Providence (RI) - Butler (11-7, 1-5) looks to turn the corner and win two games in a row in the Big East. The Bulldogs take on Providence (13-5, 3-2) on Tuesday night. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.
Know Your Foe
Record - 13-5 (3-2)
Coach - Ed Cooley, 3rd Season - 47-37 (139-106 Overall)
Mascot - Friars, Friar Boy
Conference - Big East
Enrollment - 4,800
Tale of the Tape
Butler enters the game coming off their first Big East victory all-time. The Bulldogs snapped a 5-game losing streak and improved to 1-5 in the Big East with their 69-57 win over Marquette in overtime. Butler was led by sophomore Kellen Dunham and senior Khyle Marshall with 18 points each, while Kameron Woods also chipped in 16 points and 14 rebounds. Brandon Miller has the Bulldogs at 11-7 in his 1st season at the helm in Indianapolis and the Bulldogs look to turn the corner after a few disheartening losses in overtime. Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring at 18.4 points, while Marshall is 2nd on the team in scoring at 15.8 per game.
Ed Cooley and the Friars are coming off of an impressive 81-68 victory over Big East leading Creighton. The Friars were led by senior guard Bryce Cotton with 23 points, while four other Friars were in double figures including Kadeem Batts with 13 points and LaDontae Henton with 19. Cotton leads the Friars in scoring at 20.4 points per game, while sophomore Tyler Harris is 2nd on the team in scoring at 13.2 per game. Cooley and the Friars are currently 13-5 and 3-2 in the Big East, which places them in 4th place. The Friars have won 3 in a row.
Players to Watch
Kellen Dunham - Dunham continues his impressive play this season. The sophomore guard scored 18 points against Marquette and continues to lead Butler in scoring at 18.4 points per game. Not only has Dunham improved his scoring, but his rebounding and defense have also improved in his 2nd season at Butler. The 6-foot 6 guard is averaging 3.6 rebounds and 0.7 steals per game.
Khyle Marshall - Marshall matched Dunham's 18 points against Marquette and continues to be 2nd on the team in scoring at 15.8 points per game. He is also 2nd in rebounding as well grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game. His struggles continue from the free throw line as he is shooting 49.5% on the season and was 2/10 against Marquette.
Elijah Brown - Butler will need a second scoring option from the guard spot against Providence. With their size and length in the front court, Brown is the perfect option. The freshman is averaging 6.8 points per game and shooting 31.7% from three point range. He had just 3 points against Marquette but is due for a double digit scoring performance.
Bryce Cotton - The senior from Tuscon, AZ is averaging 20.4 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big East. The lead guard for the Friars also leads the Big East in assists at 5.8 per game. Cotton can score in a wide variety of ways. He likes to shoot from deep as he is averaging 6.4 attempts from three per game and connects on 31.9%. He also gets to the free throw line extremely well where he averages 6.9 free throw attempts per game and is hitting 84.8% of his free throws.
Tyler Harris - The transfer from North Carolina State is having a very good season in Providence. The sophomore is averaging 13.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. The 6-foot 9 forward also shoots 84.5% from the free throw line. Not only does he shoot the ball well from the inside, 45.5% FG overall, but he extends to the three point line where he is shooting 32.6%.
LaDontae Henton - The junior from Lansing, MI may be just 6-foot 6, but he is crashing the glass like a true forward.The leading rebounder for the Friars at 7.3 rebounds per game, Henton is also 3rd on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game. He can do a little bit of everything. Henton can get to the rim, shoot from distance, and make plays in transition.
Keys to the Game
Pace of Play - Providence will want to get up and down against the Bulldogs early and often. The Friars led by Bryce Cotton and Kadeem Batts are very comfortable in transition and look to push the pace of play. Butler on the other hand is more comfortable in a half-court setting. The Bulldogs will also look to slow the pace in order to keep the Dunkin' Donuts Center crowd at bey.
Outside Shooting - Providence can not only get the ball in transition but struggles slightly when shoot it from deep. The Friars are shooting 32.6% from 3-point range, which ranks 9th in the Big East and 41.5% overall which ranks 10th. Butler will need to contain the penetration of the Friars, which looks like it will be difficult based on the Bulldogs previous games in the Big East, where they have been dominated in the paint. Butler on the other hand is only shooting 33.4% from three point range, which ranks 8th in the Big East, while shooting 43.9% from the field which ranks 7th.
Free Throw Shooting - Providence may struggle from the field, but it has been no struggle from the free throw line. The Friars shoot a league best 79.6% from the free throw line. Butler's free throw shooting woes have been well documented and the team shoots just 66.1% from the charity stripe.
79.6 - Providence's league leading free throw percentage, which ranks 1st nationally.
9 - Butler games that have been decided by 5 points or less this season.
9.9 - Kameron Woods' Big East leading rebounding average per game, which ranks 16th nationally.
73 - Providence's team scoring average, which ranks 9th in the Big East.
2.6 - Providence's Carson Desrosiers' average blocks per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big East.
11.72/10.17 - Turnovers per game for Providence/Butler which ranks 4th/2nd in the Big East.