Butler Hosts Indiana State In Sears BracketBuster X
STATE MEET: Butler will step out of Horizon League play and face its longest-standing opponent when it hosts Indiana State in Sears BracketBuster X on Saturday, Feb. 18. The non-league contest between the two Indiana foes is scheduled for 2 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse and will be televised on WNDY-TV. Butler and Indiana State began playing each other at the turn of the 20th century and have met on a basketball court 123 times. The two schools, who first faced each other in 1903-04, were conference foes for 16 seasons (1952-68) in the former Indiana Collegiate Conference and have met as non-league opponents more than 50 times since. Saturday's game will be the first time Butler and Indiana State have met in the BracketBuster, a television-inspired, late season showcase for mid-major teams. Butler is coming off a 63-57 Horizon League victory over Loyola on Valentine's Day. That win, Butler's third straight, lifted the Bulldogs to 16-12 overall and 10-6 in league action. The Bulldogs are currently tied with Detroit for third place in the league standings, two games behind league-leading Valparaiso. Indiana State improved to 16-11 with an overtime victory at home over Illinois State in its last game. Butler will return to league play at home on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with a 7 p.m. (ET) game against UIC.
Butler head coach Brad Stevens earned his first career home win against Indiana State.
HOUSE WORK: The Bulldogs are seeking to continue a streak of 16 consecutive years with at least 10 homecourt victories. Butler is 9-5 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season with wins in five of it's last seven home games. Since Brad Stevens took over as head coach, Butler is 65-10 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, and 39-5 in Horizon League regular season home games.
Butler is 161-24 at Hinkle Fieldhouse since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
LEAGUE RECOGNITION: Forward Roosevelt Jones was honored as the Horizon League Men's Basketball Player of the Week for his performance in helping Butler to a two-game road sweep of Youngstown State and Cleveland State. Jones had 11 points and nine rebounds in Butler's victory at Youngstown State, and then he scored a career-high 17 points while helping the Bulldogs to a win at Cleveland State. He the first freshman this season to earn Horizon League Player of the Week honors.
GOOD START: Butler began its current three-game, homestand with a wire-to-wire victory over Loyola, but the outcome wasn't decided until the closing minutes. The Bulldogs jumped to a 13-point advantage in the first half, but needed several key plays down the stretch to hold off Loyola's comeback attempts. Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins nailed a clutch three-point field goal as the shot clock was winding down and just over two minutes remained in the game to give Butler a 54-49 lead, and Loyola never got closer in the final two minutes. The Bulldogs sealed the win by hitting seven of 10 free throws in the final minute of the contest. The victory gave Butler 10 conference wins for a league-record seventh straight year.
LEAD POSITION: Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins (left) led Butler in both scoring and rebounding in the Bulldogs' victory over Loyola. The 6-1 guard finished with 13 points and six rebounds in the game, and he added three assists and a steal in 31 minutes of action. It was the second time in three games that Hopkins topped the Bulldogs in scoring and the seventh time he's led the Bulldogs this season. He topped Butler in rebounding for just the second time.
BALANCE SHEET: Chrishawn Hopkins was one of four Butler players to score in double-figures against Loyola. Junior Andrew Smith and sophomore Khyle Marshall each posted 12 points against the Ramblers, while sophomore Erik Fromm added 10. It was the fifth time this season that the Bulldogs have had four players hit for double-figures in a game.
SCORING HELP: Senior Ronald Nored recorded a career-high nine assists for the third time in Butler's last eight games to pace the Bulldogs against Loyola. He had all but five of Butler's assists in the game, and he finished just one assist shy of the entire Loyola team total. The 6-0 point-guard has averaged nearly six assists per game over Butler's last 10 contests. This season, Nored became just the second player in Butler basketball history (5-9 point-guard Thomas Jackson, 1998-2002, is the other) to record 400 career points, 400 career rebounds and 400 career assists.
Ronald Nored has had career-highs for points (18), rebounds (11) and assists (9) in Butler's last 16 games.
