Butler can play defense, but needs to still prove it
The Bulldogs held Marquette to just 20/65 (30.8%) from the field including 4/24 (16.7%) from three, but that doesn't prove that Butler has turned it around on the defensive end. The Golden Eagles have struggled this season on the offensive end and have been near the bottom of the league in many offensive statistics.
Marquette is the worst scoring team in the Big East averaging just 70.3 points per game. They are shooting 44.5% from the field (6th) and 29.7% from three point range (10th).
It was definitely a step forward for Butler's defense and confidence. The Bulldogs were aggressive on the defensive end double teaming post players like Davante Gardner and Chris Otule, and getting into passing lanes led by Alex Barlow who had 4 pilfers against the Golden Eagles.
Barlow ranks 2nd in the Big East in steals averaging 2.1 steals per game.
Woods could be averaging a double-double soon
Kameron Woods' rebounding numbers continue to be remarkably consistent. The junior forward has found his place in Butler's lineup and continues to dominate on the glass.
The Kentucky-native finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds against Marquette. It was the 9th double-double of his career and the 5th this season.
It was also his 17th double figure rebounding game of his career and 11th this season.
Woods is the active leader in both double-doubles and double figures rebounding for Butler.
If Woods wouldn't have had a two game scoring drought he would be averaging over 10 points and now nearly 10 rebounds. As the season moves on Woods will continue to score and his totals should continue to rise.
If Butler made free throws they would close games a lot better
Fans, coaches, and players have been saying the same thing all season. 'If Butler could connect from the free throw line we would finish games stronger and our record could be better'.
The same tune continued against Marquette.
While Butler finished the game on a 41-17 run, the game could have been ended in regulation if Butler would have connect on a few more free throws. Butler finished just 15/29 (51.7%) from the charity stripe and the game went into overtime.
One player that continues to struggle is Khyle Marshall. His 2/10 performance at the line dropped his season average to just 49.5%.
It seems like it is all mental for the senior from Davie, FL. While he hasn't been extremely efficient from the line, Marshall is a career 53.8% free throw shooter. He is getting to the free throw line twice as often as last season, 5.4 attempts per game versus 2.6, and missing more often while playing more minutes. Something needs to change for Marshall or it may get more and more difficult for coach Miller to keep him on the floor in free throw shooting situations.
If Butler would be shooting just a little better from the line the Bulldogs could be 15-3 or 14-4, but they sit at 11-7.