Butler Visits Xavier For ESPN Tip-Off Marathon
MARATHON GAME: Butler will play a rare midweek afternoon game when it visits Xavier on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The 4 p.m. (ET) contest at the Cintas Center is one of 11 games that comprise the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon, 24 hours of basketball to tip-off the 2012-13 college season. The start time won't be the only thing rare about the contest. Butler and Xavier, two Atlantic 10 Conference teams, will be meeting in a non-conference game! The two long-time foes had scheduled the game prior to Butler joining the A-10 last summer, and both agreed to move forward with the non-conference contest. The first Atlantic 10 Conference meeting between the two teams will take place at Butler on March 9. Both teams started the 2012-13 campaign with a win. Xavier won its home-opener in a big way, defeating Fairleigh Dickinson, 117-75. The 117 points set a Cintas Center record for the Musketeers. Butler captured its home-opener against Elon, 74-59. That contest was the Opening Game of the 2012 EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Bulldogs will be departing for Maui on Friday.
Butler is 1-1 in the Cintas Center.
BASKETBALL BONANZA: The Butler-Xavier contest will be the ninth of 11 consecutive games that comprise the 2012 ESPN Tip-Off Marathon. West Virginia visits Gonzaga to begin the 24 consecutive hours of basketball at midnight (ET) and games will continue every two hours until Duke and Kentucky meet in the final game of the Marathon at approximately 9:30 p.m. (ET) in the Champions Classic. ESPN will televise all 11 games.
Butler is participating the ESPN Tip-Off Marathon for the first time.
TOURNAMENT START: Butler successfully passed its first test in the 2012 EA Sports Maui Invitational with a victory at home against Elon. The Bulldogs scored the first seven points in the contest, one of seven Opening Games in the tournament, and led by double-figures with just over six minutes gone. The margin grew to 17 points by halftime, but the visiting Phoenix opened the second half with a 17-4 run that cut Butler's lead to 47-43. The Bulldogs responded with back-to-back three-point field goals from senior Rotnei Clarke and freshman Kellen Dunham in a span of 17 seconds to regain control. Butler's lead remained at double-figures over the final 11:44 of the game, and the Bulldogs captured their home-opener for the 14th consecutive year.
RETURN ENGAGEMENT: Senior Rotnei Clarke, playing his first regular season game since March 10, 2011, made the most of his return to the hardcourt. The 6-0 guard, who transferred to Butler from Arkansas, scored Butler's first 12 points against Elon and led the Bulldogs to an early 12-3 lead. He hit a jump shot, a three-point field goal and a lay-up before the visiting Phoenix scored, and then he continued with another jumper and another three-pointer before going to the bench with a pair of fouls six minutes into the game. Clarke added nine more points in the second half, finishing with a game-high 21 points in just 22 minutes. He hit eight of 16 shots, including five of 10 from beyond the three-point arc, in the Butler opener.
Rotnei Clark made his first four shots as a Butler player.
ON TARGET: Junior forward Khyle Marshall picked up where he left off a year ago by hitting seven of 11 shots and scoring 14 points in Butler's season-opener against Elon. Last season, Marshall led the Bulldogs in field goal shooting (.553), and he averaged 11.5 points over the team's final 11 games. He scored in double-figures in seven of Butler's final 11 contests, including the final two. Marshall finished his sophomore season as Butler's second-leading scorer.
STELLAR DEBUT: Freshman Kellen Dunham had an impressive start to his Butler career, finishing as the team's second-leading scorer in the Bulldogs' season-opener against Elon. The 6-6 guard came off the bench and scored 18 points, while adding three assists and a steal in 29 minutes of action. He had 10 points in the first half. The 18 points are the most scored by a Butler freshman in his first game, topping the previous mark of 16 points set by Jermaine Guice against Western Illinois in November of 1990.
IMPACT PERFORMANCE: Sophomore Roosevelt Jones only scored six points in Butler's season-opener, but that didn't diminish his contribution to the victory. Jones led all players with nine rebounds, while helping the Bulldogs to a commanding 39-20 rebounding advantage. He also led all players with a career-high six assists, and he recorded one of Butler's six steals in the game. The 6-4 forward also sparked Butler's defensive effort, which held the high-scoring Phoenix under 60 points.
Roosevelt Jones led Butler in rebounding in 14 games a year ago.
HOT START: The Bulldogs shot a sizzling 61.5% in the first half against Elon, connecting on 16 of their first 26 shots in the game. Sophomore Kameron Woods hit all three shots that he attempted in the first half, while senior Rotnei Clarke was successful on five of six attempts. Five different Butler players shot 50% or better from the field in the first 20 minutes against Elon. The Bulldogs cooled in the second half, but still shot 50% for the game.