BOARDING HOUSE: Butler leads the Horizon League in team rebounding margin (+3.0) and in defensive rebounding percentage (.717), and the Bulldogs are tied for the league lead in rebounding offense (35.5). The Bulldogs, who out-rebounded Loyola, 27-23, have had a rebounding advantage in four of the past five games with one contest ending in a rebounding tie. Butler is 12-4 this season when out-rebounding its opponent.
CENTURY CLUB: Ronald Nored and Garrett Butcher became just the fourth senior class in Butler basketball history to record 100 career victories. The two have helped Butler to a 103-32 record during their four seasons in the program. Willie Veasley and Nick Rodgers (2006-10) are Butler's all-time winningest class with 118 victories, while Matt Howard, Zach Hahn, Shawn Vanzant, Grant Leiendecker and Alex Anglin (2007-11) finished with 117. Darnell Archey, Joel Cornette, Lewis Curry and Mike Moore (1999-2003) finished with 100 wins.
TEAM TRIBUTE: Butler will honor the 1961-62 men's basketball team at Saturday's game against Indiana State. The team is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Butler's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Led by first team All-Conference players Jeff Blue, Tom Bowman and Gerry Williams, the 1961-62 Bulldogs finished with a 22-6 record and a berth in the NCAA "Sweet 16." Butler defeated Bowling Green in the opening round of the tournament, before losing to #3 Kentucky. The Bulldogs beat Western Kentucky in the Mideast Regional third place game.
BRACKETBUSTER: Butler is participating in the BracketBuster for the eighth time in the nine-year history of the event. The Bulldogs were not in last year's BracketBuster because of a scheduling conflict. Butler is 4-3 all-time in BracketBuster games, including wins in its last two contests.
Butler is 3-2 in BracketBuster games at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
•Butler needs one victory to clinch its seventh consecutive winning season. The Bulldogs have had a winning record in 17 of the past 18 seasons, and Butler has won at least 20 games in 13 of the past 15 campaigns.
•Butler's .525 (21-40) field goal percentage against Loyola was the Bulldogs' second-best effort this season. Butler shot a season-best .565 at Wright State earlier this year.
•Senior Ronald Nored stands second on Butler's all-time list for steals (195), 12 behind career-leader Thomas Jackson (207 from 1998-2002).
•Ronald Nored ranks third in the Horizon League in steals (1.9).
•Ronald Nored ranks second in the Horizon League in assists (4.9) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.8). Nored is averaging 6.4 assists over Butler's last five games.
•Ronald Nored has averaged 6.2 rebounds in Butler's last five games. He's second on the team to freshman Roosevelt Jones (8.4) in rebounding over the past five contests.
•Junior Andrew Smith has shot .597 from the field, .476 from beyond the three-point arc and averaged 12.4 points in Butler's 16 wins this season.
•Andrew Smith is averaging a team-best 11.8 points at home this season. He's shooting .545 from the field and .725 from the free throw line in Hinkle Fieldhouse.
•Sophomore Khyle Marshall continues to lead the Bulldogs in field goal shooting (.555). He's fourth in the Horizon League.
•Khyle Marshall has had back-to-back games with 12 points off the bench since returning from a concussion that sidelined him for two games. Marshall was injured in a practice collision with teammate Ronald Nored prior to Butler's home game against Detroit.
•Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins has averaged 11.2 points in the five games since returning to Butler's starting lineup against Wright State.
•Freshman Roosevelt Jones has scored in double-figures in four of Butler's last six games. He's averaged 11.7 points over that stretch.
•Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks seventh in the Horizon League in rebounding (6.1).
•Roosevelt Jones ranks third in the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.6). He's had 16 offensive rebounds in Butler's last five games.
•Roosevelt Jones matched his career-high with three steals against Loyola.
•Butler head coach Brad Stevens moved into a tie with former Loyola coach Gene Sullivan (1980-89) for sixth place on the Horizon League's all-time list for league victories. Both coaches have 72 Horizon League victories.