INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - Butler opens the 2014-15 season against the Maine Black Bears at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday starting at 4:30PM EST.
TV: FOX Sports 2
Time: 4:30PM EST
Venue: Hinkle Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
Know Your Foe
Record Last Season - 6-23 (4-12)
Coach - Bob Walsh, 1st Season, 0-0
Mascot - Black Bears
Conference - America East
Enrollment - 11,247
Tale of the Tape
The Bulldogs enter their second straight season with a lot of change including at the head coaching position. Before last season, Brad Stevens left to coach the Boston Celtics. This off-season head coach Brandon Miller was placed on medical leave and multiple players transferred including freshman Rene Castro, Nolan Berry, and Elijah Brown. Butler looks to interim head coach Chris Holtmann for stability as the Bulldogs have four newcomers this season.
Junior Kellen Dunham returns as Butler's leading scorer from last season (16.4ppg) and senior Kameron Woods returns after a career year rebounding. Woods finished 10th in the country in rebounding (9.0rpg). Butler also welcomes back do-it-all forward Roosevelt Jones. Jones will provide a boost both defensively and offensively. Sophomore forward Andrew Chrabascz and senior point guard Alex Barlow round out the projected starting lineup.
Freshman Kelan Martin, Tyler Wideman, and Jackson Davis join junior transfer Austin Etherington as newcomers to the Butler roster. They hope to provide a spark for the Bulldogs off the bench along with point guard Jackson Aldridge.
Players to Watch
Roosevelt Jones - Jones returns after missing the entire 2014-15 season with a wrist injury. The redshirt junior is coming off a 2012-13 season where he averaged 10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 0.9 steals per game, while shooting 48.5% from the field. The stat-stuffer should have a big impact on both ends of the floor and should be looked to lock down the opponents primary scorer.
Kelan Martin - Martin is an aggressive scorer off the bench. The freshman from Louisville, KY will be Butler's primary scorer off the bench and he showed his ability to score in bunches against Franklin College. He scored 18 points on 5/9 shooting including 3/6 from 3-point range.
Kellen Dunham - Dunham will be looked at by opponents as Butler's primary threat on the offensive end. The junior led Butler in scoring last season and the addition of Martin and Jones to the lineup may increase his potential as a scorer. Floor spacing should be better with Jones' ability to penetrate to the basket.
Keys to the Game
Free Throw Shooting - Butler struggled at times last season from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs finished 66.1% from the free throw line. Kellen Dunham led the team at 80.3% from the line. The Bulldogs missed an average of 8 free throws per game last season. Roosevelt Jones returns and looks to improve upon his poor shooting in 2012-13 (55.1%). If Butler wants to be able to close out game this season, they will need to hit their free throws.
The Jones Effect - This has been one of our keys in both of the exhibition games and it will carry over throughout most of the season. The Bulldogs are better both offensively and defensively with Roosevelt Jones on the floor. He makes others better with his ability to create offensively and helps defensively with his ability to rotate and shut down opponents.
Emotions - Butler will have four players making their career-debuts at HInkle Fieldhouse and they may have a few jitters along with Roosevelt Jones will also be making his first regular season appearance in over a year, and having a new head coach roaming the sidelines in interim head coach Chris Holtmann. As the season gets start, emotions and adrenaline will be at an all-time high. The players need to keep their emotions in check and stay focused.
15 - Butler has won this many home openers in a row.
71.4 - Butler's field goal percentage against Franklin College in their final exhibition game.
32 - Roosevelt Jones' double figure scoring games in his 72 games during his Butler career.
1st - This will be the first meeting between Butler and the University of Maine.
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