POSTSEASON BID: Butler will make its seventh consecutive postseason tournament appearance when it hosts Delaware in the first round of the 2012 College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen on Wednesday, March 14. The tournament game at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 8 p.m (ET) and will be televised on HDNet. The Bulldogs, coming off a 20-14 campaign, will be making their first appearance in the CBI, which is entering its fifth year. The 16-team tournament kicks off on Tuesday, March 13, with two first-round games. The remaining six first-round games are scheduled for Wednesday. The quarterfinal round will be held on Monday, March 19, while the semifinals will be played on Wednesday, March 21. A unique feature of the CBI is its best-of-three Championship Series, which begins on Monday, March 26. Delaware, boasting an 18-13 overall record, finished fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association this season. The Blue Hens, who were unbeaten in February, had a nine-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Old Dominion in the quarterfinals of the CAA Tournament. Delaware is making its first postseason tournament appearance since 2000. The winner of the Butler-Delaware game will meet the winner of the Quinnipiac-Penn contest in the CBI quarterfinals.
Butler has won a postseason tournament game in five of the past six seasons.
EXTENDED PLAY: The Bulldogs have advanced to postseason tournament play for the 14th time in 16 years. Butler earned bids to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and to the National Invitational Tournament in 1999, 2002 and 2006. Butler's record in postseason tournament play since 1997 is 20-13 (16-10 in the NCAA and 4-3 in the NIT).
TWENTY WINS: Butler's victory over Milwaukee in the Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship gave the Bulldogs 20 wins for the seventh consecutive season and for the 14th time in the past 16 campaigns. The seven straight 20-win campaigns matches the Horizon League record for most consecutive 20-win seasons, set by Butler from 1996 to 2003. The Bulldogs are the only team in Horizon League history to record five or more consecutive 20-win seasons and they've done it twice (1996-2003 and 2006-2012).
LEAGUE TOURNAMENT: Butler's bid for a third consecutive Horizon League Tournament championship came up short with a loss to top-seeded Valparaiso, 65-46, in the league semifinals. The Bulldogs, who led early in the game, fell behind by seven points at halftime and were unable to overtake the hot-shooting host squad in the final 20 minutes. The loss snapped Butler's string of six consecutive Horizon League Tournament wins. The Bulldogs defeated Wright State, 70-52, at home in the first round of the 2012 Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship and then beat Milwaukee, 71-49, in the second round at Valparaiso. Butler, which shot just 33% in the semifinals game against Valparaiso, hit 50% or better from the field in the two tournament wins.
Butler advanced to the Horizon League Tournament semifinals for the 14th time in 16 years.
LEAD CHANGE: Butler had four different players lead the team in scoring in the three Horizon League Tournament games. Junior Andrew Smith led the way against Wright State with a career-high 25 points, while sophomore Khyle Marshall and freshman Roosevelt Jones shared the team scoring lead against Milwaukee with 17 points apiece. Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins took the lead against Valparaiso with 18 points. Over the past 13 games, Smith, Hopkins and Jones have led the team in scoring four times each, while Marshall had topped the Bulldogs twice.
Butler has had nine different players lead the team in scoring in a game this year.
BOARD REVIEW: Butler enters the postseason as the top rebounding team in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs topped the league in rebounding margin (+3.7), offensive rebounds (12.4), rebounding offense (35.4) and defensive rebounding percentage (.726). Butler out-rebounded 20 opponents on the season, including eight of the last 11.
ASSIST MARK: Senior Ronald Nored (above), who has averaged 7.0 assists over the Bulldogs' last ten games, enters postseason play already owning Butler's single season assist record. Nored had 16 assists in Butler's three Horizon League Tournament games, boosting his season total to a school-record 180 assists. He erased the former record of 172 assists, set by Mike Green in 2007-08. Nored also boosted his career total for assists to 484. He stands second on Butler's all-time assist chart, trailing only Thomas Jackson who had 540 assists from 1998-2002. Earlier this season, Nored became just the second player in Butler basketball history (Thomas Jackson is the other) to record 400 career points, 400 career rebounds and 400 career assists.
TOURNAMENT LEADER: Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins (right), who had a team-high 18 points against Valparaiso in the semifinals of the league tournament, wound up as Butler's leading scorer in this year's Horizon League Men's Basketball Championship. Hopkins averaged 11.7 points in the Bulldogs' three tournament games, notching double-figures in two of the three contests. He finished the season with seven double-figures scoring performances in Butler's final 11 games. The 6-1 guard averaged 10.5 points in 21 games as a starter for the Bulldogs this season.
DOUBLES RECORD: Roosevelt Jones, who posted double-figures totals for both points and rebounds in two of the Bulldogs' final three regular season games, set a Butler record this season for most double-doubles by a freshman. Jones has four double-doubles on the year, breaking the school mark he shared with former Butler player Matt Howard, current NBA player Gordon Hayward (2008-09) and teammate Kameron Woods.
LATE RUN: Junior Andrew Smith (11.1 ppg) is the lone Butler player averaging in double-figures for the year. But over the past 10 games, Butler has four players averaging double-figures - Smith (11.7), Khyle Marshall (11.0), Roosevelt Jones (10.9) and Chrishawn Hopkins (10.8). Over that 10-game stretch, Marshall has shot .597 from the field, Jones has hit at a .557 clip and Smith has posted a .524 field goal percentage.
SENIOR MOMENT: Butler seniors Ronald Nored and Garrett Butcher rank third on the Bulldogs' all-time list for senior class wins with a 107-34 record during their four seasons. The two have helped Butler to three Horizon League regular season championships, two league tournament titles and four consecutive trips to postseason tournament play, including back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship national title game.
