Saturday, November 19th, 1PM
Butler came out on top of a thrilling but worrisome Wednesday night game against Northwestern. Despite the win, the Bulldogs’ offense struggled, especially in the first half.
Butler looks to turn it around this game against a 2-1 Bucknell team that shouldn’t be too tough of a matchup.
Bucknell’s biggest weakness seems to be defensively, seeing as though they have scored over 70 points in each of three games this season. The Bison have only been able to hold opponents to 42% shooting from downtown, so look for the Bulldogs to capitalize on perimeter oriented offense.
This is an important game for the Bulldogs, not so much that it is a challenging matchup, but more so that it is an opportunity to get their offense back together. After a rough shooting night against Northwestern, Coach Holtmann as no doubt put the team through some shooting drills in preparation for this game.
Look for the Bulldogs to come out, guns blazin’, against this Bucknell team that allowed 94 points to Wake Forest.
The bulldogs will also have home court advantage for their previous two games this season as well. While the atmosphere of Hinkle is typically a factor that can put the dawgs over the edge in close games, like last Wednesday’s, this time might be different. With Butler’s fall break starting this weekend, many students who live outside of the Indianapolis area will not be in attendance. In addition, the game is at 1:00 in the afternoon: not exactly a primetime game.
Players to Watch
Kelan Martin is always a player to watch for Butler. He is a threat from deep as well as in the paint, and basically runs the bulldogs’ offense. Averaging 21.5 points per game doesn’t hurt either.
Kamar Baldwin emerged as the hero of Wednesday’s game against Northwestern after hitting the game winner at the end of regulation. While Baldwin will be remembered in the near future for the big shot, his defensive game is extremely developed: even when matched up against Northwestern’s star offensive player, Bryant McIntosh, Baldwin came out of Wednesday’s game with three steals and a blocked shot. Look for his defense to be on display once again against Bucknell.
Sean McDermott should also be a factor off the bench for the bulldogs. The lanky redshirt freshman excels from behind the arc. Butler should look to him for outside scoring, especially against a Bucknell team that struggles to guard the perimeter.
Zach Thomas is Butler’s biggest threat. He leads the Bison in scoring (20 PPG) and is averaging more than four assists and seven rebounds along with it. With most of Bucknell’s offense coming from this versatile big man, Andrew Chrabascz and the rest of Butler’s forwards will have to lock Thomas down if they want to stop Bucknell’s offense.
Mackenzie Kimbal exploded for 15 points and four steals against a fairly strong Wake Forest team. The bulldogs will try to limit his impact offensively and defensively.
Photo: Fox Sports.com