Preview: St. John's vs Butler

Butler (11-8, 1-6) hosts St. John's (11-8, 1-5) at Hinkle Fieldhouse in a game where both teams look to rebound from a slow start in the Big East. Come inside to preview what to expect.

INDIANAPOLIS - Butler (11-8, 1-6) hosts St. John's (11-8, 1-5) in a battle of two under achieving teams in Big East lay at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Come inside to preview what to expect.

Know Your Foe

Record - 11-8 (1-5)

Coach - Steve Lavin, 4th Season - 62-55 (192-110 Overall)

Mascot - Red Storm

Conference - Big East

Enrollment - 22,000

Tale of the Tape

Butler enters the game following a disappointing trip to Providence. The Bulldogs had picked up their first win in Big East play against Marquette but couldn't ride the momentum into Rhode Island. The Bulldogs fell to the Friars 65-56. Butler was led by Kellen Dunham with 17 points and 6 rebounds, while Khyle Marshall added 15 points. Butler and first year head coach Brandon Miller fell to 1-6 in Big East play and the Bulldogs are 11-8 on the season.

St. John's enters the game on a two game winning streak after defeating Dartmouth and Seton Hall. The Red Storm defeated the Pirates 77-76 in the last Big East conference game. They were led by JaKarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez, and D'Angelo Harrison who all scored 16 points for St. John's. For the season Steve Lavin has the Red Storm at 11-8 and 1-5 in Big East play.

Players to Watch

Kellen Dunham - Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs on offense. The talented sophomore is averaging 18.3 points per game. He is shooting 38.5% from behind the three point arc connecting on 52/135. The sophomore guard is averaging 36.9 minutes per game on the court this season.

Khyle Marshall - Butler's best offensive post threat, Marshall is averaging 15.7 points per game, which is up from 9.6 points per game a season ago. The senior has also increased is rebounding as he is averaging 5.2 rebounds per game. Marshall continues to be efficient from the field shooting nearly 55%, but continues to struggle from the free throw line shooting 49.5%.

Kameron Woods - Woods will have a difficult matchup against the Johnnies. The 6-foot 9 forward will be asked to handle JaKaar Sampson. Woods is having a great year leading the Big East in rebounding at 9.6 per contest, while developing offensively as well. Woods is averaging 8.9 points per game while shooting 49.2% from the field.

JaKarr Sampson - Sampson is a ultra-athletic wing with length to finish at the rim and get out in transition. The 6-foot 9 forward averages over 12 points per game for the Red Storm, while grabbing over 6 rebounds per game. Sampson likes to live on the interior and in the paint as he has attempted just 5 threes on the season.

D'Angelo Harrison - St. John's leading scorer at 18.1 points per game, Harrison is an impressive scorer at 6-foot 4. The junior guard from Missouri City, TX is connecting on 35% of his three point attempts (34/97) and shooting nearly 40% from the field overall. He also is able to have the ball in his hands down the stretch from the free throw line where he is shooting a career high 84.4% from the charity stripe.

Rysheed Jordan - The freshman guard from Philadelphia, PA leads the Red Storm in assists at 2.7 per game. He can also score and had a season high 17 points against Xavier just under a month ago. Jordan has the size at 6-foot 4 to cause matchup problems for the Bulldogs.

Keys to the Game

Athleticism - St. John's is a very athletic team with long wings and guards that can finish at the rim. The Red Storm can get out on the break with Jordan, Harrison, Sampson, and others. Butler will need to control the pace of play and allow them to dominate in the half court set.

Rebounding - With the length and athleticism of St. John's rebounding will be key. The Bulldogs have done a good job all season battling for rebounds, but the matchup against St. John's could be difficult. Sampson and senior center Chris Obekpa could proove to be difficult to handle on the offensive glass. Butler will need Erik Fromm, Marshall, Woods, and freshman Andrew Chrabascz to have a solid day on the interior.

Free Throws - This game could come down to the final possessions once again. St. John's is shooting nearly 5% better from the free throw line than Butler. The Bulldogs have struggled all season, but need to get the ball into the hands of Dunham or freshmen Elijah Brown or Andrew Chrabascz down the stretch.

Notable Stats

1 - The number of times Butler has met St. John's, who leads the series 1-0 with a win in 1958.

11 - Average rebounding total for Kameron Woods over the past 9 games.

77 - Number of starts in Khyle Marshall's career.

32-14 - Butler's record when Kellen Dunham hits a three.

18.1 - D'Angelo Harrison's point average, which ranks 4th in the Big East.

16 - Khyle Marshall and Kellen Dunham have each scored in double figures this amount of times this season.


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