INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - No.15 Butler (8-1) will take on yet another power-5 conference team as they travel to Tennessee (3-3) on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs are starting a stretch where they will play 3 of 4 games against schools for the State of Tennessee.
Time: 2:00PM EST
Venue: Knoxville, TN (Thompson-Boling Arena)
Know Your Foe
Record - 3-3 (0-0)
Coach - Donnie Tyndall, 1st year (203-109 Overall)
Mascot - Volunteers
Conference - Southeastern Conference
Enrollment - 27,200
Tale of the Tape
After dropping two close games to Kansas and Marquette, Tennessee rebounded to defeat Kansas State 65-64 last Friday night. The Volunteers were led by senior guard Josh Richardson who scored 17 points on 5/11 shooting. Freshman Willie Carmichael III added 9 points and 6 rebounds for Tennessee in the win. On the season, Richardson leads Tennessee in scoring at 16 points per game, while junior wing Armani Moore adds 11 points per game. The Volunteers are 3-3 under new head coach Donnie Tyndall and are looking to grab their first big win of the season and Tyndall tenure.
Butler has improved to 8-1 on the season under interim and first year head coach Chris Holtmann. The Bulldogs blew out Kennesaw State in their last game at Hinkle Fieldhouse 93-51. Butler was led by junior forward Roosevelt Jones with 19 points and freshman wing Kelan Martin with 17. On the season, Butler is led by junior guard Kellen Dunham 16.3 points per game while shooting 47.7% from three point range, while Jones adds 11.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and a team-high 5.3 assists per game. Butler looks to win another game against a power-5 team having already beaten North Carolina and Northwestern this season.
Player to Watch
Kellen Dunham - Butler's leading scorer at 16.3 points per game, Dunham has really improved as a scorer over the past two seasons. He has gone from standstill 3-point shooter as a freshman to over-all scorer as a junior. He is shooting 47.7% from 3-point range and 46.3% overall.
Kelan Martin - Martin has shown he is going to be in the running for 6th man of the year in the Big East. The talented freshman is scoring 10.6 ppg, grabbing 2.8 rpg, and shooting 47.3% from the field. Not only is he 3rd on the team in scoring, but he does that in just 16.3 minutes per game.
Roosevelt Jones - Jones is going to be key for the Bulldogs in beating the Volunteers. He plays such solid defense and disrupts the best player for the opposition. Jones has been everywhere for Butler this season ranking 2nd in scoring, 2nd in rebounding and 1st in assists.
Josh Richardson - The Volunteers leading scorer at 16 points per game, Richardson is the go-to player for Tennessee. He can do it all, scoring both inside and on the perimeter, while being efficient from the FT line. He is shooting 43.8% from the field including 36% from 3-point range. He is also converting 85% of his trips to the charity stripe.
Armani Moore - Moore is slasher that loves to get to the rim or the free throw line. The junior from Georgia is averaging 11 points per game and a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 45.3% from the field while having attempted just 6 3-pointers on the season. He has gotten to the free throw line 31 times in 6 games, but has converted on just 58.1%.
Detrick Mostella - The freshman guard from Decatur, AL is averaging 7.7 points per game and is the Volunteers 3-point marksman off the bench. He is currently shooting 32% from 3-point range (8/25) and has just 14 other FG attempts on the year. Mostella's only double figure scoring game came against Kansas where he scored 13 points including 4/8 3PT.
Keys to the Game
Controlling the Paint - Butler should actually have the advantage on the inside. The Bulldogs may not be significantly taller than the Volunteers, but the Bulldogs have more experience and skill on the interior. Andrew Chrabascz and Kameron Woods should be able to score on the block as well as the offensive glass.
Bench Scoring - Kelan Martin has led the charge, but it is important for the Bulldogs to get more production from their reserves outside of Martin. Austin Etherington and Tyler Wideman will need to have an impact to take a little pressure off the starting lineup. It will be a hostile environment in Thompson-Boling arena as they welcome a nationally ranked Butler squad.
Free Throws - Like always in close games, Butler's free throw shooting will be underneath the microscope. The Bulldogs are shooting 65.9% from the free throw line this year and have struggled at times. Luckily the poor free throw shooting hasn't come back to bite the Bulldogs at the end of games, but the Bulldogs still need to improve. Tennessee is shooting 63.5% from the charity stripe as a team. If it is close down the stretch this will be important.
9.1 - Butler's average steals per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big East.
2-1 - Butler leads the overall series with Tennessee.
694 - Kameron Woods' total rebounds in his career, 9th all-time at Butler.
54.2 - Butler leads the Big East in opponents points per game and ranks 12th in the country.
20.0 - Butler's scoring margin this year, which leads the Big East.
26.5% - Tennessee's 3-point shooting percentage, ranking 328th in the country.
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