Site: Chicago, IL (Allstate Arena)
Time: 9PM EST
Know Your Foe
Record - 11-19 (3-14)
Coach - Oliver Purnell, 4th Season - 41-83 (435-364 Overall)
Mascot - Blue Demons
Conference - Big East, Demon In a Blue Suit (DIBS)
Enrollment - 16,500
Tale of the Tape
The Bulldogs are entering the game on a seven game losing streak with their most recent loss coming to #8 Villanova 67-48 in Philadelphia. The Bulldogs and Wildcats each had a sloppy game and Villanova slowly pulled away from Butler. The Bulldogs were led by Kellen Dunham with 12 points on 3/13 shooting, while Khyle Marshall added 10 points and 3 rebounds. Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring at 16.8 points per game, while Marshall sits at 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. First year head coach Brandon Miller has battled through a difficult first season in Indianapolis, losing a number of close games, and leading the Bulldogs to a 12-16 mark overall and 2-14 in the Big East.
DePaul enters their final game of the regular season in the Big East in 9th place. The Blue Demons snapped a 10 game losing streak by beating Seton Hall on Feb 25th. They did lose their last game out against St. John's 72-64. They were led by Brandon Young with 23 points, while freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. added 12 points and 4 steals. Cleveland Melvin leads the Blue Demons in scoring on the season averaging 16.7 points, while Young adds 15.9 points and 3.7 assists per game. Oliver Purnell continues to be frustrated in his 4th season leading the Blue Demons to an 11-19 overall record and 3-14 season in the Big East.
The first meeting between these two teams was a marathon. The Bulldogs had a big lead against the Blue Demons, but couldn't hold the lead down the stretch in the 2nd half. Butler then forced double overtime, but couldn't stay with DePaul in the 2nd overtime losing 99-94. Butler was led by Kellen Dunham with 30 points, while 4 others finished in double figures. DePaul was led by Cleveland Melvin with 30 points, while Billy Garrett Jr added 22 points and 5 assists.
Players to Watch
Kellen Dunham - Butler's leading scorer at 16.8 points per game, Dunham has had an all-Big East type season. The sophomore is shooting 35.2% from three, 38.8% from the field overall, and 82.1% from the free throw line. Dunham has also picked up other areas of his game including averaging 3.9 rebounds per game.
Andrew Chrabascz - Andrew Chrabascz has had a few mediocre games of late. After averaging over 10 points per game during his starts the freshman forward has had single digit scoring marks in 3 of the past 5 games, including just 1 point in 15 minutes against Villanova. He needs to pick up his game and continue to progress for Butler to finish strong in the post-season. Chrabascz averages 6.3 points and 3.1 rebounds on the year.
Khyle Marshall - Marshall continues to be the 2nd leading scorer and rebounder for Butler. The senior is averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting 52.7% from the floor, but only 48.9% from the free throw line. He has been more willing to shoot jump shots when open, but is shooting just 10% from three (1/10).
Cleveland Melvin - The senior forward is averaging 16.7 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Blue Demons. Melvin had a big game against the Bulldogs in the first meeting scoring 30 points on 10/14 shooting. He also grabbed 8 rebounds and connected on 7/15 free throws.
Brandon Young - The 2nd leading scorer, 15.9 points, and leading assist man, 3.7, for DePaul. He does a little bit of everything with his 6-foot 4 frame. The senior guard is averaging 4.1 rebounds and shooting just 27.5% from three. Young scored 18 points against the Bulldogs in the first meeting.
Billy Garrett Jr. - Garrett has continued to evolve as the season progresses. The freshman is now averaging 12.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, while connecting on 34% from three and 81.8% from the free throw line. The former 4-star point guard prospect had a career game against the Bulldogs in the first meeting, scoring 22 points.
Keys to the Game
Pace of the Game - After controlling the pace of play for much of the first meeting, Butler faded down the stretch and DePaul charged back into control of the game in overtime. Billy Garrett Jr. and Brandon Young took control down the stretch and made Butler play too quickly. Butler was unable to take advantage of the 18 turnovers by DePaul in the first meeting, while committing only 11 of their own. Butler will need to slow the game down and make good decision to win on the road in Chicago.
Free Throws - Butler was unable to take advantage of 32 free throw attempts against DePaul in the first meeting. The Bulldogs connected on just 20/32 (62.5%). DePaul shot a little better on their attempts connected on 27/38 (71.1%) attempts, which was just a little more than the difference in the game. Butler is shooting 67.2% from the free throw line, while DePaul isn't much better at 68%.
Overall Defense - One of these teams will need to make stops down the stretch. The overall statistics were quite even in the first meeting, but it was DePaul who was able to get stops down the stretch. Butler's defense will need to improve as they allowed DePaul to shoot 58.2% from the field, while connecting on 47.9% of their own field goals.
1.8 - Brandon Young's average number of steals per game, ranking 3rd in the Big East.
52.7 - Khyle Marshall's field goal percentage, which ranks 4th in the Big East.
48 - Butler's total points against Villanova, a season low.
1.9 - Alex Barlow's average number of steals per game, which is 2nd in the Big East.
70.9 - DePaul's scoring average this season, which ranks 9th in the Big East and 198th in the country.
68.8 - Butler's scoring average this season, which ranks 10th in the Big East and 240th in the country.