Bulldogs Begin Homestand Against Hanover
BACK HOME: Butler, coming off its longest road trip of the season, will begin a three-game homestand when it hosts Hanover on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The game at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 7 p.m. (ET) and will be televised in central Indiana on WNDY-TV. The Bulldogs, who have played four consecutive games away from home, will be returning to action for the first time since finishing runner-up at the Maui Invitational in Hawaii. Butler (3-2) defeated Marquette, 72-71, and #9 North Carolina, 82-71, in the first two rounds of the eight-team tournament, before falling to Illinois, 78-61, in the championship game the night before Thanksgiving. It was the fourth time in as many tournament trips to Hawaii that the Bulldogs reached the title game. Hanover, the lone non-Division I team on Butler's schedule, improved to 3-0 with a 61-57 victory over Centre (Ky.) on Sunday, Nov. 25. The Panthers are facing Butler for the first time since 1995. Following the Hanover game, Butler will host Ball State on Dec. 1, and IUPUI on Dec. 5.
Butler is 70-11 at home under head coach Brad Stevens.
HOME WORK: The Bulldogs have won at least 10 games in Hinkle Fieldhouse in each of the past 17 years. Butler was 13-6 at home last season, after posting a 12-2 mark in 2010-11. The Bulldogs opened this season with a home victory over Elon.
Butler is 166-25 at Hinkle Fieldhouse since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
•Senior guard Rotnei Clarke gave the Maui Invitational a rousing start with a three-point field goal at the buzzer to lift the Bulldogs over Marquette, 72-71, in the opening game.
•Butler limited North Carolina to 18 points in the first half in the semifinals. That was the fewest points in a half for the Tar Heels since Jan. 27, 1996.
•Butler's victory over the Tar Heels snapped North Carolina's ten-game winning streak at the Maui Invitational.
•North Carolina entered the semifinals with a plus-14 rebounding margin, but the Bulldogs out-rebounded the Tar Heels, 39-29.
•Butler faced teams from the Big East, the ACC and the Big 10 at the Maui Invitational.
Butler has won nine of 12 games all-time in the Hawaiian islands.
TITLE TILT: Butler's remarkable run in its first visit to the Maui Invitational came to an end in the championship game at the hands of a hot-shooting Illinois squad. The Fighting Illini hit nine of their first 15 shots in the contest, including three from beyond the three-point arc, while building an early double-figures lead. The Bulldogs were left playing catch-up for the rest of the contest. Down 11 points at halftime, Butler did close to within five points, 49-44, with 12:41 remaining in the contest, but the Illini answered with a 10-0 run, and the Bulldogs never got closer than nine points the rest of the game. Senior Rotnei Clarke led all scorers in the championship game with 27 points, but he was the lone Butler player to finish in double-figures. The Fighting Illini, who had four players score at least 14 points, wound up shooting 48% from the field, 40% from the three-point arc and 95.2% from the free throw line in the win.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: Butler guard Rotnei Clarke was one of six players named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the Maui Invitational. Clarke, who averaged 21.3 points in Butler's three tournament games, was joined on the All-Tournament squad by Brandon Paul and DJ Richardson of Illinois, Vander Blue of Marquette, Reggie Bullock of North Carolina and De'Andre Haskins of Chaminade. Paul, who led Illinois to the championship, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Clarke scored 20 points, including the game-winning three-point field goal at the buzzer, to lead Butler past Marquette, and then he shared team scoring honors with 17 points in the Bulldogs' victory over #9 North Carolina. He finished his three-game run with a game-high 27 points against Illinois.
Rotnei Clarke was the second-leading scorer at the 2012 Maui Invitational.
HOT HAND: The weather in Hawaii must have reminded junior Khyle Marshall of his native Florida, because the Butler forward certainly looked right at home in the Bulldogs' tournament-opener against Marquette. Marshall hit 11 of 15 shots against the Golden Eagles and scored a career-high 24 points in the Butler win. He also led both teams with nine rebounds, and he added two steals, a blocked shot and an assist in 31 minutes of action. Marshall wound up averaging 14.0 points and 8.0 rebounds, while shooting 58.6% from the field for the tournament.
