Men’s basketball team prepares for Nationals

By Lariena Nokes

Staff Photo/Collegian - Construction workers have begun the expansion of the Hutchinson Sports Arena. On March 10, a chain link fence surrounded the work area on the north side of the Sports Arena where two new gyms will be added. The expansion project will cost $29 million, funded by a .35% sales tax passed by Hutchinson voters.
Staff Photo/Collegian - Construction workers have begun the expansion of the Hutchinson Sports Arena. On March 10, a chain link fence surrounded the work area on the north side of the Sports Arena where two new gyms will be added. The expansion project will cost $29 million, funded by a .35% sales tax passed by Hutchinson voters.

After a hard-fought season, the HCC men’s basketball team has earned a chance to play at the NJCAA tournament.

Steve Eck, men’s basketball head coach took a minute on March 9, to talk about what he looked forward to about the NJCAA tournament.

“One, we always have a good crowd. The thing is, getting Hutchinson to the national tournament is not easy; if it was easy, every team would go every year. That is not the way it works. So getting here is nice. Now you want to make sure you try and win some games, too. We have a team this year that will go really deep in the tournament, possibly win it,” Eck said.

Preparing for the first game and the prolonged campaign in the tournament can be a time management challenge.

“Well, first of all, our regional was over with last Thursday the third and we do not play until Wednesday the 16th. So we have 13 days before our next game, which is not good. That is too long of a wait. As far as practicing, we cut our practices down from two hours to an hour, or an hour and 15 minutes so our guys do not get burned out,” Eck said.

“The guys know what they need to do. They know the plays and everything else. We just need to go hard for an hour and 15 minutes then get off the court and let them shoot a little bit,” Eck said.

Where will the men’s basketball team be when they are not on the court tournament week?

“We have to stay in the hotel. NJCAA rules say we have to be in the hotel, we can’t be in our dorms. So we will not see the dorms or the classrooms throughout the week,” Eck said.

Asked if he had a message for the HCC fans, he said he did.

“Hopefully you will see a good game from us. We are going to play hard. If our playing hard and playing together is good enough to win, we will keep on moving on. If it is not, then we gave it our best.”

“As far as the fans go, we like to see as many fans here as possible and we will play hard for them.”

What is most important thing for fans to do at the tournament?

“Come and be loud,” Eck said.

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