SMART CHOICE: Senior Ronald Nored, who's combined success on the basketball court with excellence in the classroom, was named second team on the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Team. The honor student majoring in Early Childhood/Middle Childhood Education is the sixth Butler player to earn Academic All-America recognition and the fifth since 2007. Butler has had one or more players named to the Academic All-America Team in each of the past six seasons, including three-time Academic All-American and 2011 Academic All-American of the Year Matt Howard.
ALL-LEAGUE: Senior Ronald Nored and freshman Roosevelt Jones were recognized on the 2011-12 Horizon League Men's Basketball All-League Team, announced prior to the league tournament. Nored was named second team All-League, while Jones was chosen the league's All-Newcomer Team. Butler has had a player named first or second team All-League for 14 consecutive years.
FIRST DEFENSE: Butler's Ronald Nored was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in his career. Nored, who was named league Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009-10, was selected to the league's All-Defensive Team for the third consecutive year.
LEAD ROLE: Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs to five 20-win seasons, matching former coach (and current Athletic Director) Barry Collier for the most 20-campaigns by a Butler coach. Todd Lickliter, Stevens' former boss, led Butler to four 20-win seasons, Harlan O. "Pat" Page had two 20-win campaigns and Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle and Thad Matta each led Butler to one 20-win season.
QUICK START: Butler head coach Brad Stevens has moved into a tie for the top spot on the NCAA Division I list for Best Career Coaching Starts By Wins, 5 Seasons. The Bulldogs' coach, who boasts a 137-39 record, tied former five-year leader, Everett Case of North Carolina State (1947-51). Stevens holds the NCAA three-year (89) and four-year (117) records, and he's second on the two-year (56) list.
•Butler is making its first appearance in the College Basketball Invitational, but the Bulldogs are playing in the postseason for the seventh consecutive year and for the 21st time overall.
•With the invitation to the CBI this season, the Bulldogs have tied the Butler record for most consecutive postseason tournament appearances. Butler also appeared in postseason tournaments for seven straight years from 1997 to 2003.
•Butler is 27-19 overall in postseason tournament games. The Bulldogs are 18-11 in NCAA Tournament play and 5-8 in NIT postseason action. Butler was 4-0 and captured the national championship at the 1924 AAU National Tournament.
•The Bulldogs have won 10 of their last 12 postseason tournament games, with both losses coming in the national championship game.
•Butler has hosted three previous postseason tournament games, all in the NIT. The Bulldogs defeated Old Dominion, 75-62, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in the 1999 NIT and beat Bowling Green, 81-68, at home in the 2002 NIT. Butler's last postseason game at home was in 2006, and the Bulldogs pulled out a 53-52 decision over Miami, Ohio.
•Brad Stevens has led the Bulldogs to postseason play in each of his five seasons as a head coach. He also participated in postseason action as Butler's Director of Basketball Operations in 2001 and as an assistant coach with the Bulldogs in 2003, 2006 and 2007. Butler is 11-4 in postseason play under Stevens as a head coach and 18-9 with Stevens as a member of the Bulldogs' staff.
•Senior Ronald Nored has played in 13 postseason tournament games (all in the NCAA Tournament). The Butler record for most postseason tournament games is 15, shared by Matt Howard, Shawn Vanzant and Zach Hahn (2007-11).
•The Bulldogs are tied for 16th place on Butler's all-time list for single season victories with 20. A 21st win would move this year's team into a tie for 15th place on the all-time list.
•Ronald Nored is tied for second with Zach Hahn (2007-11) on Butler's all-time list for games played with 139. Matt Howard (2007-11) owns Butler's all-time record (141).
•Ronald Nored stands second on Butler's all-time list for steals (203), four behind career-leader Thomas Jackson (207 from 1998-2002).
•Ronald Nored ranks third in the Horizon League in steals (1.8).
•Ronald Nored ranks second in the Horizon League in assists (5.3) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.9). Nored has 51 assists (7.3) in Butler's last seven games.
•Ronald Nored has posted career-highs for points (18), rebounds (11) and assists (10) since mid-December.
•Junior Andrew Smith has shot .592 from the field, .462 from beyond the three-point arc and averaged 12.7 points in Butler's 20 wins this season.
•Andrew Smith ranks seventh in the Horizon League in field goal shooting (.520).
•Andrew Smith had Butler's top single game output this season with 25 points against Wright State in the league tournament.
•Sophomore Khyle Marshall continues to lead the Bulldogs in field goal shooting (.564). He's third in the Horizon League.
•Khyle Marshall is shooting 59.7% (37-62) from the field over the last 10 contests.
•Khyle Marshall has averaged 11.0 points in eight games since returning from a concussion that sidelined him for two games.
•Sophomore Erik Fromm led the Bulldogs with 16 rebounds in the Horizon League Tournament, including a career-high seven rebounds against Milwaukee in the second round.
•Freshman Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks eighth in the Horizon League in rebounding (6.0).
•Roosevelt Jones matched his career scoring-high with 17 points against Milwaukee in the second round of the league tournament.
•Roosevelt Jones ranks fourth in the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.5).
•Butler has played 19 games this year against teams that are playing in the postseason.
•Butler's loss at Valparaiso in the Horizon League Tournament snapped the Bulldogs' 13-game March winning streak. The Bulldogs had not lost in March since a 2009 setback to LSU in the NCAA Tournament. Butler is 17-4 in March under head coach Brad Stevens.