Khyle Marshall ranks 11th on Butler's all-time list for field goal shooting (.537).
BOARDING PASS: Butler out-rebounded both North Carolina and Illinois at the Maui Invitational, while narrowly losing the rebounding battle with Marquette. The Bulldogs finished the three-day tournament with a +4.4 rebounding advantage. Junior Khyle Marshall led the way with an 8.0 average for the three games, while senior guard Rotnei Clarke averaged 5.0. The Bulldogs have out-rebounded four of their first five opponents this season.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Bulldogs will participate in another prestigious Thanksgiving tournament next season. Butler is one of eight teams confirmed for the 2013 Old Spice Classic to be held Thursday, Friday and Sunday, Nov. 28, 29 & Dec. 1, at the HP FIeld House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. Also included in the eight-team field are LSU, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Saint Joseph's, Siena and Washington State. The Bulldogs have participated in a regular season tournament in four of the six seasons that Brad Stevens has served as Butler's head coach.
•The victory over North Carolina at the Maui Invitational was Butler's first over a nationally-ranked team since March 26, 2011, when the Bulldogs defeated #15 Florida, 74-71 in overtime, in the championship game of the NCAA Division I Southeast Regional.
•Senior Andrew Smith is the only current college basketball player who has played in two Division I national championship games.
•Andrew Smith, Butler's leading scorer a year ago, had a season-high 13 points against North Carolina.
•Andrew Smith played in his 100th career game in Butler's season-opener. Smith has started 73 of Butler's last 75 games, including both Final Four games in 2011.
•Senior Rotnei Clarke is one of 50 players named to the Atlanta Tipoff Club 2012-13 Naismith Early Season Watch List.
•Rotnei Clarke's 27 points against Illinois in the championship game of the Maui Invitational were the most by a Butler player since the 2011 NCAA Tournament, when Shelvin Mack scored 27 points against Florida in the championship game of the Southeast Regional.
•Rotnei Clarke needs six three-point field goals to reach 300 for his collegiate career. Clarke, who has hit 14 three-point field goals in three games at the Maui Invitational, has averaged nearly three three-pointers per game for his career.
•Rotnei Clarke nailed six three-point field goals against Illinois. It was the most by a Butler player since the third round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament when Shelvin Mack connected on seven three-pointers in a victory over Pitt.
•Rotnei Clarke matched his career-high for rebounds with six against Marquette. He also had six rebounds against North Carolina A & T, Tennessee and South Carolina while playing at Arkansas. He had five rebounds against North Carolina.
•The Bulldogs hit a season-high 12 three-point field goals against North Carolina. It was the most three-pointers for Butler since November 29 of last year, when the Bulldogs connected on 15 three-point field goals in a victory over Oakland City.
•Butler is 54-6 under head coach Brad Stevens when hitting at least nine three-point field goals in a game.
•Senior Chase Stigall is four three-point field goals shy of 100 for his career. He nailed a pair of three-pointers against North Carolina.
•Forward Khyle Marshall recorded his fifth career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against North Carolina.
•The 11 rebounds by Khyle Marshall against North Carolina are the most by a Butler player this season.
•Sophomore Roosevelt Jones, who had a career-high six assists in Butler's season-opener against Elon, led Butler in assists at the Maui Invitaitonal with 11 in three games.
•Sophomore Kameron Woods came off the bench to lead the Bulldogs with eight rebounds against Illinois. Woods played just 13 minutes in the game.
•Freshman Kellen Dunhan was given his first collegiate start in Butler's win over Marquette. He started all three games at the Maui Invitational.
•Kellen Dunham hit a career-high five three-point field goals against North Carolina.
•Kellen Dunham had a career-best five rebounds against North Carolina, topping his previous high of four set one night earlier.
•Head coach Brad Stevens, in his sixth season at the Bulldogs' helm, needs just one win to catch Joe Sexson, 1977-89, in third place on Butler's all-time list for coaching wins.