Butler Begins Brief Homestand Against Green Bay

Jan. 9, 2008

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Note: In addition to be televised nationally on ESPNU, Butler's home game with Green Bay will be broadcast on Sirius satellite radio. It will be one of two confirmed Butler satellite broadcasts in January. Butler's game against Loyola on Jan. 24 is also scheduled to be carried on Sirius, while the Bulldogs' game at Cleveland State (Jan. 17) is being considered by Sirius.

BUSY SLATE: Butler will play its third game in six days and the first of back-to-back home contests when it hosts Green Bay in a key Horizon League tilt on Thursday, Jan. 10. The game between the two teams currently tied for second place in the league standings is slated for 9 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse and will be nationally-televised on ESPNU. Green Bay (9-5, 3-1 Horizon League) has won back-to-back league contests and comes to Indianapolis with wins in three of its last four outings. In the last two games, wins over Detroit and Wright State, the Phoenix has allowed an average of just 50.5 points. Green Bay limited both foes to .339 field goal shooting! Butler (14-1, 3-1 HL) won its sixth consecutive game with a 66-55 victory at Loyola on Monday (Jan. 7). The Bulldogs, who have only played four home games this season, will close its brief homestand against Milwaukee on Saturday, Jan. 12.

Butler has played fewer home games than any other Horizon League team.

POLL CLIMBING: The Bulldogs moved up in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today men's basketball polls, following last weekend's victory over Valparaiso. Butler climbed to No. 14 in both rankings, up two spots in the A.P. poll and a jump of three positions in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Butler has been ranked in the A.P. poll for nine straight weeks and in both polls for eight consecutive weeks. Last year, Butler became the first team in Horizon League history to be ranked in the "Top 25" for more than five weeks.

Butler has been ranked in the Top 20 for 23 weeks since November of 2006.

ADDITIONAL POLLING: The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 and No. 2 in the ESPN.com Mid-Major Top 10.

STRONG OPENING: The Bulldogs have matched the best 15-game record in school history with their 14-1 start. Butler also opened with a 14-1 record in 1930-31, 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2006-07.

Butler's 2002-03 team is the only men's basketball squad in Butler history to post a 15-1 record.

CAREER START: First-year coach Brad Stevens matched the best coaching start in Butler basketball history with the Bulldogs' victory at Loyola. Stevens' former boss, Todd Lickliter, began his Butler coaching career with 14 victories in his first 15 games in 2001-02. Stevens and Lickliter are the only basketball coaches in Butler history to win at least 10 games before suffering a second career defeat.

IN THE HOUSE: The Bulldogs improved to 4-0 at home this season with a victory over Valparaiso on Saturday (Jan. 5). That game was Butler's first in Hinkle Fieldhouse since Dec. 19. Butler has a five-game homecourt winning streak, and the Bulldogs own a 100-14 mark in Hinkle Fieldhouse since November of 1999.

Butler has won 27 of its last 29 games in Hinkle Fieldhouse.

ROAD TESTED: Butler picked up its tenth victory away from Hinkle Fieldhouse with a wire-to-wire victory at Loyola. The Bulldogs jumped to a 12-2 advantage less than five minutes into the contest and then held off several comeback attempts by the host Ramblers. Loyola closed to within three points at 40-37 with 10:22 left in the contest, but the Bulldogs answered with a 14-3 scoring run to seal the issue. A dunk by freshman Matt Howard with 3:35 left on the clock gave Butler its biggest lead of the game, 61-45, before the Bulldogs settled for the 11-point win.

Butler leads the NCAA Division I in victories away from home.

PRODUCTIVE NIGHT: Freshman Matt Howard posted his sixth consecutive double-figures scoring performance and recorded his highest point total in a month with a game-high 19 points at Loyola, despite playing limited minutes because of foul problems. The 6-8 forward hit six of 10 shots and all seven free throw attempts, while adding a team-high five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot, in just 20 minutes of action. He scored six points in six minutes in the first half and added 13 points in 14 minutes in the final period. Howard has scored in double-figures in all but one of his eight games as a Butler starter.

GREEN WAY: Senior Mike Green ended 2007 on a hot streak and has started 2008 the same way. He posted his sixth consecutive double-figures scoring performance with 15 points in Butler's win at Loyola. The 6-1 guard also shared Butler's rebounding lead with five, and he lead all players with six assists. Over the past six games, Green has averaged 18.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He's led the Bulldogs in scoring twice, in rebounding five times and in assists six times during that stretch!

Mike Green is averaging 17.8 points in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.

FREE FEELING: The Bulldogs are leading the Horizon League and are ranked fourth in the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting (.787). Butler hit 13 of 17 shots from the charity stripe at Loyola, ending a streak of five consecutive games with 20 or more free throws made. The Bulldogs have out-scored their opponents at the free throw line, 131-70, over their current six-game winning streak.

Butler is shooting .846 (77-91) from the free throw line in four games at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Butler is leading the Horizon League in scoring defense (57.5), scoring margin (+11.7), turnover margin (+3.80), fewest turnovers (11.1), and assist/turnover ratio (1.16).

•Senior guard A. J. Graves is ranked first in the Horizon League in three-point field goals (3.33).

•A. J. Graves is second on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals with 258, 56 behind all-time leader and former teammate Bruce Horan (2002-06).

•A. J. Graves stands seventh on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,568 career points. He's the 39th player in Horizon League history to reach the 1,500-point plateau and the current active league-leader in career scoring.

•A. J. Graves has scored in double-figures in 86 of 111 career games, but he's looking for his first double-figures scoring performance in Horizon League play this season.

•A. J. Graves has moved into ninth place on Butler's all-time assist chart. He has 273 career assists and trails Darren Fowlkes, 1985-89, in eighth place on the all-time list by just five assists.

•A. J. Graves leads the Horizon League in minutes played (35.93), while Mike Green stands third (35.07).

•Mike Green stands fifth in the Horizon League in scoring (15.6). He's led Butler in scoring in two of the past three outings.

•Mike Green has scored 1,374 points during his collegiate career (641 at Towson and 733 at Butler).

•Mike Green stands second in the Horizon League in assists (4.93). He's fourth in the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.90), tied for 12th in rebounding (5.5) and tied for 13th in free throw shooting (.750). Green leads the league in free throws made (87).

•Pete Campbell is tied for second in the Horizon League in three-point field goals (3.00), and he's eighth in the league in three-point FG% (.444).

•Matt Howard leads the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.53). He ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.569), and he's tied for seventh in the circuit in free throw shooting (.833). Howard has hit 16 consecutive free throws.

•Matt Howard leads all freshmen in the Horizon League in rebounding (5.3). He also tops all league freshmen in field goal shooting and free throw shooting.

•Julian Betko and Mike Green were in Butler's starting lineup for the 51st consecutive game against Loyola. A. J. Graves has 105 career starts.

•Despite committing 14 turnovers at Loyola, the Bulldogs continue to be ranked in the "Top Five" in the nation in fewest turnovers per game. Butler entered this week ranked fourth in the NCAA Division I.

•Butler is ranked ninth in Division I in three-point field goals per game (9.7).