INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - Butler opens the 2014-15 season against the University of Chicago at newly renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse. This is the first meeting between the two schools in nearly 90 years.
Time: 7PM EST
Venue: Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
Know Your Foe
Record Last Season - 15-10 (8-6)
Coach - Mike McGrath (16th Season, 221-161)
Mascot - Maroons (Phoenix)
Conference - University Athletic Association (UAA)
Enrollment - 14,954
Tale of the Tape
Butler enters the season with a lot of questions. How will the team adjust to not having head coach Brandon Miller on the sideline? How will they respond to interim head coach Chris Holtmann? What will the return of Roosevelt Jones do for this team? There are many questions as the team enters the new season and the answers begin to be formed tonight against Division III, University of Chicago.
The Bulldogs return some experience in junior Kellen Dunham, Butler's leading scorer from last season (16.4ppg), as well as senior Kameron Woods (7.5ppg, 9.0 rpg) and redshirt-junior Roosevelt Jones. In all, Butler returns 7 players from last season, but welcomes a few newcomers including Indiana transfer Austin Etherington and freshmen Kelan Martin, Jackson Davis, and Tyler Wideman.
Players to Watch
Kellen Dunham - Dunham returns as the most explosive scorer Butler. He heats up in a hurry from the outside. While we know what Dunham brings to the table, he will need some help to provide an alternate scoring threat to open up space for himself.
Kelan Martin - Martin could be the key to provide spacing for others, including Dunham on offense. The freshman forward is built for college basketball and should be able to handle contact when going to the basket. The coaches are extremely excited about what he can bring to the table offensively, as he may be the best inside-outside threat since Gordon Hayward.
Roosevelt Jones - It will be interesting to see what Coach Holtman does with Jones' minutes. It will be his first game in over a year and he will need to get back into the swing of things. However, how much does he have the injury to his wrist from last pre-season in his mind? Jones is crucial to Butler's success this season.
Keys to the Game
Playing Time - It will be key for Chris Holtmann to get a feel for his players and rotation. Coach Holtmann will need to give players a lot of minutes in the exhibition games in order to see exactly what they can do when the lights come on. With so many newcomers, the Bulldogs will rely on a few new players to step into the every-game rotation.
The Jones Effect - It has been over a year since Roosevelt Jones has stepped on the court for a college basketball game. After injuring his wrist during the trip to Australia last season, Butler had to adjust rotations and assignments all season. Now with Jones back in the lineup, how will that change things for Butler both offensively and defensively.
Replacing Khyle Marshall - Butler needs someone to step up on the inside, both offensively and defensively. Last season Khyle Marshall (14.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg) carried Butler on the inside during many games and it will be up to the likes of Andrew Chrabascz, Kameron Woods, and the three freshman to find a scoring presence on the inside, and also affected the game on the glass like he did during so many games.
24 - Kellen Dunham led Butler with this many double digit scoring games last season.
11th - Kameron Woods finished 11th in the country in rebounding last season with 9 per game.
9-1 - Butler's record against the University of Chicago with games dating back to 1920.
100 - Butler's scoring output in the exhibition game against Manchester last season.