The HCC men's basketball team went 13-14 for the 2011-2012 season and were highly competitive in many games. HCC showed marked improvement from the 2010 - 2011 Dragons' team that went 6-19 record. The Dragons won in the first round of the Division XX Regional Tournament.
March madness ended for Head Coach Mike Smelkinson, his staff and his Dragons as they lost their second game against Louisburg 69-66 in a tough loss as the Dragons had their chances to win the game against this run and gun style team, The first time they played against each other the Dragons were thrown for a significant loss by over 20 points. This time their game plan worked as Howard took them out of their run and gun style by playing good solid sound defense to slow their transition. All the figures in the box score looked equal except for one and the 18 turnovers by Howard caused by Louisburg’s pressure full court and half- court defense had Howard cough up the ball 18 times in which Louisburg capitalized on all of the Dragons turnovers. The comeback kids did just that through-out the tournament.
They lost their opener to Monroe 62-56 then beat Grand Rapids 85-72 before losing to Louisburg in the consolation bracket for 7th and 8th place. Originally seeded 15th the unknown Howard squad made a big name for themselves at the tournament. Over 100 4 year college recruiters were on hand in Danville Illinois looking to recruit the latest talent out in the tournament. Several of our guys were given opportunities to speak to various colleges while out there. Congratulations to Coach Smelkinson, his staff and all the Dragon players for a great season especially winning the Region XX B for the first time in 20 years and representing the College, Maryland Juco, and Region XX in fine fashion. As our guys said at the end, “ We’ll see you next year!” The Dragons finished 7th in the Conference with a 9-6 record, 16-14 overall, with a 1-2 record at the Nationals for their first ever appearance as a D- II program. Back in 1993 when men’s basketball competed at the D- III level The Iron Horse Express (what they were known then as) finished 3rd out at nationals.
"I'm very proud of the way the guys stuck together throughout the season. It took a great amount of effort and determination to make it to Nationals. I am even more proud of the way the guys represented Howard Community College in front of the people of Danville, Illinois and the over 100 4-year-schools there to recruit them." -Coach Mike Smelkinson, Head Men's Basketball Coach
Howard CC men’s basketball was the talk of Danville, Illinois for the way they played and the way they carried themselves through-out the national championships. The College , Maryland Juco, and Region XX are proud of this team and its coaches. One year ago they were called the cardiac kids, this year the comeback kids in 2014 how about the national champion kids! Congratulations! - Diane Schumacher, Athletic Director, Howard Community College