Bulldogs Face Hanover In Final Exhibition Game
FINAL TUNE-UP: Butler's coaching staff will get their last preseason look at the 2010-11 Bulldogs in the team's second and final exhibition game on Thursday, Nov. 4. The Bulldogs will host NCAA Division III foe Hanover in a contest at that will start at 7 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler passed its first preseason test with a 90-70 victory over visiting Florida Southern on Saturday, Oct. 30. All 14 players on Butler's roster saw action in that game, and 11 of the 14 cracked the scoring column. Hanover returns four of its top five scorers from last year's 15-10 club, which finished runner-up in the Heartland Collegiate Conference. Leading that group are three-time All-HCAC forward Mitchell Meyer (14.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and 6-6 junior Mike Case (12.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg), who attended Southport High School. Butler and Hanover met for the first time as opponents in 1904-05, and the two Indiana foes during the regular season on 14 previous occasions. The Bulldogs won the last meeting with Hanover, 56-53, in November of 1995.
Butler will open the regular season at home on Nov. 13 against Marian.
EARLY RECOGNITION: Butler, ranked No. 2 in the final ESPN/USA Today national poll a year ago, will open the 2010-11 season as the No. 17 ranked team in the Associated Press (A.P.) preseason poll and with a No. 18 ranking in the ESPN/USA Today preseason poll. The Bulldogs have been ranked in the "Top 25" nationally in each of the past four seasons.
Butler will begin the season as a "Top 25" team for the second consecutive year and for the second time in school history.
OFFENSIVE START: Butler, which gained wide recognition for its strong defensive performances a year ago, unleashed an offensive explosion in its opening test against Florida Southern. The Bulldogs scored 45 points in the first half against the Moccasins and then matched that total in the second half. Six different players scored at least nine points in the game, led by senior Matt Howard with a game-high 19 points. Howard, who played just 23 minutes in the win, scored 12 points in the first half, while leading Butler to a 45-37 halftime lead.
Butler topped 90 points just one time in 2009-10.
POINT GUARD: Butler fans looking for an early assessment of the 2010-11 Bulldogs had to leave the Florida Southern game with a good feeling about the performance of junior Ronald Nored. Coming off summer leg surgery for the second straight year, Nored showed no signs of rust and picked up where he left off in last year's NCAA Tournament run. The 6-0 guard hit five of eight shots in the game, including both of his three-point field goal attempts, and finished with 14 points. He also had five assists, three rebounds and two steals, with just one turnover in 27 minutes of action. Nored averaged 6.0 points a year ago and had more than 14 points just twice.
Ronald Nored was Horizon League Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009-10.
•Shelvin Mack was given honorable mention on the 2010 Associated Press Preseason All-America Team. Mack also is on the John R. Wooden Award 2010-11 Preseason Top 50 Candidates list. The 6-3 junior had nine points, four rebounds, two steals and a team-high six assists against Florida Southern.
•Butler is ranked #1 in the initial CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. The Bulldogs received 16 first place votes to finish ahead of No. 2 Gonzaga. Butler ended 2009-10 as the No. 1 ranked team in the poll.
•Sophomore Andrew Smith was given the starting nod against Florida Southern, and he responded with nine points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Smith was in the Bulldogs' starting lineup for the first time in his young Butler career.
•Senior Zach Hahn came off the bench against Florida Southern and hit all three three-point field goals that he attempted, all in the first half. Hahn was second on the team in three-point field goals a year ago.
•The Bulldogs boast six players with at least 60 career games played, led by senior Matt Howard with 104 games in three seasons. Senior Zach Hahn has played in 102 games, senior Shawn Vanzant has 100, juniors Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored each have played in 70 and junior Garrett Butcher has played in 64. Howard has 96 career starts.