three games or more. Jalen Davis, a 6-2 freshman guard from Houston, is the lone Blue Devil scoring in double figures. Shooting a torrid 56.5 percent from the field, Davis is averaging 12.3 points per game. Another frosh, 6-2 Calvin Slaughter of Macon, GA., is next at 9.4 followed by 6-5 sophomore Arother Ratliff (7.5) of Glenwood, MS., and 6-6 freshman Daiyon Taylor (6.5) of Detroit. There’s a log jam of four players grouped at 5.4 points a game – sophomores DuVonte’ Beard of Belton and Malcolm Tate of Wichita South and freshmen Kelyn Bolton of SM East and Johnathan Richmond of Columbia (MO.) Hickman. Freshmen Cody Dortch of Paragould, Ark., and Andre Boykins of Washington, D.C., are both averaging 4.5 followed by freshman Taylor Turner (3.7) of Albuquerque, N.M., and sophomore Tama Johnson (2.7) of F.L. Schlagle. Daiyon Taylor (4.1), Beard (4.0) and Slaughter (3.8) lead in rebounding while Bolton leads in assists with 3.2 per contest. Defensively, the Blue Devils rank No. 9 nationally at 69.1 points a game which is far and away the best in the Jayhawk. “We pride ourselves defensively, especially the way we finished the first half of the season,” says Newton. “We just need to turn our defense into more offense, stopping other teams from making big runs and putting ourselves in position to go on our own runs. It’s hard when you play good defense and are not rewarded with points.” Unbeaten Highland has emerged as the Jayhawk Conference favorite. With a 16-0 start, the Scotties are ranked No. 3 in the NJCAA Division II poll. Johnson County is 12-3 followed by Labette and Hesston, both at 9-7; and Fort Scott at 9-8. “It’s no secret Highland has the pieces on the floor and is very good,” says Newton. “Johnson County has had some real good wins. Labette plays very hard and is a tough out. Fort Scott finally got healthy. This is my sixth season and we’re in one of the toughest conferences for a reason. There’s no easy game anywhere and anyone can be beaten on any one night.”
  • KCKCC Men's Basketball Season Preview
    November 02, 2018
    Good defense has always been a staple of Coach Kelley Newton’s basketball program at Kansas City Kansas Community College. But it may be even bigger in 2018-19. That’s because of the return of 6-9 Tyson Beringer of SanTan Valley, Ariz., the leading shot blocker in the Jayhawk Division II Conference last season around whom the Blue Devils can build a stellar defense. The Blue Devils will open the season Saturday at Southwestern Iowa in Creston (4 p.m.) and at Saint Mary JV in Leavenworth Monday (7 p.m.) before their home openers in the Keith Lindsey Classic against Link Year Prep and North Central Missouri Nov. 9-10. “Definitely a rim protector who has got stronger and more confident over the summer,” Newton says of Beringer. “His role changes this year – from a freshman trying to figure things out to being a sophomore leader. Our expectations are definitely on his going up in all categories.” In addition to averaging 2.5 blocks per game last year, Beringer averaged 8.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in conference play while shooting 50 percent from the field. A good jumper, Beringer runs the floor with the best which means frequently beating defenses down the floor for easy shots. And at 6-9 with leaping ability, it offers Newton all kinds of defensive options. “We’ve always had multiple defenses and that won’t change,” says Newton. The one concern is fouls. The last third of the season, Beringer never left the floor. The Blue Devils also return two other starters off last year’s 8-23 team that, because of team policy violations, finished with just six players the final eight games. DuVonte’ Beard, a 6-6 forward from Ruskin, started 19 games, averaging 5.6 points and 3.8 rebounds, and 6-2 guard Malcolm Tate of Wichita South, averaged 8.1 points and 2.4 rebounds after stepping into the starting lineup the final eight games. “A couple of guys you like to go to war with,” says Newton. “DuVonte is comfortable playing inside or out. His production level should go up. Malcolm gives the team a lot of toughness and defends and rebounds well.” Newton also expects a big season from Arother Ratliff, a 6-5 forward from Greenwood, Miss., who averaged 6.4 points and 3.5 rebounds in 21 games last year. “He had a great summer,” says Newton. “Long and athletic, he’ll help on both ends of the floor.” Other frontcourt help will come from a trio of 6-6 Daiyon Taylor of Detroit, 6-6 Jonathan Richmond of Columbia (Mo.) Hickman and 6-8 Jeremiah Brantley of Belton. “Both Taylor and Richmond bring size, wide bodies who can bang,” says Newton. “Taylor has some skills, good shooter and passer; Richmond is also a real good passer.” A quartet of freshmen and 6-4 Cowley College transfer Tama Johnson, who played at FL Schlagle High School, will provide depth at the small forward/shooting guard position. The four freshmen are 6-4 Andrew Boykin, Washington, D.C.; 6-2 Jalen Davis, Houston, Tex,; 6-2 Calvin Slaughter, Macon, GA,; and Cody Dortch of Paragould, Ark. “Boykin is a strong athletic guard who can shoot and dribble,” says Newton. “Davis is another tough guy who can dribble, shoot and pass; Slaughter is tough, athletic guard who defends well and brings a lot of versatility to the guard position; and Dortch is a knockdown shooter who can shoot from range.” Freshmen Taylor Turner of Albuquerque, N.M., and Kelyn Bolton of S.M. East, will share the all-important point guard responsibilities. “Turner can handle the ball, shoot and pass and will definitely be one of our top scorers; Bolton brings quickness to the point guard position and is very good at getting into the lane and making other people better,” says Newton, who is being aided by fourth year assistant Alton Mason. Until the season gets underway, Newton says much will be done by committee. “Everything is work in progress. We have so many freshmen who have not been tested and until then we won’t know what we have. But I think by the end of the year we can be pretty good on the defensive end which we can turn into offense.” Ranked No. 4 behind Highland, Johnson County and Fort Scott in the pre-season coaches poll, the Jayhawk Conference will have a new full-time member this year in Hesston, which competed only on the regional level in recent years. As for the conference race? “Wide open, as usual,” says Newton. “It’s such a tough conference. I’m in my sixth year and someone different has gone to the national tournament each year.” And that includes KCKCC in 2015-16.