(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Butler Bulldogs (12-4) will host the #21 Seton Hall Pirates (13-2) this afternoon. Butler is 2-1 (3rd) in Big East play while Seton Hall is 2-0 (2nd).
Projected Starting Lineups
Butler: G Aaron Thompson, G Kamar Baldwin*, G Paul Jorgensen, F Kelan Martin, F Tyler Wideman
Seton Hall: G Myles Powell, G Khadeen Carrington, F Desi Rodriguez, F Michael Nzei, C Angel Delgado
*-Listed as questionable (ankle)
Kamar Baldwin injured his ankle against Xavier and is questionable for today’s game, per Butler. If Baldwin doesn’t play, Sean McDermott and Henry Baddley are likely candidates to start if Butler wants to keep a similar lineup.
Seton Hall has reported no major injuries going into this game.
This will be Butler’s third consecutive game facing a ranked opponent, following #1 Villanova and #5 Xavier. The Dawgs take on Creighton next.
Seton Hall center Angel Delgado is the NCAA active leader with 61 career double-doubles, including 11 this season.
Butler guard Paul Jorgensen played high school basketball at Don Bosco Prep in New Jersey.
Seton Hall guard Eron Gordon is from Indianapolis. He played high school basketball at Cathedral and North Central.
Last 5 Games
Butler (4-1), Streak: 1L
- (Tue. 12/19) vs. Morehead State 85-69 W
- (Thu. 12/21) vs. Western Illinois 107-46 W
- (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
Seton Hall (4-1), Streak: 4W
- (Sat. 12/16) @ Rutgers 71-65 L
- (Wed. 12/20) vs. Wagner 89-68 W
- (Sat. 12/23) vs. Manhattan 74-62 W
- (Thu. 12/28) vs. #25 Creighton 90-84 W
- (Sat. 12/31) vs. St. John’s 75-70 W
* -neutral/tournament game
Butler are 2.5 point favorites to win, according to ESPN PickCenter.
Keys to Victory
Consistent Team Offense: Against Villanova, it seemed like all the shots were falling for Butler. Against Xavier, not so much. Streaky shooting can really hurt a team down the stretch and cause them to lose games that they shouldn’t lose.
Against Xavier, Kelan Martin and Kamar Baldwin combined for 50 of Butler’s 80 shot attempts. The pair drained a combined 22 of those shots, or 44%. That’s not terrible, but it’s not good enough that Butler should depend on them to take over 62% of the team’s shots. Getting strong shooters like Paul Jorgensen and Sean McDermott more involved in this game could help Butler’s offense be more consistent. Tyler Wideman is also an intriguing option down low, but watch out for Seton Hall’s big men.
Compete in the Paint: Angel Delgado is a well-known beast on the boards, and he has a significant size advantage over Wideman and a slight advantage over Nate Fowler. Delgado is averaging a double-double and some change (13.7 p/11.5 r) and is no stranger to dominating his match-up in the paint. His biggest weakness seems to be free throws, however. Delgado is shooting just 56.6% from the charity stripe. Butler should not be afraid to foul him if necessary, in order to prevent easy baskets.
In fact, fouling Seton Hall a lot may not be such a bad strategy. The Pirates as a team are shooting a lackluster 65.5% from the free throw line. Butler taking advantage of this weakness could prevent Seton Hall from running away with the game if they’re up, or getting back into the game if they’re down.
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