March 20, 2012

Bulldogs Host Pitt In CBI Semifinals

Butler vs. Pittsburgh
College Basketball Invitational
presented by Zebra Pen
Wednesday, March 21, 8 p.m. (ET)
Hinkle Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, Ind.

Game Notes
CBI Bracket
Live Stats
Audio

TOURNAMENT REMATCH:  One year ago, Butler faced Pittsburgh in the third round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship with a spot in the “Sweet 16” on the line.  On Wednesday, March 21, the Bulldogs will play Pittsburgh at Hinkle Fieldhouse for a berth in the championship series of the 2012 College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen.  The two familiar foes will square off in an 8 p.m. (ET) contest that will be televised on HDNet.  Butler (22-14) advanced to the semifinals of the CBI with a 63-53 victory at Penn on Monday (March 19).  Pittsburgh (19-16) earned its berth in the tournament semifinals with an 82-61 victory at home over Princeton.  The other CBI semifinal game will match Oregon State against Washington State in Corvallis, Oregon.  The winners of the two CBI semifinals on Wednesday will meet in a best-of-three championship series, which begins on Monday, March 26.  The Bulldogs defeated Pitt, 71-70, in a memorable NCAA Tournament game last year at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.  Butler’s Matt Howard settled the outcome of that contest with a free throw after the game saw one tie and two lead changes in the final two seconds!  The Bulldogs went on to reach the championship game of the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year.                                          

Butler has two postseason tournament wins for the third straight year.                    

EXTENDED PLAY:  The Bulldogs have advanced to postseason tournament play for the 14th time in 16 years.  Butler earned bids to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and to the National Invitational Tournament in 1999, 2002 and 2006.  Butler’s record in postseason tournament play since 1997 is 22-13 (16-10 in the NCAA ; 4-3 in the NIT; 2-0 in the CBI).

TWENTY PLUS:  Butler’s victory over Milwaukee in the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship gave the Bulldogs 20 wins for the seventh consecutive season and for the 14th time in the past 16 campaigns.  The seven straight 20-win campaigns matches the Horizon League record for most consecutive 20-win seasons, set by Butler from 1996 to 2003.  The Bulldogs are the only team in Horizon League history to record five or more consecutive 20-win seasons and they’ve done it twice (1996-2003 and 2006-2012).    
HOME WORK:  The Bulldogs stretched their streak of consecutive years with at least 10 homecourt wins to 17 in a row with their victory over Indiana State in Sears BracketBuster X.  Butler has added three home wins since then and enters the game against Pittsburgh with a 13-5 record in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.  Since Brad Stevens took over as head coach, Butler is 69-10 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Butler is 165-24 at Hinkle Fieldhouse since the start of the 1999-2000 season.

QUARTERFINAL ROUND:  Butler overcame a slow start with 52% shooting in the second half and pulled away to a 10-point victory at Penn in the quarterfinals of the CBI.  The Bulldogs shot just 27% in the first 20 minutes but managed to take a 20-17 halftime lead behind a strong defensive effort.  Both teams picked up the shooting pace in the second half, but the Bulldogs maintained the upper hand, thanks in part to 19 of 24 (79.2) marksmanship from the free throw line.  Butler took the lead for good at 33-31 with 12:38 remaining.  The Bulldogs scored 13 of their final 15 points at the free throw line.       

REPEAT PERFORMANCE:  Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins, who led the Bulldogs in scoring against Valparaiso in their final Horizon League Tournament game and against Delaware in the opening round of the CBI, topped Butler in scoring for the third consecutive contest with 15 points against Penn in the CBI quarterfinals.  It’s the first time this season that a player has led Butler in scoring in three consecutive games.  Over the past 15 contests, Hopkins  has led Butler in scoring six times, Andrew Smith and Roosevelt Jones have led the team four times each, and Khyle Marshall has topped the Bulldogs twice.

Butler has had nine different players lead the team in scoring in a game this year.

