INDIANAPOLIS (IN) - In what could be considered the biggest game in the history of Hinkle Fieldhosue, #18 Butler (18-6, 8-3) hosts #6 Villanova (22-2, 9-2) as the two teams meet at Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday night. The Bulldogs are just a game back from the Wildcats in the Big East standings. InsidetheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.
Time: 6:00PM EST
Venue: Indianapolis, IN (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Know Your Foe
Record - 22-2 (9-2)
RPI - 4
Coach - Jay Wright, 14th Season (430-236 Overall)
Mascot - Wildcats
Conference - Big East
Enrollment - 10,400
Tale of the Tape
Despite a 22-2 record, Villanova has flown under the radar nationally as one of the top 5 teams. The Wildcats don't have the cache or star power of a Kentucky, Duke, or Wisconsin, but have the team and results. Villanova has won 5 in a row including a 74-68 win over Providence on Wednesday night. The wildcats were led by junior Ryan Arciadiacono who scored 20 points (4/7 FG) while grabbing 2 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Junior Daniel Ochefu added 19 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. Senior Darrun Hilliard II leads Villanova in scoring on the season at 13.4 points per game, while Arcidiacono adds 10.4 points per game and a team-best 3.7 assists per game. Jay Wright has led the Wildcats to a 9-2 start in the Big East and currently sit in 1st place, a game ahead of Butler.
Butler extended its winning streak to a season-long 5 games, as the Bulldogs defeated DePaul 83-73. Butler was led by junior Kellen Dunham with 24 points (6/12 FG), while junior forward Roosevelt Jones added 20 points (7/11 FG) and sophomore Andrew Chrabascz added 16 (6/8 FG). Dunham continues to lead Butler in scoring at 16.7 points per game, while Jones adds 13 points, 5.5 rebounds, and a team-high 3.7 assists per game. Chris Holtmann has taken the reigns of the team this season and done an excellent job. En route to being a candidate for Big East Coach of the Year, Holtmann has led Butler to an 18-6 starting including 8-3 in the Big East. The Bulldogs were picked to finish 9th in the pre-season standings, but currently sit in 2nd. Butler has an RPI of 18.
The 1st meeting was the Big East opener for both teams. During the New Year's Eve meeting, Villanova was able to secure a 67-55 victory over the Bulldogs at The Pavilion. Villanova led just 36-32 at the break, but were able to put the Bulldogs away down the stretch. The Bulldogs could never get over the hump and truly threaten the Wildcats. Villanova was led by Arcidiacono with a game-high 15 points, while Butler was led by sophomore Andrew Chrabascz and senior Alex Barlow, who each scored 12 points.
Alex Barlow - Sr. - 5'11" 187 lbs - 8.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.3 spg
Kellen Dunham - Jr. - 6'6" 185 lbs - 16.7 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 42.0% 3PT
Roosevelt Jones - Jr. - 6'4" 227 lbs - 13.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.7 apg
Andrew Chrabascz - So. - 6'7" 225 lbs - 11.2 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 1.5 apg
Kameron Woods - Sr. - 6'9" 200 lbs - 7.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.0 bpg
Ryan Arcidiacono - Jr. - 6'3" 195 lbs - 10.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
Josh Hart - So. - 6'5" 205 lbs - 10 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.4 apg
Dylan Ennis - Jr. - 6'2" 192 lbs - 9.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.3 apg
Darrun Hilliard II - Sr. - 6'6" 215 lbs - 13.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.0 apg
Jayvaughn Pinkston - Sr. - 6'7" 235 lbs - 9.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg
Player to Watch
Andrew Chrabascz - The sophomore forward has played extremely well over the course of the past few weeks. The 6-foot-7 forward is now averaging 11.2 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. His motor and quality footwork in the post have allowed him to become a factor on the interior for the Bulldogs. He scored 12 points in the 1st meeting against the Wildcats.
Roosevelt Jones - The do-it-all forward has had a great season for the Bulldogs. He sits second in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (5.5), while leading Butler in assists (3.7). Jones struggled in the first meeting against Villanova, scoring just 8 points on 4/15 FG.
Ryan Arcidiacono - The junior guard is the catalyst for the Wildcats offense. Arcidiacono is second on the team in scoring (10.4) and lead the team in assists (3.7). He scored a game-high 15 points (4/9 FG) in the first meeting with the Bulldogs in Philadelphia.
Daniel Ochefu - Ochefu is Villanova's biggest player at 6-foot-11 and their best rebounder. He leads the team in rebounds (8.4) and is also a factor on the defensive end, blocking 1.3 shot per game. In the first meeting with Butler, the junior forward had 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
Keys to the Game
Rebounding - Butler leads the Big East in rebounding rate at 54.2%. They are second in offensive rebounding in the conference at 12.6 rebounds per game. The Bulldogs have taken advantage of second chance points throughout the season and will once again need a quality effort on the glass. They had 17 offensive rebounds in the first meeting with Villanova , which kept the Bulldogs in the game during the 2nd half.
Star Power - Butler's best players weren't factors against Villanova in the first meeting this season. Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones combined for 18 points on 8/25 FG and had 4 turnovers. Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono and Darrun Hilliard II had 23 points on 6/14 FG with just 1 turnover. The Bulldogs will need a better performance from their top two scorers, while containing Hilliard, Hart, and the catalyst Arcidiacono.
Home Court Advantage - This is one of the biggest games in the history of Hinkle Fieldhouse and the energy in the historic arena should be palpable. Butler is 12-1 at home this season at Hinkle Fieldhouse, which is tied for the 2nd best mark in the Big East (Villanova is 13-0). Butler will have an opportunity to feed off of the crowd and get an extra boost.
Inside The Numbers
4-2 - Butler's record against Top 25 teams this season.
0-4 - Butler's all-time record against Villanova.
23.7 - Butler's average free throw attempts per game, which leads the Big East.
12.6 - Butler's average offensive rebonds per game, which ranks 2nd in the Big East.
46.4 - Villanova's field goal percentage this season, which ranks 2nd in the Big East.
17.1 - Villanova's average assists per game, which leads the Big East and ranks 9th nationally.
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