Preview: Butler at St. John's

Butler (12-13, 2-11) looks to get back to .500 and travels to historic Madison Square Garden to take on St. John's (17-9, 7-6).

NEW YORK (NY) - Butler (12-13, 2-11) looks to get back to .500 and travels to historic Madison Square Garden to take on St. John's (17-9, 7-6). The two teams have gone in opposite directions since the first meeting. Butler has gone 1-4, while the Red Storm have gone 5-1. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.

Know Your Foe

Record - 17-9 (7-6)

Coach - Steve Lavin, 4th Season - 65-56 (192-111 Overall)

Mascot - Red Storm

Conference - Big East

Enrollment - 22,000

Tale of the Tape

Butler enters the game on another slide. The Bulldogs have lost four in a row with the most recent coming to Creighton 68-63, in another heartbreaking loss. Butler was led by Kellen Dunham with 16 points (6/13 FG) and Alex Barlow with 13 points and 4 assists. Dunham continues to lead Butler in scoring this season averaging 16.8 points per game, while senior forward Khyle Marshall is second on the team in scoring, 14.6, and rebounding, 4.8. First year head coach Brandon Miller continues to battle during a difficult first season in Indianapolis. He has the Bulldogs at 12-13 and 2-11 in the Big East.

St. John's comes into the second meeting with Butler on fire. The Red Storm have won 5 straight and 8 of their last 9. The latest win for St. John's came against Georgetown 82-60, led by D'Angelo Harrison and Rysheed Jordan with 24 points each. Harrison leads the Red Storm in scoring on the season at 18.3 points per game, while sophomore Jakarr Sampson adds 12.3 points per game. Steven Lavin has St. John's rolling 17-9 overall and 7-6 in the Big East after a 1-5 start.

The first meeting between the two teams was won easily by the Red Storm at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler was close for a half, but St. John's pulled away in the 2nd half led by Sampson with 20 points and Jordan with 16.

Players to Watch

Kellen Dunham - Dunham continues to be the Bulldogs best option from the perimeter and leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 16.8 points per game, which ranks 5th in the Big East. Dunham is shooting 36.6% from the perimeter.

Alex Barlow - While Rene Castro wasn't getting a lot of minutes off the bench for Butler, he did see playing time in half of Butler's games this season. Barlow has become a good standstill shooter from three point range, where he is shooting 38% on the season.

Andrew Chrabascz - Chrabascz continues to make strides on the interior for Butler and looks to have the favor of head coach Brandon Miller. He is getting a lot of playing time and looks more and more confident each game. Chrabascz will need to lock down St. John's lanky forwards and keep them off the offensive glass. He had 8 points off the bench against St. John's in the first meeting.

JaKarr Sampson - Sampson had a huge game against the Bulldogs in the first meeting. The talented sophomore had 20 points on 9/14 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds. The NBA-ready forward was impressive and used his length and athleticism to score in a variety of ways. Sampson will continue to be a difficult matchup for Butler.

D'Angelo Harrison - Harrison had 12 points (4/12 FG) in the first meeting against Butler. The point guard from Missouri City (TX) continues to lead St. John's in scoring and ranks 3rd in the Big East at 18.3 points per game. Harrison is shooting 36.8% from three and 87.1% from the free throw line.

Rysheed Jordan - The 4-star point guard from Philadelphia had 16 points and 5 rebounds against Butler in the first meeting. Jordan is averaging 8.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in his first season in New York. Jordan continues to explode late in the season and his talent seems to be developing.

Keys to the Game

Front Court Play - In the first meeting between the two teams, Butler struggled to keep the Red Storm off the glass. They outrebounded the Bulldogs 10-3 on the offensive glass and shot 25/44 (57%) from the field excluding three point shots. Butler shot 18/35 (51%) on two point shots. Andrew Chrabascz, Khyle Marshall, and Kameron Woods need to have a solid game for Butler on the interior.

Containing St. John's Guards - Butler needs to force other players besides D'Angelo Harrison and Rysheed Jordan beat them. The two combined for 28 points (11/23 FG) in the first meeting between the two teams. Barlow will guard one of them, while Kellen Dunham may find himself on the other.

Free Throw Shooting - Butler had a distinct advantage in free throw shooting in the first meeting, but couldn't capitalize from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs were 13/20 (65%) from the line, while St. John's was 4/5 (80%). Butler can't count on that many opportunities from the line on the road, but will need to capitalize on their opportunities when they come.

Notable Stats

4-5 - Butler's all-time record at Madison Square Garden.

2.5 - Khyle Marshall's offensive rebounds per game, which ranks 4th in the Big East.

20 - Khyle Marshall and Kellen Dunham each have this number of double digit scoring games this season.

73.2 - St. John's scoring average this season, which ranks 4th in the Big East and 123rd nationally.

1.24 - St. John's assist to turnover ratio, which ranks 3rd in the Big East.

4-6 - Butler's record in games decided by 5 points or less and overtime.


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