BOARD APPROVED:  Butler, the top rebounding team in the Horizon League, has out-boarded its first two CBI foes, 81-53.  The Bulldogs compiled a 44-28 rebounding advantage at Penn, and Butler’s 18 offensive rebounds led to an 18-6 advantage in second chance points.  Butler has out-rebounded 22 opponents on the season, including 10 of the past 13.

HELPING HAND:  Senior Ronald Nored, who has averaged 6.6 assists over the Bulldogs’ last 12 games, added to his Butler single season assist record with a game-high six assists against Penn. That effort boosted his season total to a school-record 189 assists.  He previously passed Mike Green, who set the former record of 172 assists in 2007-08.  Nored also boosted his career total for assists to 493.  He stands second on Butler’s all-time assist chart, trailing only Thomas Jackson who had 540 assists from 1998-2002.  Earlier this season, Nored became just the second player in Butler basketball history (Thomas Jackson is the other) to record 400 career points, 400 career rebounds and 400 career assists.

TOURNAMENT LEADER:  Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins, who led the Bulldogs in scoring during the Horizon League Tournament, continued his tournament surge in the quarterfinals of the CBI.  Hopkins averaged 11.7 points in the Bulldogs’ three league tournament games, notching double-figures in two of the three contests, and he’s now averaging 13.8 points in five tournament games since the end of the regular season.  He finished the regular season slate with seven double-figures scoring performances in Butler’s final 11 games.  The 6-1 guard has averaged 11.1 points in 23 games as a starter for the Bulldogs this season.

DOUBLE TIME:  Sophomore  Khyle Marshall (right) posted his fourth career double-double with 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds at Penn.  It was his second double-double in Butler’s last four games.  Marshall is one of four Butler players to record a double-double this season.  Forward Roosevelt Jones, who posted double-figures totals for both points and rebounds in two of the Bulldogs’ final three regular season games, set a Butler record this season for most double-doubles by a freshman with four.  Junior Andrew Smith and freshman Kameron Woods each have recorded three double-doubles.

SENIOR MOMENTS:  Butler seniors Ronald Nored and Garrett Butcher rank third on the Bulldogs’ all-time list for senior class wins with a 109-34 record during their four seasons.  The two have helped Butler to three Horizon League regular season championships, two league tournament titles and four consecutive trips to postseason tournament play, including back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship national title game.  They’ve helped Butler to an 12-3 postseason record during their four seasons

SMART PICK:  Senior Ronald Nored, who’s combined success on the basketball court with excellence in the classroom, was named second team on the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Team.  The honor student majoring in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood Education is the sixth Butler player to earn Academic All-America recognition and the fifth since 2007.  Butler has had one or more players named to the Academic All-America Team in each of the past six seasons, including three-time Academic All-American and 2011 Academic All-American of the Year Matt Howard.

ALL-LEAGUE:  Senior Ronald Nored and freshman Roosevelt Jones were recognized on the 2011-12 Horizon League Men’s Basketball All-League Team, announced prior to the league tournament.  Nored was named second team All-League, while Jones was chosen the league’s All-Newcomer Team.  Butler has had a player named first or second team All-League for 14 consecutive years.

FIRST DEFENSE:  Butler’s Ronald Nored was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career.  Nored, who was named league Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009-10, was selected to the league’s All-Defensive Team for the third consecutive year.

LEAD ROLE:  Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs to five 20-win seasons, matching former coach (and current Athletic Director) Barry Collier for the most 20-campaigns by a Butler coach.  Todd Lickliter, Stevens’ former boss, led Butler to four 20-win seasons, Harlan O. “Pat” Page had two 20-win campaigns and Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle and Thad Matta each led Butler to one 20-win season.

QUICK START:  Butler head coach Brad Stevens has moved into the top spot on the NCAA Division I list for Best Career Coaching Starts By Wins, 5 Seasons.  The Bulldogs’ coach, who boasts a 139-39 record, moved ahead of former five-year leader, Everett Case of North Carolina State (1947-51).  Stevens holds the NCAA three-year (89) and four-year (117) records, and he’s second on the two-year (56) list.

