Time: 4:30PM EST
Venue: Indianapolis, IN (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Know Your Foe
Record - 5-2 (0-0)
Coach - Chris Collins, 2nd Season (19-20)
Mascot - Wildcats
Conference - Big Ten Conference
Enrollment - 8,459
Tale of the Tape
The Wildcats enter Hinkle Fieldhouse after falling to Georgia Tech (6-1) in the BigTen/ACC Challenge 66-58. The loss was their second in a row after losing to Northern Iowa in their previous game. Against the Yellow Jackets, Northwestern was led by junior center Alex Olah with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard Sanjay Lumpkin added 12 points. Olah and junior guard Tre Demps each average 10.9 points per game for the Wildcats. Second year head coach Chris Collins is looking to lead Northwestern to the NCAA tournament for the first time in history. This will be the second true road game for Northwestern this season.
After entering the Top 25 for the first time in over a year, Butler went on the road for the first time. The Bulldogs travelled to Indiana State (3-4) and won convincingly 77-54. Butler was led by redshirt junior Roosevelt Jones with 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists as well as junior Kellen Dunham who scored 14 points on 5/7 shooting including 3/3 from 3-point range. Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring on the season at 16.4 points per game, while freshman Kelan Martin is second at 10.9 points per game. Interim head coach Chris Holtmann has his team playing extremely well at 6-1 and looks to add another power-5 victory to his teams resumé. Butler is 3-0 at home this season.
Player to Watch
Kellen Dunham - The Indiana-native has continued to lead the Bulldogs in scoring (16.4). Over the past 3 games, Dunham is shooting 45.5% (15/33) including 46.7% (7/15) from 3-point range. Dunham is shooting a career-high 4.3 free throws per game and converting on 83.3%.
Kelan Martin - Martin has been Butler's best reserve and best newcomer as well. The freshman is averaging
Alex Olah - The 7-foot, 270-pound center adds another challenge to the front court in the mold of Joshua Smith. Olah is an imposing presence on the block, but can also score from other areas on the floor. He leads Northwestern in scoring at 10.9 ppg, rebounding at 7.3 rpg, and blocks at 2.3 bpg. He is shooting 46.3% from the field including 42.9% (3/7) from 3-point range.
Sanjay Lumpkin - The Minnesota-native is a two-way impact player for Northwestern and uses his length (6-foot-6) to his advantage. He averages 8.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 0.7 steals per game. The sophomore is shooting 66.7% from the field including 40% from 3-point range. In his last game against Georgia Tech, Lumpkins scored 12 points and grabbed 2 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Tre Demps - The junior guard is averaging 10.9 points per game this season, which is tied for the team lead. Demps will launch the ball from anywhere on the court and is averaging 11.1 field goal attempts per game. He is shooting 35.9% from the field, 28.1% from 3-point range, and 57.9% from the free-throw line. Demps has scored in double-figures in all but 2 games for the Wildcats this season.
Keys to the Game
Controlling the Paint - Butler dominated the paint against Indiana State outscoring the Sycamores 40-18 and out-rebounding them 39-26. The Bulldogs were aggressive attacking the basket, but will have more of a challenge against the size and length of Northwestern. Butler winning the battle inside could put the Bulldogs into position to secure the victory. Andrew Chrabascz, Kameron Woods, and Tyler Wideman will be key to a Butler win.
Feeding Off the Crowd - The Bulldogs should have a solid crowd for the nationally televised game against the Wildcats. Butler returns home for the first time in over 2 weeks and the fans should be excited to see this team that is nationally ranked. The players need to feed off the emotion and energy from the crowd that will be looking to show them support and appreciation for the best start since 2008-09.
Free Throws - Against top opponents Butler will need to shoot the ball well from the free throw line. Northwestern is currently shooting 70.2% from the charity stripe. The Bulldogs are currently shooting 66%. Luckily the Bulldogs opponents this season are shooting just 60.3% from the line. If the Bulldogs are in a tight game down the stretch, Butler needs to get the ball into the hands of their best free throw shooters in Kellen Dunham (83%), Alex Barlow (76%), and Kelan Martin (75%).
7 - Consecutive games that Kellen Dunham has scored in double-figures this season.
2.6 - Roosevelt Jones' assist to turnover ratio, which ranks 6th in the Big East.
5.1 - Northwestern averages this many blocks per game, which ranks 48th in the country.
39.8% - Northwestern's field goal percentage this season.
44.9% - Butler's field goal percentage this season.
54.5 - Butler allows this many points per game this season, which leads the Big East.
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