INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Butler (17-6, 7-3) hosts Big East-surprise DePaul (12-12, 6-5) at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon. Both teams finished near the bottom of the standings in the new Big East's inaugural season, however both have responded by winning more games this season already than they did last season. InsidetheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.
TV: FOX Sports Net
Time: 3:30PM EST
Venue:Indianapolis, IN (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Know Your Foe
Record - 12-12 (6-5)
RPI - 127
Coach - Oliver Purnell, 5th Season (448-370 Overall)
Mascot - Blue Demons
Conference - Big East
Enrollment - 24,500
Tale of the Tape
The Blue Demons have been one of the biggest surprises in the Big East this season. DePaul finished 12-21 last season and have already won 12 games this season and sit at 6-5 in the conference. They defeated Seton Hall in their last game 75-62, which snapped a 3-game losing streak. The Blue Demons were led by senior Jamee Crockett who scored 21 points on 9/17 shooting, while sophomore Billy Garrett Jr. added 20 points including 2/5 3PT. Garrett leads DePaul in scoring and assists on the year at 13.5 points and 3.9 assists per game, while junior Myke Henry adds 12.8 points and a team-best 5.5 rebounds per game. Oliver Purnell has done one of the best coaching jobs in the conference this season. DePaul has won 6 games this season in conference after winning just 3 last year.
The Bulldogs continued their hot streak their last time out against St. John's as they defeated the Red Storm 85-62. Butler had 9 players score including 4 in double figures led by junior Kellen Dunham with 21 points and senior Alex Barlow with 15. Dunham continues to lead the Bulldogs in scoring on the season at 16.3 points per game, while junior Roosevelt Jones adds 12.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and a team-high 3.8 assists per game. Coach Holtmann has the Bulldogs playing at their best and with a win over DePaul would set a new season high for wins in a row at 5. Butler currently sits at #17 in the RPI and a half-game back of 1st place Villanova in the Big East.
Alex Barlow - Sr. - 5'11" 187 lbs - 8.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.2 spg
Kellen Dunham - Jr. - 6'6" 185 lbs - 16.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 41.8% 3PT
Roosevelt Jones - Jr. - 6'4" 227 lbs - 12.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.8 apg
Andrew Chrabascz - So. - 6'7" 225 lbs - 11.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.5 apg
Kameron Woods - Sr. - 6'9" 200 lbs - 7.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Billy Garrett, Jr. - So. - 6'6" 205 lbs - 13.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.9 apg
Durrell McDonald - Jr. - 6'2" 173 lbs - 4.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.1 apg
Jamee Crockett - Sr. - 6'4" 202 lbs - 11.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.3 apg
Myke Henry - Jr. - 6'6" 226 lbs - 12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.1 apg
Rashaun Stimage - Jr. - 6'8" 217 lbs - 3.6 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Player to Watch
Andrew Chrabascz - The sophomore forward has arguably been Butler's best player of the course of the past month. The big man uses quality footwork and hustle to get things done both offensively and defensively. He is averaging 18.25 points per game over his past 4 games, including 30 against Marquette in an overtime win. Chrabascz might have similar success against DePaul as he faces another undersized power forward in Myke Henry.
Roosevelt Jones - Jones rebounded from a tough game against Marquette (2 points) with a better game against St. John's (13 points). He did struggle with his decision making and taking care of the ball against the Red Storm (6 turnovers), which needs to improve. He is still Butler's best option at driving to the basket and finishing through contact. Jones will be extremely important defensively as well, as he will match up with Billy Garrett Jr.
Billy Garrett, Jr. - The former 4-star guard dominated Butler last season, averaging 17 points per game in two meetings, including 22 points in DePaul's double overtime win at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The 6-foot-6 guard uses his length and vision to not only lead the Blue Demons in scoring (13.5), but also in assists (3.9). He does an impressive job getting to the line an average of 6.4 times per game and converts on 84.4% of those attempts.
Keys to the Game
Offensive Rebounding - Butler has been dominant this season on the offensive glass and leads the Big East at 12.8 offensive rebounds per game. DePaul on the other hand is worst in the league in offensive rebounding at 9.3 rebounds per game. The Blue Demons are also giving up an average of 11.75 offensive rebounds per game. Look for Butler to control the glass and dominate the second chance points.
Garrett vs Jones - The length and playmaking ability for both players will be on display on Saturday afternoon in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The 6-foot-6 Garrett is DePaul's leading scorer, best playmaker, and catalyst for their offense. Jones is Butler second leading scorer, best defender, and leader in assists per game. These two may match up against each other all game long and look for Jones to use his size and strength to take advantage of Garrett on both ends. If one gets into foul trouble, the matchup may swing in their favor.
Inside The Numbers
11.75 - DePaul's average offensive rebounds relinquished to their opponents this season.
89 - Consecutive games that Roosevelt Jones will start for Butler.
28.1 - Butler's 3-point field goal percentage defense, which ranks 8th nationally.
5 - Number of different players that have led Butler in scoring this season.
73.8 - DePaul's free throw shooting percentage this season.
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