The Butler Bulldogs look to get back on track hosting Providence at Hinkle Fieldhouse on New Year’s Day.
The Bulldogs have been shaken in the last couple of days. Coming off of a three point loss in their Big East Opener to St. John’s, the Dawgs and their fans were shocked enough. Following the game, the team was flying home when their plane lost cabin pressure and had to make an emergency landing in Pittsburgh. The incident supposedly left some players in tears and coaches texting their wives in fear of not making it out alive. From Pennsylvania the team took a bus back to Indianapolis due to not having a functioning plane available for them.
Back in Indy this week the team will look for things to get back to back to normal.
The Dawgs will take on Providence in their home conference opener in what should be an easy win and a refreshing end for the team’s otherwise crazy week.
Providence is lead in scoring by Junior Forward Rodney Bullock with 18 points per game. Bullock is also the team’s leading rebounder and has a nose for swiping the ball away from post players on the defensive end.
Butler hasn’t had problems with elite big men in the past, so look for this game to be no different. Tyler Wideman and company should eliminate Bullock from making too big of an impact in the contest.
Providence also has College basketball’s fourth best distributor in Kyron Cartwright. The junior point guard makes up for what he lacks physically (standing just under 6 feet tall) with his passing. He also averages just under ten points per game and is a threat from deep.
The Friars’ last game against #17 Xavier in their conference opener, a game that Xavier went on to win by 26 points. Butler should be able to handle this team.
Players to watch-
Tyler Wideman is coming off of a season high 20 point game where he also had nine rebounds: one more and it would have been his second career double double. Look for Big Cat to be a force offensively and defensively against Providence.
Kelan Martin was less than spectacular against St. John’s and Butler needs him to be spectacular. In both of Butler’s losses this season, he has scored less than 15 points. If he is going to carry the team, he needs to carry the team offensively.
Kyron Cartwright is one of the best passers in College basketball right now with nearly eight assists per game. Look for him to orchestrate the Friars’ offense yet again. Against a Butler team that has struggled guarding crafty ball handlers.
Jalen Lindsey is Providence’s primary shooter and scores at a 46% clip from behind the arc. He averages 10 points per game and could blow up on the Bulldogs given their recent performances against scoring guards.
Photo Credit: Indy Star