Preview: Providence at Butler

Butler (12-14, 2-12) hosts Providence (17-10, 7-7) for the first time in a Big East conference clash.

INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - Butler (12-14, 2-12) hosts Providence (17-10, 7-7) for the first time at Hinkle Fieldhouse in a Big East conference clash. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.

Game Information

Time: 6PM EST

Site: Indianapolis, IN (Hinkle Fieldhouse)

TV: FOXSports1

Radio: 1070theFan

Know Your Foe

Record - 17-10 (7-7)

Coach - Ed Cooley, 3rd Season - 51-42 (143-111 Overall)

Mascot - Friars, Friar Boy

Conference - Big East

Enrollment - 4,800

Tale of the Tape

The Bulldogs continue to struggle to play complete games in their first season in the Big East. Butler has lost 5 games in a row including their last game against St. John's 77-52. Butler lead at halftime 33-30, but couldn't close out the game in the 2nd half. The Bulldogs were led by Khyle Marshall who scored 16 points (6/13 FG) and Kellen Dunham with 13 points (5/12 FG). Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring at 16.6 points per game, while Marshall is second on the team in scoring and rebounding at 14.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per contest. First year head coach Brandon Miller continues to have his team battle during a tough season in which the Bulldogs are 2-12 in the Big East and 12-14 overall.

Providence has lost 4 of their last 5 games including a tough double overtime loss to Villanova 82-79. The Friars were led by Bryce Cotton with 22 points, while Kadeem Batts added 21 points and 11 rebounds. Cotton continues to be one of the best point guards in the Big East, leading the Friars in points (21.3) and assists (5.9) per game. LaDontae Henton adds 13.1 points per game, while Kadeem Batts scores 12.6 points and leads the team with 7.8 rebounds per contest. Ed Cooley, in his 3rd season, has Providence on the tournament bubble at 7-7 in the Big East and 17-10 overall.

The first meeting between the Bulldogs and Friars was won by Providence 65-56. The Friars pulled away from Butler down the stretch and dominated the paint, scoring 32 points and outrebounding the Bulldogs 37-22. Cotton scored 18 points (5/12 FG) for Providence, while three others finished in double figures. Dunham led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Marshall chipped in 15 points.

Players to Watch

Khyle Marshall - Marshall need to be dominant once again for Butler. The quick senior forward is averaging 14.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 52.5% from the field. Marshall scored 15 points (7/13 FG) against the Friars in the first meeting. After struggling for two games, Marshall bounced back against St. John's, scoring 16 points and grabbing 7 rebounds.

Kellen Dunham - Dunham has always been the perimeter leader for the Bulldogs this season. The sophomore guard is averaging 16.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists this season, while shooting 38.6% from the field including 36.3% from three. He scored 17 points (2/7 3PT) and collected 6 rebounds in the first meeting against the Friars.

Kameron Woods - After a one game suspension for an unknown reason, Woods returns to the lineup against the Friars. The junior forward leads the Big East in rebounding with 9.1 rebounds per game. Woods struggled in the first meeting against Providence scoring 6 points and grabbing just 3 rebounds.

Bryce Cotton - Cotton is one of the most talented scorers in the Big East. He can create his own shot, but also create for others. Cotton is averaging 21.3 points, which ranks 2nd in the Big East, while averaging 5.9 assists, which leads the Big East. Cotton scored 18 points (16 in the 2nd half) and dished out 6 assists against Butler in the first meeting.

Kadeem Batts - Batts leads the Friars in rebounding at 7.8 rebounds per game, which is 3rd in the Big East. He averages 12.6 points per game while shooting 41.4% from the field. In the first meeting with Butler, the 6-foot 9 forward got the best of the Butler interior scoring 14 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.

Tyler Harris - The Friars fourth leading scorer at 12 points per game, Harris does a little of everything for Providence. He is avering 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals and is shooting 31.9% from three point range. The North Carolina State transfer scored 12 points and grabbed 5 rebounds in the first meeting with Butler.

Keys to the Game

Battle of the Bigs - Batts, Henton, and Harris got the best of the interior battle in game number one. The trio combined for 38 points and 28 rebounds against the Bulldogs. Marshall, Woods, and Andrew Chrabascz combined for 29 points and 5 rebounds for Butler. Chrabascz has now established himself as a starter and will play with much more confidence for Butler. His size and footwork could play an important role in containing the interior presence of Providence.

Cotton vs Barlow - This is a battle of one of the best defensive guards in the Big East versus the best scoring point guard in the Big East. In the first half of the first game between Butler and Providence, Barlow got the best of the talented senior guard holding Cotton to just 2 points. In the 2nd half Cotton erupted for 16 points and Providence went on to win easily. Barlow will need to have a complete game against Cotton for the Bulldogs to pull out the win.

Free Throw Shooting - Providence is leading the conference in free throw shooting percentage at 79%, while Butler ranks last in the Big East at 66.8%. The Friars hit 14/16 (87.5%) in the first meeting, while Butler connected on just 10/15 (66.7%). Butler may have the advantage again at the line, being at home, but will need to contain Providence from getting to the line.

Notable Stats

83.9 - Bryce Cotton's free throw percentage this season, ranking 5th in the Big East.

161 - Bryce Cotton's total free throws made this season, most in the Big East.

38.2 - Alex Barlow's three point shooting percentage, which ranks 10th in the Big East.

54.0 - Khyle Marshall's career field goal shooting percentage, which ranks tied for 9th in Butler history.

7 - Andrew Chrabascz rebounding total against St. John's, a career-high.

16.6 - Kellen Dunham's scoring average, which ranks 5th in the Big East.

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