(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Butler Bulldogs (12-5) return home tonight to face the Marquette Golden Eagles (13-3) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler is 2-3 (7th) in Big East play while Marquette is 3-2 (4th).
Projected Starting Lineups
Butler: G Aaron Thompson, G Kamar Baldwin, G Paul Jorgensen, F Kelan Martin, F Tyler Wideman
Marquette: G Markus Howard, G Andrew Rowsey, G/F Sacar Anim, G/F Sam Hauser, C Matt Heldt
Butler has no major injuries reported going into this game.
Marquette has no major injuries reported heading into this game.
Butler is coming off their fifth consecutive game facing an AP Top 25 ranked opponent (#1 Villanova, #5 Xavier, #21 Seton Hall, #25 Creighton). The Dawgs take on unranked DePaul and Providence next.
Marquette upset Seton Hall at home in their last game, 84-64. The Pirates had climbed all the way to #13 after their win over Butler before facing defeat at the hands of the Golden Eagles.
Last 5 Games
Butler (2-3), Streak: 3L
- (Wed. 12/27) @ Georgetown 91-89 W (2OT)
- (Sat. 12/30) vs. #1 Villanova 101-93 W
- (Tue. 1/2) @ #5 Xavier 86-79 L
- (Sat. 1/6) vs. #21 Seton Hall 90-87 L
- (Tue. 1/9) @ #25 Creighton 85-74 L
Marquette (3-2), Streak: 1W
- (Wed. 12/27) vs. #6 Xavier 91-87 L
- (Sat. 12/30) vs. Georgetown 74-65 W
- (Wed. 1/3) @ Providence 95-90 W (OT)
- (Sat. 1/6) @ #3 Villanova 100-90 L
- (Tue. 1/9) vs. #13 Seton Hall 84-64 W
Butler are 4.5 point favorites to win, according to ESPN PickCenter.
Keys to Victory
Play Lockdown Defense – Butler has a narrow advantage over Marquette in points allowed and rebounds per game. Moreover, the Golden Eagles’ offense is heavily centered around two players – Markus Howard (22.8 ppg) and Andrew Rowsey (21.6 ppg). Shutting down this guard duo should be Butler’s first priority on defense. Thankfully, the Dawgs have an upward-trending Kamar Baldwin to guard the perimeter with help from Paul Jorgensen and Aaron Thompson.
Lastly, the Golden Eagles have Sam Hauser (14.0 ppg) as a solid 3rd option. He could create some issues for the Dawgs’ defense if Tyler Wideman and Kelan Martin find themselves preoccupied with defending other players. Butler needs to be wary of their rotations and make sure that Howard, Rowsey, and Hauser (for the most part) are covered. However, if the defense has to give somewhere, maybe cut Hauser a little more slack than the other two at first.
#FeedKelan – Kelan Martin (19.2 ppg) has proven to be a dependable and consistent scorer from inside the arc and a somewhat streaky shooter from outside the arc. However, Marquette has few defensive options outside of Sam Hauser that can handle his versatility, athleticism and skill. Look for the Dawgs to choose Kelan as their primary source of offense.
Kamar Baldwin has also perfomed very well as the second option lately. Paul Jorgensen may get some extra opportunities to score as well if he can find openings in the Marquette defense. However, they’ll most likely have to handle Marquette’s guard duo, which may give them some trouble tonight.
Take Advantage of Depth – Marquette lacks depth in comparison to Butler, who have dependable/consistent scorers like Sean McDermott and Nate Fowler coming off the bench. Henry Baddley has also proven to be a potent shooter and X-factor for the Dawgs at times. If Butler’s bench outplays Marquette’s, that takes some pressure off of Butler’s starters to beat Marquette’s starters.
Play hungry – Butler needs to get back in the wins column if they want to be competitive down the stretch in the Big East. No Big East games are easy this season – anyone can beat anyone. Butler needs to play like they’re truly hungry for this win, or Marquette will take it from them, just like what happened in the last three games.
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