LEAD POSITION: Butler head coach Brad Stevens is beginning his sixth season, and he's won more games in his first five seasons than any other coach in NCAA history! His 139-40 career record is No. 1 on the NCAA Division I list for Best Coaching Starts By Wins, 5 Seasons, topping the previous mark of 137-29, set by Everett Case of North Carolina State, 1947-51. Stevens also holds the Division I three-year (89) and four-year (117) records for wins.
•Senior Andrew Smith is the only current college basketball player who has played in two Division I national championship games.
•Andrew Smith is one of 30 candidates nominated for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award. The award is presented to one NCAA Division I senior who has shown notable achievement in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. Former Butler players Matt Howard (2010-11) and Ronald Nored (2011-12), each were selected as one of ten finalists for the award.
•Andrew Smith entered the 2012-13 campaign in sixth place on Butler's all-time list for field goal shooting. Smith has shot .546 from the field in his first three seasons with the Bulldogs.
•Andrew Smith only played nine minutes against Elon, before fouling out.
•Andrew Smith played in his 100th career game in Butler's season-opener. Smith has started 69 of Butler's last 71 games, including both Final Four games in 2011.
•Senior Rotnei Clarke averaged a team-best 13.5 points in the Bulldogs' two exhibition games.
•Rotnei Clarke's 21 points against Elon were the most by a player in his Butler debut since 2000, when Brandon Miller scored 26 points in his first game with the Bulldogs.
•Rotnei Clarke needs 21 three-point field goals to reach 300 for his collegiate career.
•Rotnei Clarke was named second team on the Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason All-Conference Team.
•Senior Chase Stigall is six three-point field goals shy of 100 for his career.
•Chase Stigall matched his career-high with six rebounds against Xavier last year.
•Forward Khyle Marshall, who led the Bulldogs in field goal shooting (.553) a year ago, entered the 2012-13 season in a tie for 11th place on Butler's career list for field goal shooting (.536). He shot .636 against Elon.
•Khyle Marshall reached 300 rebounds for his career during Butler's victory over Elon. He now has 302 career rebounds.
•Sophomore Kameron Woods came off the bench with eight points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a blocked shot. But all people wanted to talk about was an eye-popping dunk he made off a lob pass from teammate Roosevelt Jones.
•Kameron Woods didn't start either exhibition game for the Bulldogs but still led Butler in rebounds (17), steals (3) and blocked shots (5) and finished second on the squad in assists (4).
•Sophomore Roosevelt Jones recorded his first career double-double with team-highs of 10 points and 11 rebounds against Xavier last year.
•Roosevelt Jones was picked to the Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason All-Defensive Team.
•Sophomore Alex Barlow came off the bench with a career-high seven rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes against Elon.
•Freshman Kellen Dunhan, who led the state of Indiana in free throw shooting last year, was perfect on five charity tosses in his debut against Elon.
•Kellen Dunham was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference Preseason All-Rookie Team.
•Freshman Chris Harrison-Docks announced prior to the Elon game that he was leaving the team and would be transferring to another school. Harrison-Docks played briefly in Butler's two exhibition games.
•Head coach Brad Stevens, in his sixth season at the Bulldogs' helm, needs just three wins to catch Joe Sexson, 1977-89, in third place on Butler's all-time list for coaching wins.
•The top seven single season win totals in Butler basketball history have been recorded since Brad Stevens joined the Bulldogs' coaching staff. He's guided the Bulldogs to the No. 1 (33 in 2009-10), No. 2 (30 in 2007-08), No. 4 (28 in 2010-11) and No. 6-T (26 in 2008-09) win totals as Butler's head coach, and he served as an assistant coach on teams that posted the No. 3 (29 in 2006-07), No. 5 (27 in 2002-03) and No. 6-T (26 in 2001-02) totals.
•Brad Stevens recorded his fifth straight 20-win season with the Bulldogs in 2011-12, matching former coach (and current Athletic Director) Barry Collier for the most 20-win campaigns by a Butler coach. Todd Lickliter, Stevens' former boss, led Butler to four 20-win seasons, Harlan O. "Pat" Page had two, and Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle and Thad Matta each led Butler to one 20-win season.
•Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs to postseason play in each of his five seasons as head coach. He also participated in postseason action while serving as Butler's Director of Basketball Operations in 2001 and as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs in 2003, 2006 and 2007.