Indianapolis (IN) - InsideTheDawgPound takes a look back at the exhibition finale against DePauw to see what we learned.
Butler must find its identity on defense - Whether it is the rule changes on defense, lack of experience or the absence of Roosevelt Jones, Butler's leading rebounder and best defender, the struggles for the young Bulldogs continued on the defensive end on Saturday.
Despite working on defense for the majority of practice in-between exhibition games, Butler repeatedly gave DePauw open looks. The Tigers shot 22/55 (45.5%) from the field.
Another area on defense that needs attention is rebounding. Depauw was able to collect 15 offensive rebounds and that led to the Tigers out-rebounding Butler 32-31.
There were even times when the frustration from head coach Brandon Miller could be seen on the sidelines. He called timeouts after poor effort, or execution. on the defensive end of the floor and was visibly upset at times.
With practice and game experience Butler should be able to find its way on defense and on the glass. Seniors Khyle Marshall and Erik Fromm, and junior Alex Barlow need to take control and communicate. If they don't, it could be a long season against the long, athletic teams of the Big East.
Brown, Dunham will be the leading scorers - Freshman Elijah Brown and Sophomore Kellen Dunham put on another show for the fans at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday and made it clear that they will be the offensive leaders for the Bulldogs.
The duo combined for 41 of the 93 points scored, with Dunham finishing with 23 and Brown with 18. The two underclassman shot a combined 13/22 FG including 4/10 3PT.
While jump shots, layups, or dunks add to a players point total, many times it is their ability to make free throws that drives up their point totals. Brown and Dunham each showed they can knock them down with ease. They shot a combined 11/11. Last season Rotnei Clarke provided a consistent free-throw option at the end of games opposite Dunham, now it looks like it will be Brown.
The offense will certainly run through Dunham and Brown on the perimeter and, while Brown may not start, we should see a lot of them on the court together, especially in the closing minutes of games this season.
Devontae Morgan will be a key defensive, energy substitute - The sophomore guard played extremely well in his 16 minutes of action against the Tigers. He battled for loose balls, caused turnovers, and made effort plays all over the floor. We saw flashes of his potential during his freshman season and also during the team trip to Australia this summer.
Morgan finished the game with just 2 points, but also had 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist, and 1 block.
With Dunham and Brown as the primary guards for Butler, it will be important to find a guard off the bench that provide relief, but also handle themselves on the defensive end of the floor. Morgan looks like he is more than capable of that and is well on his way to becoming a defensive stopper for Butler.
Butler will open the regular season on Saturday November 9th at Hinkle Fieldhouse against Lamar at 8 EST.