2012-13 Butler Women's Basketball
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. TV Timeout: Butler's A-10 road opener at La Salle this Sunday will be televised on CBS Sports Network. John Sadak and Julianne Viani will have the call in Philadelphia. The game against the Explorers will be at 2 p.m. ET. It is BU's first nationally-televised game since the 2011 Horizon League title game at Green Bay was on ESPNU.
2. Player of the Week Twice: Daress McClung has been picked as Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week twice this season. Her first honor came Dec. 17 after she went for 15 points and 13 rebounds in a win at Northern Kentucky. The 6-0 forward and Indianapolis native picked up another notice on Jan. 7 after posting 26.5 points and 15.0 rebounds in BU's wins at Cleveland State and UIC. She started the weekend with 22 points and 18 rebounds to lead Butler to a 56-54 win at CSU. McClung finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds on 13-for-17 shooting to lead BU to an 84-61 win in Chicago.
3. Daress Playing 'D': In addition to being Butler's leading scorer and rebounder, Daress McClung has put up some impressive blocks and steals numbers this season. McClung leads the A-10 in blocks with 2.6 per game and owns nine outings with 3+ blocks. She also averages 2.5 steals per game, ranking third in the A-10. She has seven games with 3+ steals.
4. Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 and standing fifth in the country in blocked shots with 6.4 swats per game. Seven times this season the Bulldogs have rejected at least eight shots in a game. BU swatted a season-best 12 shots against Illinois State and also had 11 blocks vs. Valparaiso back in November. Individually, Daress McClung leads the conference and stands 15th in the nation with 2.6 blocks per game. Liz Stratman averages 3.3 blocks per game and is on pace to be ranked in the top 10 nationally when she's played in enough games.
5. Balanced Attack: Butler has had four primary scoring options emerge this season, two in the post and two on the perimeter. Taylor Schippers and Hannah Douglas are BU's outside scoring threats. Schippers averaged 14.7 points and leads Butler in 3-pointers made. Douglas, a 9.6-point scorer, is known for driving to the basket and her mid-range game. Daress McClung (team-leading 15.8 points) can shoot, score in the post and get putbacks. Liz Stratman scores 12.4 points a game on the block.
Butler vs. La Salle: The Bulldogs and Explorers haven't played since 1995, La Salle's last season in the MCC. La Salle leads the all-time series 5-3. Beth Couture has never coached against La Salle.
Back In Philly: Sunday's contest is BU's first game in Philadelphia since playing at La Salle on Jan. 29, 1994. This is the first time Beth Couture has coached a game in Philly.
Old League Foes: Butler and La Salle are conference opponents for the first time since 1995. The two schools were in the MCC together for three seasons from 1992-95.
Stratman Takes Down Old Team: Liz Stratman had extra motivation in Thursday's win over Xavier, her former team. The 6-2 Stratman came off the bench for 13 points and eight rebounds as BU defeated XU. She played in 12 games there last year before transferring to Butler in December 2011. She averaged 15.5 minutes and 3.2 points per game before choosing to leave for BU.
More On McClung: Daress McClung's total of 18 rebounds at Cleveland State is the most a player has had since Beth Couture has been coach at Butler. The last time a BU player grabbed 19 rebounds in a game came in 1984.
Blaire Force One: Blaire Langlois entered this week with 16 career points. She nearly doubled her total on Thurdsay, putting up 14 points in BU's win over Xavier. She shot 5-for-7, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.
Not A Bad Weekend: Beth Couture called Daress McClung's performances against Cleveland State and UIC the best back-to-back games she's seen as a coach. McClung now has seven double-doubles after posting 22 points and 18 boards at Cleveland State and then her 31-point, 12-board outburst at UIC.
Schippers Helping Out: Taylor Schippers has seen her assist totals climb recently. The Bulldog point guard is averaging 5.8 assists over the last four games. She has three outings this season with at least six assists.
The Last Time: With 10 helpers at UIC, Taylor Schippers became the first Butler player to have 10 assists in a game since Terra Burns did it in 2010. Daress McClung's total of 31 points in that game was the most since Hannah Douglas went for 31 last season vs. Wright State.
(Former) League Sweep: In its first season out of the Horizon League, Butler posted a 3-0 mark against HL schools. The Bulldogs defeated Valparaiso 69-55 in November and then began January with road wins at Cleveland State (56-54) and UIC (84-61).
Butler In The HL: Before leaving for the A-10, Butler was consistently the Horizon League's second-best program. The Dawgs were 49-23 in league play over their last four seasons in the HL, finishing second in he standings three times.
4 Straight 20s: Prior to last year, Butler had won 20 games in each of the past four seasons, the first time the team has achieved that as a Division I program. The Bulldogs went 20-14 in 2010-11 and finished second in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs were 23-10 in 2009-10, the team's most wins since 1998. BU was 20-10 in 2007-08 and followed that with a 20-12 season in 2008-09. Butler was 96-62 during the five seasons before this year.
Double-Double Duo: Both Daress McClung (31 pts, 12 rebs) and Taylor Schippers (10 pts, 10 asts) posted double-doubles at UIC. It marked the first time BU has had two players post double-doubles in the same game since Butler's 2009 WNIT win at Duquesne (Brittany Bowen and Lade Akande).
Schippers Named All-Tourney: Taylor Schippers was picked for the all-tourney team at St. Mary's after Thanksgiving. The 5-8 guard averaged 21.5 points and 3.0 assists per game during the two games in California. Her weekend included a career-high 27-point effort against St. Mary's, then she scored 16 vs. Portland State.
For Starters: Through the first 17 games this season, Beth Couture has used the same starting lineup. That's the longest stretch of using the same lineup to start a season in her 11 years at Butler. Last season, Butler used nine different starting lineup combinations.
Quickly About Dayton: Dayton is likely the A-10's best team, but the Bulldogs thought they could've fared better against the Flyers last week. The 82-39 loss was BU's largest margin of defeat since an 81-38 loss at Purdue in 2006. La Salle had an even worse loss to Dayton, falling 95-47.
Big Ten Win: Butler's 59-56 win over Indiana on Dec. 9 was BU's first win over a Big Ten opponent for Beth Couture and the first since 1998. That season, BU defeated Michigan State and Illinois. Daress McClung led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 12 boards against the Hoosiers. BU led by 22 at one point and had a 40-25 lead before hanging on in the final minute.
In The National Rankings: In addition to being fifth in the country in blocks (6.4), BU stands 91st in turnovers (15.9), 90th in free throw percentage (.712) and 92nd in assist-turnover ratio (0.85). Daress McClung is in the top 60 nationally in rebounding (55th) and blocks (16th).
Up Next: Butler continues conference road play with a game at Massachusetts Wednesday, Jan. 23.