The Butler Bulldogs ring in the New Year with a big win over Big East foe Providence College at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Butler shared the wealth offensively, having four players in double figures. The Dawgs shot 62% from the field and 57% from deep.
Kelan Martin finished the game with 15 points and eight rebounds, leading the way for Butler in each category. The Junior star also surpassed the 1,000 career points mark in the contest.
Defensively, Butler struggled once again in stopping an elite guard in Kyron Cartwright. The Junior guard who is known primarily as a facilitator poured in 26 points in an amazing offensive performance. Freshman guard and defensive stopper Kamar Baldwin’s foul trouble did not help the situation as he was limited to just 15 minutes of playing time.
Luckily Butler’s team defense was able to hold Providence’s bench to only five points, as their own bench scored 29 of the team’s 78 points.
Besides their typical woes when guarding the perimeter, there were some red flags that stuck out in this otherwise solid performance.
Over the course of the game, the Dawgs turned the ball over 14 times. Seven of these were from veteran forward Andrew Chrabascz. While these turnovers are uncharacteristic of the Butler team that we say in non-conference play, the team will need to take care of the ball better in the coming games.
Another possible issue is Kelan Martin offensive production. While he came up big against ranked opponents in non-conference play (20 points against Cincinnati, 28 points against Indiana) in the last two conference games he has averaged 14 PPG on 34% shooting.
In the Providence game at times he struggled to finish inside, missing an open dunk and layups with contact. Martin also has a tendency to settle for mid range floaters and fading jumpers which are generally low percentage shots.
The Butler star’s scoring has truly been a barometer for the team’s success and the Bulldogs need him to be a consistent option on the offensive end.
These items may seem nit-picky but against a talented Big East team (ie. Villanova, Creighton, Xavier, Seton Hall, St. John’s) they can be the difference makers that separate the men from the boys.
The Bulldogs take on the #1 ranked Villanova Wildcats at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.
Photo Credit: Indy Star