Preview: Butler at Evansville

Butler (8-2) hopes to survive their final road test of the non-conference schedule at Evansville (6-5). InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect on Saturday afternoon.

Evansville (IN) - Butler (8-2) hopes to survive their final road test of the non-conference schedule at Evansville (6-5). InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect on Saturday afternoon.

Know Your Foe

Record - 6-5 (0-0)

Coach - Marty Simmons - 7th Season, 94-108 (179-170 Overall)

Mascot - Purple Aces

Conference - Missouri Valley

Enrollment - 3,050

Tale of the Tape

Butler enters the Ford Center for their final road-test of the non-conference schedule after defeating Purdue in the Crossroads Classic 76-70. Butler was led by sophomore Kellen Dunham with 25 points, while senior forward Khyle Marshall and Erik Fromm added 18 and 14 respectively. Butler is led by Dunham who is averaging 19.3 points per game, while Marshall is averaging 17.1. First year head coach Brandon Miller is 8-2 and is just two games away from leading Butler into their Big East debut. Evansville is led by Marty Simmons for the 7th season and enters Saturday's contest on a two game losing streak. The Purple Aces lost to Xavier 63-60 before falling to Jackson State 57-51. Evansville was led by Egidijus Mockevicius with 16 points, while D.J. Balentine added 12 in the loss. The Purple Aces are led by Balentine, who averages 22.8 points per game, while Mockevicius adds 10 points.

Players to Watch

Kellen Dunham - The sophomore guard is averaging 19.3 points per game and is Butler's best weapon on the offensive end. Dunham is having a Big East Player of the Year caliber season. While continuing to shoot well from the perimeter, he has added the ability to drive to his repertoire this season. He is shooting 47.6% from three and 78.2% from the free-throw line.

Elijah Brown - Brown hasn't had a breakout game since sitting out the game versus LSU. Butler needs to develop more perimeter scoring and Brown is the Bulldogs second best threat. The freshman is averaging 7.8 points per game, but has scored in double-figures just once over the past 5 games (15 versus Oklahoma State).

Khyle Marshall - The talented senior forward is going to be a handful for the Evansville defenders. Marshall averages 17.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. He quick second jump ability on the offensive glass and ability to isolate versus forwards makes him a matchup nightmare for the Purple Aces.

D.J. Balentine - The leading scorer for Evansville at 22.8 points per game, Balentine is one of only two players for the Purple Aces to average double figures. He is shooting 39.6% from three point range and an impressive 85.4% from the free-throw line. Butler will need Alex Barlow to have another good game defensively against the talented sophomore.

Egidijus Mockevicius - Evansville's other leading scorer at 10 points per game. The 6-foot 10 Lithuanian forward is also averaging 6.4 rebounds per contest. He balances out Balentine's ability to score on the perimeter with a solid post presence. Mockevicius will see a lot of Erik Fromm, Kameron Woods, and Khyle Marshall.

Adam Wing - The sophomore guard loves to launch the deep-ball. The 6-foot 4 Kentucky-native is shooting 47.4% from three point range en route to averaging 9.1 points per game. He averages 2.4 three point attempts per game, but hasn't scored in double figures since December 4th at Murray State.

Keys to the Game

Ball Control

Butler needs to take better care of the ball than they did in the final four minutes against Purdue. The Bulldogs are averaging just 10 turnovers per game, while Evansville is averaging 13 turnovers per game. Whoever can hold onto the ball better while have an advantage on the scoreboard.

Composure

Butler has struggled in the past few meetings with Evansville, especially on the road. The Bulldogs lost an overtime thriller in the opening game of the Ford Center in 2011, 80-77. The Bulldogs haven't won in Evansville since 2009. If the Bulldogs get down early they need to weather the storm and slowly get themselves back in the game.

Free Throw Shooting

Down the stretch in close games free throw shooting is of great importance. This season Butler hasn't shot the ball well from the charity stripe, which has led to extremely close games. The Bulldogs are shooting just 66.1% from the free throw line, while Evansville is shooting 72.3%.

Notable Stats

19.3 - Kellen Dunham's points per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big East.

62-56 - Evansville's record versus Butler all-time

18.8 - Khyle Marshall's points per game over the past 7 games.

8-2 - 2nd consecutive year that Butler has started with this record.

2009 - Last time Butler won a game at Evansville, 64-60 led by Shelvin Mack.

22.3 - Butler's


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