Bulldogs Begin Home Stretch Against Youngstown State

Feb. 14, 2008

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HOME RUN: Butler will play five of its final six regular season games at home, beginning with a return match against Youngstown State on Thursday, Feb. 14. The Valentine's Day contest against the Penguins (8-16, 4-10 Horizon League) is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The "Top 10"-ranked and league-leading Bulldogs (22-2, 11-2 HL) wrapped up a string of three straight road games with an 83-75 win in overtime at Milwaukee on Tuesday (Feb. 12). The win was Butler's sixth straight, a streak that began with a 78-69 victory at Youngstown State last month. The Bulldogs, in the middle of a slate of four games in eight days, will conclude their busy week with a key rematch against Cleveland State on Saturday (Feb. 16). The Vikings handed Butler its last loss, 56-52, on Jan. 17.

Butler has won nine straight home games, dating back to last season.

POLL CLIMBING: Butler climbed to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll and to No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, released on Monday (Feb. 11). Both rankings are Butler's highest this season, and the A.P. ranking is Butler's highest ever! Butler reached No. 10 in the A.P. and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today polls last year. The Bulldogs have been ranked in the A.P. poll for 13 straight weeks and in both polls for 12 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 nationally ranked in basketball (Top 25) for 29 weeks since November 27, 2006.

ADDITIONAL POLLING: The Bulldogs are ranked first in The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 (Feb. 4). Drake, Butler's opponent in the ESPNU BracketBusters, is ranked second in the poll.

20-SOMETHING: Butler has posted its 10th 20-win season in the past 12 years. Over that stretch, the Bulldogs own a 267-110 (.708) record. Butler has tied the seventh-highest single season win total (22) in school history.

BEST MARK: The Bulldogs share the best 24-game record in school history at 22-2. Last year's Butler team set a school record with a 23-2 start.

TOP DOG: Head coach Brad Stevens is the first coach in Butler men's basketball history to own an 22-2 career record. Stevens' former boss, Todd Lickliter was 21-3 through 24 games, while Harlan O. "Pat" Page (1920-22) was 20-4 through his first 24 contests. Hall of Fame coach Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle started 19-5.

EXTRA COVERAGE: The Bulldogs received an extra five minutes of national television coverage in their road victory at Milwaukee, which was telecast on ESPNU. Butler took a three-point lead, 67-64, on a pair of free throws by Mike Green with 0:05 left in the game, but the Panthers tied the contest on a three-point field goal by Ricky Franklin at the final buzzer. The Bulldogs then scored the first five points in the overtime period and went on to post the eight-point win.

GREEN WAY: Senior Mike Green scored just two points in the first 20 minutes of Butler's game at Milwaukee. The Butler scoring leader then tallied 22 points in the final 25 minutes to help carry the Bulldogs to their 14th win in the past 15 games. Green scored 12 points in the second half to fuel a Butler comeback and then he took over in the extra period, out-scoring Milwaukee, 10-8. He hit 10 of 10 free throws in the game, including six in the overtime session. The 6-1 guard also led all players with a career-high 13 rebounds, and he added a game-high eight assists.

Mike Green has scored in double-figures in 16 consecutive games.

BENCH MARK: Butler's non-starters out-scored Milwaukee's reserves, 41-10, to spark the Bulldogs' road win. Senior Pete Campbell and sophomore Willie Veasley each scored 12 points in a reserve role, while freshman Zach Hahn came off the bench and hit three key three-point field goals in the first half.

MR. BIG SHOT: Senior Pete Campbell played a feature role in each of Butler's road wins at Valparaiso, Green Bay and Milwaukee. The 6-7 forward nailed a game-winning three-point field goal with 0:17 left to lift the Bulldogs past Valparaiso to start the road swing. Four nights later, he hit back-to-back three-point field goals to give Butler a decisive 55-47 lead at Green Bay. He then capped the three-game run by hitting a three-point field goal to give Butler a 65-64 lead in the final minute of regulation play at Milwaukee, before giving the Bulldogs the lead for good, 70-67, with a three-pointer less than a minute into the overtime period.

LEAGUE HONOR: Senior A. J. Graves, who led the Bulldogs to back-to-back road wins at Valparaiso and Green Bay was named Horizon League Player of the Week (Feb. 11). Graves led all scorers with 20 points and added eight rebounds and four assists in Butler's nationally-televised win at Valparaiso. He then topped all scorers with 16 points in the Bulldog's win at Green Bay.

WATCH LISTS: Senior Mike Green is one of 16 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate point-guard. Green also is one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's outstanding collegiate player. Senior guard A. J. Graves is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, a tribute to college seniors based on classroom, community, character and competition.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Butler seniors A. J. Graves and Drew Streicher have been named to the five-player 2008 CoSIDA Academic All-District V Team. Also chosen to the team were Bryan Mullins of Southern Illinois, Mike Schachtner of Green Bay and Jason Holsinger of Evansville. The five players are now candidates for the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team. Graves was a first team Academic All-American last year, while Streicher was named to the District V All-Academic Team a year ago.

•Butler is leading the Horizon League in scoring margin (+10.4), team scoring defense (59.0), turnover margin (+3.88), fewest turnovers (10.5), and assist/turnover ratio (1.21). The Bulldogs rank second in three-point field goals (9.00).

•A. J. Graves stands sixth on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,674 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 is second on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals with 278, 36 behind all-time leader Bruce Horan (2002-06). He's currently third in the league in three-pointers (2.92).

•A. J. Graves has 92 double-figures scoring performances in 120 career games. He stands 13th in the Horizon League in scoring (13.8).

•A. J. Graves has moved into eighth place on Butler's all-time assist chart with 293 career assists. He's 12 assists behind assistant coach Brandon Miller, 2000-03, in seventh place.

•A. J. Graves, who had three steals at Milwaukee, ranks fourth in the Horizon League in thefts (1.67). He leads the league in minutes played (35.83).

•Mike Green ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring (15.4). He's scored 1,510 points during his collegiate career (641 at Towson and 869 at Butler).

•Mike Green leads the Horizon League in assists (4.96) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.86). He's fifth in steals (1.54), eighth in rebounding (6.3) and 10th in free throw shooting (.773). Green leads the league in free throws made (140).

•Mike Green has moved into 10th place on Butler's all-time list for free throws made (336).

•Pete Campbell has moved into 12th place on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals (147).

•Pete Campbell ranks second in the Horizon League lead in three-point field goals (3.14) and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.446). He's hit at least one three-pointer in 24 consecutive games, dating back to last season.

•Matt Howard leads the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.67) and in field goal percentage (.607). He ranks third in blocked shots (1.25), seventh in free throw shooting (.805), and 13th in rebounding (5.8) and 14th in scoring (13.1).

•Matt Howard leads all freshmen in the Horizon League in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, field goal shooting and free throw shooting. He's the only player in the league, regardless of class, to rank in the "Top 15" in all five categories.

•Matt Howard currently owns the fifth-highest single season scoring total (315 pts) ever by a Butler freshman.

•Sophomore Willie Veasley matched his career scoring high of 12 points in a career-high 34 minutes at Milwaukee.

•Freshman Zach Hahn had a career-high nine points in 12 minutes at Milwaukee.

•Mike Green was in Butler's starting lineup for the 60th consecutive game at Milwaukee.