Preview: DePaul vs Butler

Butler (10-4) hosts DePaul (8-8) and looks to get their first win in the Big East. InsideTheDawgPound looks at what to expect on Thursday night.

INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - Butler (10-4) hosts DePaul (8-8) and looks to get their first win in the Big East. InsideTheDawgPound looks at what to expect on Thursday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Know Your Foe

Record - 8-8 (0-3)

Coach - Oliver Purnell, 4th Season - 38-72 (432-353 Overall)

Mascot - Blue Demons

Conference - Big East, Demon In a Blue Suit (DIBS)

Enrollment - 16,500

Tale of the Tape

Butler enters the game on a two game losing streak and 0-2 in the Big East. The Bulldogs fell to Xavier in their last game 79-68. Butler was led by Khyle Marshall with 17 points, while Kellen Dunham had 11 and Elijah Brown chipped in 10 off the bench. The Bulldogs are led by Dunham who is averaging 17.9 points per game, while Marshall is second on the team in scoring at 15.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. First year head coach Brandon Miller is 10-4 in his first season as Butler head coach.

DePaul also enters the game winless in the Big East at 0-3. The Blue Demons lost their last contest to Creighton 81-62. DePaul was led by Brandon Young with 24 points and Cleveland Melvin who had 16 points. Melvin leads DePaul in scoring at 15.8 points per game and also rebounding at 6.4 rebounds. Young is second on the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game, while shooting 50% from 3-point range. Oliver Purnell is 8-8 in his 4th season in Chicago.

Players to Watch

Kellen Dunham - The Bulldogs leading scorer at 17.9 points per game, Dunham is shooting well this season. The sophomore guard is shooting 41.1% from the field including 42.4% from three-point range.

Elijah Brown - The freshman guard has had two double-digit scoring games in a row with 19 points against Villanova and 10 against Xavier. Brown is coming into his own and getting more minutes under coach Miller as he has averaged 23 minutes per game while averaging just 18.5 on the season.

Khyle Marshall - While Dunham leads the Bulldogs in scoring, Marshall has arguable has been great for Butler as well. Marshall is second on the team in scoring and rebounding at 15.9 points and 6.1 rebounds. The senior forward is having his best season as a Bulldog and really thriving in a staring role for Butler.

Cleveland Melvin - Melvin is leading the Blue Demons in scoring and rebounding at 15.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. The senior from Baltimore has great size and can stretch the floor from the front court. Melvin is shooting 50% (28/56) from three point range.

Brandon Young - Young is an athletic guard who does it all for the Blue Demons. Young is averaging 14.1 points, 4.3 assists, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 steals. The senior guard does well to get to the foul line, but struggles shooting just 63.6%.

Billy Garrett Jr. - Garrett is second on the Blue Demons' in assists at 3.3 per game and third in scoring at 10.3 points per game. The 4-star guard from Morgan Park (IL) Academy has lived up to expectations early this season and uses his 6-foot 5 frame to create mismatches against smaller guards.

Keys to the Game

Ball Handling - Butler has continued to struggle recently against pressure. The Bulldogs will continue to get pressed by opponents until they prove that they can beat the pressure consistently. Xavier used the Butler turnovers to their advantage and pulled away from Butler late in the game. Butler is averaging just 11 turnovers per game, while

Free Throw Shooting - Both teams enter the game with unspectacular shooting from the free throw line. Butler is shooting just 67.1%. DePaul comes in connecting on 67.4% from the free throw line. The game may come down to who shoots best from the free throw line if Butler doesn't take care of the ball.

Tempo - Butler favors a half-court brand of basketball, while Oliver Purnell has built a team that likes to get into transition and run. The Blue Demons are an athletic, talented team that hasn't been able to put the pieces together. Butler needs to control the pace of the game and allow Dunham, Brown, and Marshall to get shots within the offense.

Notable Stats

12/2011 - The last time Butler lost back-to-back home games was in December of 2011.

10.2 - Kameron Woods' average rebounding total over the past 5 games.

5-1 - DePaul's all-time record against Butler. The Blue Demons have won five straight.

54% - Kameron Woods field goal percentage this season, which ranks 8th in the Big East.

2.8 - Kellen Dunham average three point attempts per game, which ranks 3rd in the Big East.

2.1 - Alex Barlow's averages steals per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big East.


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