2019-2020 Blue Devil Basketball News
Late KCKCC rally falls short in 74-71 loss to EllsworthNovember 13, 2019Finding the right chemistry for a young basketball team is tough enough for a first year head coach. Doing it on the road is even tougher. For the second time in less than 20 hours, Kansas City Kansas Community College had a big second half rally come up short in a 74-71 loss to Ellsworth Saturday. The loss came in the Koenigsmark Klassic in Mason City, Iowa, and left the Blue Devils 1-2 heading into the final game of a four-game season opening road trip at Allen County Tuesday at 7 p.m. Trailing 42-32 at halftime, the Blue Devils went ahead with seven minutes remaining before Ellsworth (4-1) pulled away in a see-saw finish. “After Friday’s second half rally against NIACC, I thought with the late ending and quick turnaround Saturday, we would be hungry and eager to play,” said KCKCC Coach Brandon Burgette. “Instead. I think we were tired and fatigued.” The Blue Devils got a standout double-double performance from 6-8 Sevon Witt, who had game highs of 31 points and 13 rebounds although in foul trouble with four. Robert Rhodes, a 6-7 freshman from Park Hill South, just missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds as KCKCC dominated the rebounding 56-30 with 24 of the boards coming on the offensive end. Cody Dortch added nine points, Ezekiel Lopes eight points and six rebounds and Jalen Davis six points and five rebounds for the Blue Devils, who had just 12 turnovers to nine for Ellsworth. “Ellsworth couldn’t handles our bigs but our bigs couldn’t score around the basket,” said Burgette. Field goal shooting continued to be a problem. The Blue Devils were just 27-of-73 from the floor for 37.0 percent and a frigid 2-of-18 from 3-point (.111). “We’re in a rough patch struggling to score,” said Burgette. “We’re just not shooting the ball well anywhere on the floor. In the two days, we barely shot 30 percent from the field and less than 20 percent from 3-point. “Having 24 offensive rebounds and not scoring really hurts. We’re going to have to step up and make shots and make plays. It’s still early but we’ve got to figure out about us as a team and an identity. We have to stay together. “It’s a long road ahead of us. With two home games and then five more on the road, it doesn’t get any easier.” After Tuesday’s game at longtime rival Allen County in Iola, the Blue Devils finally get to play at home in the Keith Lindsey Classic. They’ll host another longtime foe in Cowley College Friday at 8 p.m. and North Central Missouri Saturday at 6 p.m.
Veteran Duo lead Blue Devils to 71-58 opening winNovember 07, 2019With a pair of veterans leading the way, Brandon Burgette got his first win as Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s basketball coach Tuesday. Sophomores Cody Dortch and Calvin Slaughter combined for 38 points in leading the Blue Devils to a season-opening 71-58 win over Washburn University’s JV in Topeka. A 6-2 sophomore guard from Paragould, Ark., Dortch drained 4-of-8 3-pointers on the way to a career high 21 points; Slaughter, last year’s leading scorer from Macon, Ga., had a double-double with 17 points and a game and career high 11 rebounds. Most importantly was when they got their career bests. Dortch had 18 of his 21 points in the second half; Slaughter had 11 points and seven rebounds in the final 20 minutes. Each also had three assists. Freshmen Jermaine Yarbough added 10 points and Robert Rhodes 11 rebounds and eight points in a game that had six lead changes and four ties before the Blue Devils closed with a 22-8 run. KCKCC trailed 50-49 before a 3-point goal by freshman Jaemaal Newson pushed the Blue Devils in front 52-50 with 5:59 left and Dortch and Slaughter took it from there, scoring KCKCC’s final 19 points. Two Dortch 3-pointers and a pair of free throws by Slaughter opened a 60-53 lead with three minutes left and Dortch sealed the win with his fourth 3-pointer and a pair of free throws. “Cody and Calvin showed some maturity and leadership in how poised they were,” said Burgette. “Washburn made a run with 13 minutes left but they never folded, attacking back and making shots and getting rebounds.” KCKCC surged to a 17-0 lead in the first 14½ minutes