Nassau (Bahamas) - Butler (4-1) will meet Big East opponent Georgetown (4-1) in a non-conference game at the Battle 4 Atlantis. It's the 2nd time in 3 seasons that Butler has played a conference opponent in a non-conference matchup. Butler played Xavier in 2012 after moving to the Atlantic 10. The Bulldogs and Hoyas will play at 2PM EST for 3rd Place. InsidetheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.
Time: 2:00PM EST
Venue: Imperial Arena (Nassau, Bahamas)
Know Your Foe
Record - 4-1 (0-0)
Coach - John Thompson III, 12th Season 231-105 (299-147Overall)
Mascot - Hoyas
Conference - Big East Conference
Enrollment - 17,900
Tale of the Tape
Georgetown had a difficult loss at the hands of #2 Wisconsin on Thursday night. The Hoyas had their chances to win the game, but couldn't hold off the Badgers from coming back to win 68-65. Georgetown was led by Big East Player of the Year candidate D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera with 29 points (11/18 FG) and Joshua Smith with 10 points and 3 rebounds. Smith-Rivera (14.6) and Smith (14) lead the Hoyas in scoring. John Thompson III is in his 12th season as the Hoyas head coach and will be looking for his 300th career win as a head coach against the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs were on a high after beating #5 North Carolina in the quarterfinals, but couldn't find a way to knock off Oklahoma in the semifinals. Butler lost to the Sooners 59-46 and shot 23.7% from the field. Junior guard Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with 17 points on 5/16 shooting and sophomore Andrew Chrabascz was solid on the interior with 9 points and 3 rebounds. Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring at 17 points per game. Butler looks to respond to their first adversity of the season and overcome their worst two shooting performances of the season thus far. Interim head coach Chris Holtmann has done a great job of rallying the team and focusing on playing together and the Bulldogs will get their first taste of how they will stack up in the Big East against Georgetown.
Players to Watch
Roosevelt Jones - The redshirt junior has had a solid start to the season averaging 9.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 6 assists per game. However, Jones seemed to disappear at times against Oklahoma. When he was involved against the Sooners, he struggled to control the ball effectively and facilitate the offense. Jones finished with 4 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 turnovers, while shooting 2/9 from the field against the Sooners. He needs to rebound against the Hoyas and play point-forward for Butler's offense to hit its stride.
Kellen Dunham - Dunham is the focal point of the Butler offense and will always draw attention from opponents. He finished with a game-high 17 points against Oklahoma in the semifinals. After starting the season red hot from the field, the junior guard has shot just 8/33 (24.2%) from the field in the Bahamas. He is currently averaging a team best 17 points per game.
Kameron Woods - The Bulldogs best interior rebounder is averaging 7.6 points and 9.0 rebounds per game this season. Woods is going to have his hands full with Joshua Smith in the post. If he is matched up with him one-on-one, Woods will need to use his length and quickness to bother him. If helping from the weak-side, Woods should be able to block a few of the big-man's shots.
D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera - The Indianapolis-native had 18 points in both of the games against Butler last season. He currently leads the Hoyas in scoring at 14.6 points per game and is shooting 46.3% from the field including 33.3% from 3-point range. He has also had a very nice start to the year facilitating, as he leads the team in assists (3.8) per game.
Joshua Smith - The wide-bodied transfer from UCLA is in his second season in Washington, D.C. He is averaging 14 points per game and shooting 69% from the field. He is also averaging 6.4 rebounds per game including 3.2 on the offensive glass. Smith missed both of the games against Butler last season and the Bulldogs will have their hands full inside with the 6-foot-10 350-pounder.
L.J. Peak - The 6-foot-5 freshman from Gaffney, South Carolina has been a threat for the Hoyas both inside and out, shooting 52.8% (19/36) from the field including 36.4% (4/11) from 3-point range. He is averaging 11 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. After hitting double figures in each of his first 3 games for the Hoyas, Peak has combined for just 10 points in his last two games against Florida and Wisconsin.
Keys to the Game
Familiarity - Butler and Georgetown will be meeting for the 3rd time in just over 10 months and the two teams are conference foes. The Bulldogs have dropped all three meetings with the Hoyas all-time, however each of the last two meetings have been decided by 8 points or less, including an overtime loss at Hinkle Fieldhouse last season. This game could be decided in the high 50s or low 60s, so it will be important for each team to be efficient and limit turnovers.
Front Court Play - Joshua Smith can be one of the most dominant players in the country. His size (6-foot-10, 350-pounds) is very difficult to matchup against and it will be interesting to see how Kameron Woods, Andrew Chrabascz, and Tyler Wideman control the Hoyas' center. Butler may drop down a double team or rotate in order to get the ball out of his hands in the post.
Outside Shooting - Butler has struggled, to say the least, in the Bahamas from the field. The Bulldogs have shot a combined 27% from the field including 25% from the 3-point line. Georgetown on the other hand has 51% from the field in the tournament, including 37.5% from 3-point range. Whatever team can be more efficient in the limited possessions that they have will have a great chance to win 3rd place in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
29 - Offensive rebounds for Kameron Woods this season.
50.9% - Georgetown's field goal percentage, ranking 18th nationally.
53.8 - Butler only allows this many points per game, ranking 1st in the Big East and 14th nationally.
5.6 - Georgetown averages 5.6 blocks per game, 34th nationally.
73 - Consecutive starts for redshirt junior Roosevelt Jones.
299 - John Thompson III's career win total as a head coach (Princeton and Georgetown)
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