INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - Butler opens the 2013-14 regular season non-conference schedule against Lamar on Saturday. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at the matchup and what to expect inside Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Know Your Foe
Record - 0-0 (0-0)
Coach - Pat Knight, 3rd Season, 26-40 (76-101 Overall)
Mascot - Cardinals, "Big Red"
Conference - Southland
Enrollment - 14,000
Tale of the Tape
It's the opening game for each team. Lamar will be led by Pat Knight for the 3rd season and are coming off of a disappointing 3-28 record in 2012-13. Butler is led by Brandon Miller in his 1st season. This will be the 1st meeting between the two schools.
Players to Watch
Elijah Brown - After opening the exhibition schedule with two impressive performances Brown has the highest expectations on his shoulders amongst the freshman for Butler. He will be looked to for energy and scoring off the bench as a 6th man.
Kellen Dunham - Butler's best offensive threat and offensive leader coming into the year. He led the team in scoring during the trip to Australia this summer and in the two exhibition games. He is coming off an impressive freshman season and it will be interesting to see how his play evolves during his sophomore campaign.
Nolan Berry - Berry was the highest rated recruit during his high school career, but injuries created a decline in his ranking and expectations coming to Indianapolis. The Bulldogs need size and Berry is the tallest player on the roster.
Rhon Mitchell - Lamar's leading returning scorer and rebounder from a season ago. Averaged 10.3 points and 4.7 rebounds a year ago. Spends most of his time in the paint and didn't stretch the floor often to 3-point range. Can Mitchell expand his game and lead a resurgence for the Cardinals?
Donnell Minton - Led the Cardinals in scoring during their exhibition opener. The Indianapolis-native and Northwest (IN) High School graduate returns to his hometown and will be looking to impress his family and friends in attendance.
Donovan Ross - Transfer from Southwest Mississippi Community College, Ross was 2nd leading scorer for the Cardinals in their exhibition opener. He averaged 14.8 points and 4 rebounds last season.
Keys to the Game
Butler PG play - Alex Barlow should get the start at point guard for the Bulldogs with Rene Castro and Jackson Aldridge seeing a few minutes. This is an important game for the group as Miller will need to start narrowing down his rotation come Big East conference play. The guards need to distribute the ball well and limit turnovers.
Rebounding - Kameron Woods and Khyle Marshall need to crash the boards on the offensive end like they have done so well in the past, but also hold their own on the defensive end. Erik Fromm and Nolan Berry will also be key in protecting the glass. Lamar was out-rebounded last year by their opponents (37.4-36.7) and in their exhibition opener 47-39, while the Bulldogs were one of the best teams on the glass last season.
Outside Shooting - Last season Lamar didn't shoot the ball well from the outside at all. The Cardinals shot just 30.3% from beyond the arc and spent most of their time in the paint. They had just two players connect on more than 4 3-pointers all of last season, none of which are still on the roster. The starting group for Lamar shot just 3 3-pointers during their exhibition and the team connect on just 4/14. Butler needs to capitalize on their advantage from the perimeter. Butler has shot the ball very well during the two exhibition games (57% FG, 52% 3PT) and Lamar allowed opponents to shoot 35.8% from 3-point range last season.
10.3 - Average margin Lamar was outscored in the 1st half by opponents last season.
14 - Number of home openers Butler has won consecutively.
97 - Butler's average point totals during its exhibition schedule.
40 - Number of games Khyle Marshall has scored in double figures in his career.
24 - Total number of 3-pointers returning players on Lamar's roster made last season.
226-34 - Butler's record at Hinkle Fieldhouse over the past 18 seasons.