and led 31-21 at the half by holding the Ichabods to just five field goals in 25 attempts (.250). Meanwhile, the Blue Devils were 11-for-27 for 40.7 percent each half and 39.1 percent from 3-point for the contest. KCKCC had 17 turnovers, Washburn 19. “A typical opening game with first game jitters but I was proud of the way our guys competed,” said Burgette. “We jumped out with a 17-0 run and then they made their run with 13 minutes left. We had to battle through some adversity in figuring out our lineups but with our backs against the wall, we found a way to win. That’s a good Washburn JV team with a lot more experience.” The Blue Devils stay on the road this weekend when they’ll compete in the North Iowa Area Classic in Mason City. The Blue Devils will face host NIACC Friday at 5 p.m. and Ellsworth Saturday at 3 p.m. At Allen County Tuesday, KCKCC plays its opening home games in the Keith Lindsey Classic, hosting Cowley County on Friday, Nov. 15, and North Central Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 16
Burgette anxious to get Blue Devil Basketball under waySeptember 04, 2019Less than three months on the job, one month from the first official practice and two months from the season opener, new Kansas City Kansas Community College men’s basketball coach Brandon Burgette is chomping at the bit. “I can’t wait to get to Oct. 1 and neither can our players,” says Burgette. “I like the pieces we have, pieces at each position with a lot of talent and experience.” Right now, NJCAA rules limit Burgette to conditioning, workouts with an eight hour a week time restriction, “We’re using the eight hours to get the guys into shape, to get them to know each other, to find out what we’re going to do and able to do and establish an identity.” Five sophomores return from last year’s 14-17 team and all five finished among the top eight scorers. To that group, Burgette has added three transfers and eight freshmen since his hiring June 5. With all five of his returning veterans playing the guard position, emphasis was put on size and netted six players ranging from 6-6 to 6-8 in height. The five returning guards combined to score 49.2 percent of the Blue Devils’ 2,102 points in 2018-19. Calvin Slaughter of Macon, Ga., led the way with a 9.8-point average followed by Jalen Davis of Houston (8.1) and assist leader Kelyn Bolton of SM East (6.3 points and 3.6 assists). The team’s top two 3-point shooters round out the quintet. Taylor Turner of Albuquerque, N.M., who had 10 3-pointers in a single game last year, had 48 treys for the season while averaging 6.2 points; Cody Dortch of Paragould, Ark., averaged 5.5 points while notching 46 3-pointers. Added experience will come from a pair of 6-8 transfers, Sevon Witt of Raytown South who averaged 7.1 points and 3.2 rebounds at Washburn University; and Caleb McCray Jones of Raytown South, who averaged 6.0 points and 2.5 rebounds at Colby Community College. A third transfer, 6-1 guard Ezekiel Lopes of Bishop Miege, was a redshirt freshman at Coffeyville and has two years of eligibility remaining. Two KCK prospects are among the eight freshmen, 5-9 guard Deangelo Bell from JC Harmon and 6-6 forward Tyione Gilmore of FL Schlagle, along with Missouri area grads 6-8 forward Jermaine Yarbough of Grandview, 6-7 Robert Rhodes of Park Hill South and 6-0 guard Deron McDaniel of Next Level Prep in Wichita, KS. They are joined by Marquise Walker, a 6-0 guard from Chicago; 6-6 forward Timothy Barbieri of Abilene and 6-5 Jaemaal Newson of Bradenton, Fla. “A good foundation with experience from our returners and transfers,” says Burgette. “We’re obviously deep at the guard position but with the new recruits, we’ve added some big, long athletes who can not only protect the rim but finish above it. We’ve also got a lot of versatility, multiple guys who can play multiple positions.” Burgette said fans can expect fast paced Blue Devil basketball. “We want to push the tempo and play fast but under control. We’ll also press for 40 minutes to try to make teams turn the ball over which gives us opportunities to score off transition in the half court. Depth will be a strength. We have a lot of depth 1 through 15 and any one of several players who can lead us in scoring any given night.”