INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - No. 23 Butler (8-2) looks to remain undefeated at the Crossroads Classic when they take on Indiana (8-2) Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs are the only team that has yet to lose in the event and are 9-2 all-time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. InsidetheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect on Saturday.
Time: 2:30PM EST
Venue: Indianapolis, IN (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
Know Your Foe
Record - 8-2 (0-0)
Coach - Tom Crean, 7th Season (299-195 Overall)
Mascot - Hoosiers
Conference - Big Ten Conference
Enrollment - 46,400
Tale of the Tape
Indiana has had an up and down season to say the least. Tom Crean has the Hoosiers at 8-2, but had a disappointing loss to Eastern Washington in late November to go along with an upset of then No.22 SMU in early November. Couple that with a difficult loss to No.4 Louisville and the Hoosiers are on a roller coaster ride. The last time out, Indiana defeated Grand Canyon 94-66. Eleven Hoosiers scored on the night and were led by James Blackmon Jr with 18 points, while Troy Williams added 14 points and 8 rebounds. The freshman guard Blackmon leads the Hoosiers in scoring at 19.2 ppg, while junior Yogi Ferrell adds 15.9 ppg and a team-high 5.4 apg. The Hoosiers are looking for a statement victory against Butler as most of their wins have come against lower level opponents.
Butler is looking to rebound from a disappointing loss at Tennessee last Sunday. The Bulldogs led by as many as 12 in the 2nd half, but a severe drought allowed the Volunteers to respond and seize victory 67-55. Butler was led by junior guard Kellen Dunham who had 16 points, while freshman Kelan Martin scored 13 points and grabbed 3 rebounds. Dunham leads the Bulldogs in scoring on the season at 16.3 ppg while Martin is second at 10.8 ppg. Interim coach Chris Holtmann has done a great job preparing Butler for difficult tests throughout the year and the Bulldogs are 8-2 with wins over North Carolina and Georgetown. Butler (3-0) looks to remain unbeaten in the Crossroads Classic event.
The last time these two met two season ago, Butler shocked No.1 ranked Indiana 88-86 in overtime on an Alex Barlow runner in the lane. Butler was led by senior guard Rotnei Clarke with 19 points (5/11 3PT) and sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones with 16 points (6/10 FG), while Indiana had 18 points from both Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo. It was Butler's first win over a No.1 ranked team (1-4 all-time). Butler is 2-3 against Indiana since 2003-04 and has now won 4 of the past 5 games against the Hoosiers in Indianapolis.
Alex Barlow - Sr. - 5'11" 187 lbs - 7.5 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 spg
Kellen Dunham - Jr. - 6'6" 185 lbs - 16.3 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 45.5% 3PT
Roosevelt Jones - Jr. - 6'4" 227 lbs - 10.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 5.0 apg
Andrew Chrabascz - So. - 6'7" 225 lbs - 8.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg
Kameron Woods - Sr. - 6'9" 200 lbs - 7.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Yogi Ferrell - Jr. - 6'0" 178 lbs - 15.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.4 apg
James Blackmon, Jr. - Fr. - 6'4" 190 lbs - 19.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 45.9% 3PT
Robert Johnson - Fr. - 6'3" 195 lbs - 10.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 40% 3PT
Troy Williams - So. - 6'7" 206 lbs - 12.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 72.4% FT
Hanner Mosquera-Parea - Jr. - 6'9" 225 lbs - 8.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.2 bpg
Player to Watch
Kellen Dunham - Dunham is leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 16.3 points per game while shooting 45% from the field. He is also connecting on 45.5% of 3-point attempts and 87% from the free-throw line. Dunham will need to be able to create his own shot against the Hoosiers in order for Butler to avoid droughts like they had against Tennessee.
Kelan Martin - Martin has been the best reserve for the Bulldogs all season. The freshman from Louisville is averaging 10.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in just 16.1 minutes per game. He will need to continue to be aggressive offensively to give the Bulldogs another option to complement Dunham. Look for Butler to use Martin extensively off the bench.
Roosevelt Jones - Jones had a difficult game against the Volunteers. He scored just 6 points against Tennessee on 2/9 shooting and had 4 turnovers. On the season Jones is averaging 10.6 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in 32.3 minutes per game. Jones needs to be a contributor for Butler to be at its best and when he gets to the basket off the dribble, it allows other to be open on the perimeter or on the offensive glass. He will also be responsible for guarding Blackmon defensively, which will be a tough task, but something Jones relishes.
James Blackmon Jr. - The talented freshman from Indianapolis is leading the Hoosiers in scoring at 19.2 points per game. He is shooting 49.6% from the field including 45.9% from 3-point range. He launches just over six 3-point attempts per game. He is also shooting 87.8% from the charity stripe. Blackmon has done well on the glass as well grabbing 5.1 rebounds per game. He is the best scorer for the Hoosiers and will need a big game against the Bulldogs.
Yogi Ferrell - The junior guard is the facilitator for the Hoosiers. He leads the team with 5.4 assists per game and has a 2.45:1 assist to turnover ratio. He is scoring 15.9 points per game while shooting 43.9% from the field and 42.5% from 3-point range. Despite being just 6-foot, Ferrell also crashes the glass for 3.7 rebounds per game. Ferrell will be matched up against Alex Barlow for the majority of the game and may not have much space to operate.
Troy Williams - The Hoosiers best scorer on the interior, Williams is averaging 12.1 points per game while shooting 57.6% from the field. He will not threaten you from the outside as he has attempted just one 3-pointer all season. He grabs 5.1 rebounds per game as well. The 6-foot-7 sophomore is Tom Crean's most used interior player at 23.9 minutes per game.
Keys to the Game
Contesting Shots - Indiana is shooting 50.8% from the field on the season, which ranks 9th nationally. The Bulldogs will need to close out on shooters including Ferrell and Blackmon, while also denying penetration. Indiana likes to shoot from anywhere on the floor and the Bulldogs can't afford to allow the Hoosiers to have open shots. Also watch for Nick Zeisloft off the bench for the Hoosiers. He is 22/49 (44.9%) from 3-point range this season.
Feeding Off the Crowd - Butler needs to feed off the support from the Bulldog-faithful as well as the other fans supporting the Indianapolis school. While Indiana will probably have the advantage in the number of fans in attendance, Butler will most likely be the fan favorites. Due to the fact that Purdue and Notre Dame will also have fans there, the Bulldogs will most likely be their choice to take down the Big Ten school.
Free Throws - This is an area that we continue to point out game after game. The Bulldogs shoot 65.6% from the free throw line on the season, while Indiana shoots 72.8%. The Hoosiers have a slight advantage due to their main ball-handlers being their best free throw shooters (Blackmon, Ferrell). Butler will need to have a good day from the charity stripe, or have more opportunities from the line, to gain an advantage and close out the game down the stretch.
24 - Kameron Woods' double figure rebounding games in his career.
9.1 - Kameron Woods' average rebounding this season, ranking 3rd in the Big East.
55.5 - Butler's points allowed this season, ranking 13th nationally.
87.5 - Indiana's average points per game, ranking 4th nationally.
42.1% - Indiana's 3-point shooting percentage, ranking 7th nationally.
72.8% - Indiana's FT shooting percentage, ranking 58th nationally.
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