(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Butler Bulldogs (16-7) will host the DePaul Blue Demons (9-12) this afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler is 6-4 (5th) in Big East play while DePaul is 2-7 (9th).
Projected Starting Lineups
- G Aaron Thompson, G Kamar Baldwin, G Paul Jorgensen, F Kelan Martin, F Tyler Wideman
- G Brandon Cyrus, G Eli Cain, G Max Strus, F Tre’Darius McCallum, C Marin Maric
- No major injuries going into this game
- G Devin Gage is out for the season with an achilles injury
- F Jaylen Butz is questionable due to an illness
- In the Big East, the Bulldogs sit directly in the middle of the pack (6-4, 5th place)
- 5-1 against unranked conference opponents, 1-3 against ranked conference opponents
- Currently on their longest winning streak since conference play began (3W)
- Butler took down DePaul 79-67 at Wintrust Arena on January 20, 2018
- Leaders: Martin 24 pts. / Baldwin 9 reb. / Thompson 8 ast.
- Butler defeated DePaul each of the last 8 times the teams met in Big East play
- Five of Butler’s next six games are at home
- The Blue Demons are struggling mightily in conference play (2-7, 9th place)
- Half a game behind 8th place Georgetown
- DePaul fell to Butler 79-67 at Wintrust Arena on January 20, 2018
- Leaders: Strus 27 pts. / McCallum 8 reb. / Cain 7 ast.
Last 5 Games
Butler (4-1), Streak: 3W
- (Fri. 1/12) vs. Marquette 94-83 W
- (Mon. 1/15) @ Providence 70-60 L
- (Sat. 1/20) @ DePaul 79-67 W
- (Sat. 1/27) vs. St. John’s 70-45 W
- (Tue. 1/30) @ Marquette 92-72 W
DePaul (1-4), Streak: 1L
- (Fri. 1/12) vs. Providence 71-64 L
- (Mon. 1/15) @ Marquette 70-52 L
- (Sat. 1/20) vs. Butler 79-67 L
- (Wed. 1/24) @ Georgetown 74-73 W
- (Sat. 1/28) vs. Seton Hall 86-70 L
ESPN PickCenter favors Butler by 13 points.
Keys to Victory
Get Everyone Involved: Last time these teams met, B utler won off of a solid team effort. Kelan Martin (24 pts.) and Kamar Baldwin (18 pts.) combined for the brunt of the scoring, but 5 other Bulldogs scored either 6 or 8 points. Baldwin (9 reb.) did a great job crashing the boards and Aaron Thompson (8 ast.) had one of his best games this season as a facilitator. Scoring 41 points in the first half while holding DePaul to just 19, Butler built a lead that was just too much for the Blue Demons to overcome. Helping the Dawgs even more, Tyler Wideman is coming off of a career-high 23 points against Marquette, a game in which Butler shot 60% as a whole and won by 20 on the road against one of the NCAA’s best offenses.
Lock down key match-ups: DePaul’s biggest threat would have to be Max Strus (17.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.7 apg). As a tall yet athletic guard, Strus does nearly everything well. He often creates either a size or speed disadvantage for his opponents. However, Strus is a weak ball-handler so Butler may be able to get some steals to slow him down. The Dawgs forced five turnovers out of him the last time these teams met.
Center Marin Maric (12.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) has a wide variety of strengths as a stretch five. He can score from almost anywhere, which makes him a real threat combined with his 6-11, 240-pound frame. Maric didn’t play against Butler last time, which makes his performance harder to predict in this match-up. The Dawgs will also have to watch out for two-way player Tre’Darius McCallum (11.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg). McCallum struggles with free throws so sending him to the charity stripe could be a good way to prevent him from scoring too much. Finally, guard Eli Cain (11.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 4.2 ast.) is a solid facilitator and potential scoring threat.
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