Butler can shoot free throws well
After struggling to shoot free throws in the opening 4 games of the season, Butler finally showed that they could make their shots from the charity stripe.
Butler shot their best percentage from the free throw line this season as they hit 16/21 (76.2%).
They had been shooting 59.2% from the line, which ranked as the 335th best in the country. After their solid performance on Thursday Butler improved their shooting to 62.2%.
As the end of the game came near Butler was hitting free throws consistently and the end of the game was less stressful and the Bulldogs put the Cougars away after they grabbed a lead on Kellen Dunham's fade away three from the corner.
Dunham, Marshall, Woods are All-Big East Caliber
The trio has been the driving force for Butler in the early season non-conference games. They have shown that they can play well against any level of competition and also rebound from solid but not great performances.
Kameron Woods has been the most consistent. The 6-foot 9 junior is now averaging 10.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. Woods has begun to handle the basketball more and become aggressive on offense.His length and athleticism are shining through and he gains more and more confidence during each game.
Dunham is now averaging 19 points per game and had his best shooting performance of the year and his career. After the non-efficient game against Ball State, Dunham's confidence wasn't shaken and he continued to be aggressive on offense. He hit a career high 9 field goals and 6 three point attempts.
Marshall's game and leadership continues to improve as well. The senior is now averaging 18 points per game and has become a focal point of the Butler offense. He continues to make play after play for the young Bulldogs. Marshall hit a career high 12 field goals on a career high 18 attempts. In past years, Marshall would have passed up many of his attempts, but now Butler counts and him and he is coming through in the clutch. He is using his speed, touch around the basket, and athleticism to torch defenses this season.
Barlow needs to stay out of foul trouble
Junior guard Alex Barlow is Butler's best defender this year and while he has great defensive effort, his decision making must improve. Butler cannot have him off the court in foul trouble, therefore he must make better decisions on the defense end.
His role is to initiate the offense from the point guard position but also anchor the defense by locking down a perimeter threat. When he isn't on the court, Butler struggles to defend from the perimeter. DaVonte Lacy lit up Butler for 26 points on Thursday and took advantage of Barlow's foul troubles.
Barlow is averaging nearly three and a half fouls a game and has fouled out once in 5 games this year.