Free throw shooting continues to improve, but cost Butler a win
While different aspects of the game could have made up for the two point deficit at the end, it was a few missed free throws that cost Butler a win against Oklahoma State.
This probably wasn't the game that Butler should have lost because of their free throw shooting, but it was only a matter of time before it cost them. The Bulldogs entered the tournament shooting 59.2% from the charity stripe and Butler narrowly escaped losses to Princeton, Ball State, and Vanderbilt, despite that poor shooting.
In Orlando Butler has shot the ball well from the line and it looks promising for the future. The Bulldogs are a combined 31/40 (77.5%) during the Old Spice Classic. Shooting like that won't cost Butler many games down the stretch.
Butler needs another outside threat off the bench
Kellen Dunham struggled for much of the game and Butler trailed because of it. When he started to turn it in the closing minutes, Butler rallied and had a chance to win.
To make it easier later in the season, Butler needs to find another threat from the perimeter. If Brown and Dunham struggle someone else is going to need to step up and make shots.
Luckily for Butler, Elijah Brown didn't struggle like Dunham and was the main threat from the perimeter scoring 15 points on 5/11 shooting (1/6 3PT). Alex Barlow chipped in 12 points (2/3 3PT), but Butler couldn't find its range from the outside for much of the game.
Hopefully the Bulldogs can find one this season and don't have to wait for 2014 signee Kelan Martin next year.
This team never gives up
Whether it was under the leadership of Brad Stevens, Barry Collier, Todd Lickliter, or Thad Matta, Butler teams have always fought for every win. It doesn't matter if they were down 20 or 2, Butler always has played with heart and never given up. That drive to win has translated to Brandon Miller.
Butler looked like it was done. The Bulldogs were down 14 points to the #5 team in the country at the half. Khyle Marshall and Kellen Dunham were both struggling from the field and it didn't look like the offense could keep up with the Cowboys.
That wasn't the case. Butler kept fighting back and little by little they chipped away at the lead. It looked bleak at times when the lead would balloon to nine points, but the Bulldogs never quit.
It bodes well for Miller and Butler this season. A lot of critics counted the Bulldogs out after loosing Stevens to the Celtics and Roosevelt Jones to an injury. Now it looks like Butler could win a lot more games than some of the pundits think.