MUNCIE (IN) - Butler (3-0) gets set to hit the road for Ball State (2-1). The Bulldogs and Cardinals have met every year since 1950-51 and that will continue this weekend. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect on Saturday in Muncie, IN.
Know Your Foe
Record - 2-1 (0-0)
Coach - James Whitford, 1st Season, 2-1
Mascot - Cardinals, "Charlie Cardinal"
Conference - MAC
Enrollment - 21,000
Tale of the Tape
Butler is off to a perfect start and their most impressive win of the season over the SEC's Vanderbilt (2-1) last Tuesday. Brandon Miller continues to be unbeaten in his career as Butler head coach and looks to continue his winning ways, this time on the road. Ball State enters the game following an 87-83 victory over Southeast Missouri State The Cardinals have won two in a row following their season opening loss against Indiana State.
Players to Watch
Elijah Brown - The true freshman guard has had an up and down season thus far. Following two impressive performances in the exhibition season, Brown had one solid game sandwiched around two 5 point performances. Brown is due to break out for another impressive game from the perimeter.
Kameron Woods -Woods is coming off of two impressive games against Princeton and Vanderbilt. Woods recorded 10 points and 9 rebounds, while affecting many shots on the defensive end. Woods could have an equally impressive game against Ball State on both ends of the floor.
Khyle Marshall - Coming off of a career high 26 points against Vanderbilt, Marshall will be going up against an undersized front line from Ball State. He should be able to take advantage of his offensive rebounding and not be overmatched size wise.
Zavier Turner - The Cardinals leading scoring is absolutely tearing it up from distance to start the year. The freshman guard from Pike High School is averaging 17.7 points per game and shooting 71.4% (10/14) from 3-point range. He also leads the Cardinals in assists with 4.7 per game.
Jesse Berry - The senior guard from Lafayette, IN is also off to a blistering start to the year. He is averaging 17 points per game and shooting 31.8% from 3-point range. Berry likes to shoot the long ball in bunches. He has already attempted 22 3PT shots in 3 games including 11 in their last outing against Southeast Missouri State.
Majok Majok - The Austrlian forward is Ball State's best front line presence. The senior is averaging 8.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Last time out for the Cardinals Majok scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. The 6-foot 9 forward will have his hands full on the defensive end against Butler's Khyle Marshall or Kameron Woods.
Keys to the Game
Defensive Pressure - Ball State moves the ball extremely well and is averaging 16 assists per game, ranking 51st in the country. Butler needs to apply good ball pressure to the guards and force turnovers from the perimeter. Alex Barlow will be asked to guard one of the Cardinals' leading scorers and it most likely will be Zavier Turner. Containing the freshman will be key in defeating Ball State.
Rebounding - Ball State enters the game having out-rebounded their opponents on average 40 to 29. Butler is averaging just under 36. The Bulldogs will be tested by 6-foot 9 Majok Majok, who is averaging 10.3 per contest. Nearly half (12/31) of his rebounds come on the offensive glass.
Containing Emotions - The Bulldogs are hitting the road for the first time and Butler needs to be able to play within themselves. The atmosphere in Muncie will just be a tune-up for games in the Big East, but success on the road in their first game will prove to be helpful later in the year. Butler needs to be able to block out the opposing crowd and keep their composure on the road.
63 - Consecutive years that Ball State and Butler have met
66-38 - Butler's overall record against Ball State.
4 - Career-high number of block shots for Kameron Woods against Vanderbilt.
32-9 - Butler's career record when Khyle Marshall scores double digit points.
81.3 - Butler's average points per game this season.
4 - Number of consecutive new head coaches at Butler to start 3-0.