TOURNAMENT NOTES:

•Butler is making its first appearance in the College Basketball Invitational, but the Bulldogs are playing in the postseason for the seventh consecutive year and for the 21st time overall.

•With the invitation to the CBI this season, the Bulldogs have tied the Butler record for most consecutive postseason tournament appearances.  Butler also appeared in postseason tournaments for seven straight years from 1997 to 2003.

•Butler is 29-19 overall in postseason tournament games.  The Bulldogs are 18-11 in NCAA Tournament play, 5-8 in NIT postseason action and 2-0 in the CBI.  Butler was 4-0 and captured the national championship at the 1924 AAU National Tournament.

•The Bulldogs have won 12 of their last 14 postseason tournament games, with both losses coming in the national championship game.

•Butler has hosted four previous postseason tournament games, including one in the opening round of this year’s CBI.  The Bulldogs have home NIT wins over Old Dominion (1999), Bowling Green (2002) and Miami, Ohio (2006), and Butler beat Delaware, 75-58, at home in the first round of this year’s CBI.

•Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs to postseason play in each of his five seasons as a head coach.  He also participated in postseason action as Butler’s Director of Basketball Operations in 2001 and as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs in 2003, 2006 and 2007.  Butler is 13-4 in postseason play under Stevens as a head coach and 20-9 with Stevens as a member of the Bulldogs’ staff.

•Senior Ronald Nored has played in 15 postseason tournament games.  He shares the Butler record for most postseason tournament games with former teammates Matt Howard, Shawn Vanzant and Zach Hahn ( all 2007-11).

BULLDOG BITS:

•The Bulldogs are tied for 12th place on Butler’s all-time list for single season victories with 22.  A 23rd win would move this year’s team into a tie for 10th place on the all-time list.
 
•Ronald Nored has moved ahead of former teammate  Matt Howard (2007-11) and into first place on Butler’s all-time list for games played (142).

•Ronald Nored, who scored 12 points in each of Butler’s first two CBI games this year, has boosted his career postseason scoring total to 80 points and moved into eighth place on Butler’s all-time postseason scoring list.  

•Ronald Nored stands second on Butler’s all-time list for steals (205), two behind career-leader Thomas Jackson (207 from 1998-2002).

•Ronald Nored ranks second in the Horizon League in assists (5.2) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.9).  Nored has 60 assists (6.7) in Butler’s last nine games.

•Ronald Nored has posted career-highs for points (18), rebounds (11) and assists (10) since mid-December.

•Junior Andrew Smith has shot .593 from the field, .464 from beyond the three-point arc and averaged 12.5 points in Butler’s 22 wins this season.

•Andrew Smith ranks seventh in the Horizon League in field goal shooting (.525).

•Andrew Smith had Butler’s top single game output this season with 25 points against Wright State in the league tournament.

•Sophomore Khyle Marshall continues to lead the Bulldogs in field goal shooting (.548).  He’s third in the Horizon League.

•Khyle Marshall has averaged 10.4 points in 10 games since returning from a concussion that sidelined him for two games.

•Freshman Roosevelt Jones posted his first postseason double-figures scoring performance with 12 points at Penn.  Jones was scoreless against Delaware.

•Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks eighth in the Horizon League in rebounding (6.0).

•Roosevelt Jones ranks third in the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.6).

•Butler’s Brad Stevens (assistant coach) and Pitt guard Ashton Gibbs were members of the USA team at last summer’s World University Games in China.

•Butler played 19 regular season games this year against teams that advanced to postseason play.

•Butler’s loss at Valparaiso in the Horizon League Tournament snapped the Bulldogs’ 13-game March winning streak.  The Bulldogs had not lost in March since a 2009 setback to LSU in the NCAA Tournament.  Butler is 19-4 in March under head coach Brad Stevens.