March 17, 2012

Bulldogs Face Penn At The Palestra

Butler Vs. Penn
2012 College Basketball Invitational
presented by Zebra Penn
Monday, March 19, 8 p.m. (ET)
The Palestra - Philadelphia, Pa.

Game Notes
CBI Bracket

HISTORICAL MEETING:  Butler will move from one historical arena to another when if visits the Palestra to face Penn in the quarterfinals of the 2012 College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen on Monday, March 19.  The game on Penn’s homecourt will start at 8 p.m (ET) and will be televised on HDNet.  The Bulldogs, who play their home games in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, will be making their first appearance in the Palestra, often called the Cathedral of College Basketball.  The Philadelphia, Pa., arena, which has been home to Penn basketball for more than eight decades, was opened in January of 1927, one year before Butler played its first game in Hinkle Fieldhouse.  The Bulldogs advanced to the quarterfinals of the CBI with a 75-58 victory at home over Delaware in the first round of the tournament.  That win lifted Butler to 21-14 on the season and set up a first-ever meeting with Penn.  The Quakers (20-12) advanced in the CBI with a 74-63 opening-round victory over Quinnipiac at the Palestra.  Butler will be playing a men’s basketball game in Philadelphia for the first time since 1994, when the Bulldogs won at La Salle, 87-68.  The winner of the Butler-Penn game will face the winner of the Pitt-Princeton contest in a CBI semifinals game on Wednesday, March 21.                                       

Butler is the last Horizon League team playing for the third straight year.                    

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 21-13 (16-10 in the NCAA ; 4-3 in the NIT; 1-0 in the CBI).

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).    

OPENING ROUND:  Butler built an eight-point halftime lead and then opened the second half with a 9-0 run to pull away from visiting Delaware in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.  The Bulldogs, who trailed early in the contest,  out-scored Delaware, 16-8, in the final 7:25 of the opening period to take a 31-23 halftime lead.  That margin ballooned to 17 points in the first five minutes of the second half.  Guard Chrishawn Hopkins scored the first five points after halftime and forwards Andrew Smith and Kameron Woods each added a basket before Delaware cashed its first points to give Butler a 40-23 lead with 15:39 remaining in the game.  Delaware never got closer than nine points the rest of the way, and the Bulldogs maintained a double-digit advantage for the final 10 minutes of the game.  It was Butler’s first postseason win at home since 2006, when the Bulldogs defeated Miami, Ohio, 53-52, in the NIT.      

Butler has won a postseason tournament game in six of the past the seven years.

REPEAT PERFORMANCE:  Sophomore Chrishawn Hopkins, who led the Bulldogs in scoring against Valparaiso in their final Horizon League Tournament game, topped Butler in scoring for the second consecutive contest with 19 points against Delaware.  It was the first time since early January that a player led Butler in scoring in back-to-back games.  Over the past 14 games, Hopkins  has led Butler in scoring five times, Andrew Smith and Roosevelt Jones have led the team four times each, and Khyle Marshall has topped the Bulldogs twice.  Smith was the last player to lead Butler in scoring in back-to-back games, topping the Bulldogs against Cleveland State and Youngstown State on Jan. 13 & 15.

Butler has had nine different players lead the team in scoring in a game this year.

BOARD REVIEW:  Butler showed why it led the Horizon League in rebounding by building a commanding 37-25 rebound margin over Delaware.  The Bulldogs pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in the win, leading to a 21-6 advantage in second chance points.  Junior Andrew Smith led the Bulldogs with a game-high seven rebounds, while freshman Roosevelt Jones added six, including five offensive boards.  Butler has out-rebounded 21 opponents on the season, including nine of the past 12.

SERVANT LEADER:  Senior Ronald Nored, who has averaged 6.6 assists over the Bulldogs’ last 11 games, added to his Butler single season assist record in the first round of the CBI.  Nored shared the team lead with three assists against Delaware, boosting his season total to a school-record 183 assists.  He previously erased the former record of 172 assists, set by Mike Green in 2007-08.  Nored also boosted his career total for assists to 487.  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 led the Bulldogs in scoring during the Horizon League Tournament, continued his surge in the opening round of the CBI.  Hopkins averaged 11.7 points in the Bulldogs’ three league tournament games, notching double-figures in two of the three contests, and he’s now averaging 13.5 points in four tournament games since the end of the regular season.  He finished the regular season slate with seven double-figures scoring performances in Butler’s final 11 games.  The 6-1 guard averaged 10.9 points in 22 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.

SENIOR MOMENTS:  Butler seniors Ronald Nored and Garrett Butcher rank third on the Bulldogs’ all-time list for senior class wins with a 108-34 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.  They’ve helped Butler to an 11-3 postseason record during their four seasons

SMART PICK:  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 the top spot on the NCAA Division I list for Best Career Coaching Starts By Wins, 5 Seasons.  The Bulldogs’ coach, who boasts a 138-39 record, moved ahead of 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.

TOURNAMENT NOTES  

•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 28-19 overall in postseason tournament games.  The Bulldogs are 18-11 in NCAA Tournament play, 5-8 in NIT postseason action and 1-0 in the CBI.  Butler was 4-0 and captured the national championship at the 1924 AAU National Tournament.

•The Bulldogs have won 11 of their last 13 postseason tournament games, with both losses coming in the national championship game.

•Butler is playing its first postseason road game since 2006, when the Bulldogs fell at Florida State, 67-63, in the NIT.  The last postseason road win for the Bulldogs came at Bradley, 51-50, in the 1999 NIT.  Butler is 1-6 all-time in postseason road games.

•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 12-4 in postseason play under Stevens as a head coach and 19-9 with Stevens as a member of the Bulldogs’ staff.

•Senior Ronald Nored has played in 14 postseason tournament games.  The Butler record for most postseason tournament games is 15, shared by Matt Howard, Shawn Vanzant and Zach Hahn (2007-11).

BULLDOG BITS:

•The Bulldogs are tied for 15th place on Butler’s all-time list for single season victories with 21.  A 22nd win would move this year’s team into a tie for 12th place on the all-time list.
 
•Ronald Nored has moved into a tie with former teammate  Matt Howard (2007-11) for first place on Butler’s all-time list for games played (141).

•Ronald Nored, who scored 12 points against Delaware, boosted his career postseason scoring total to 68 points and moved into ninth place on Butler’s all-time postseason scoring list.  He trails Pete Campbell, 2007-08, in eighth place by two points.

•Ronald Nored stands second on Butler’s all-time list for steals (204), three behind career-leader Thomas Jackson (207 from 1998-2002).

•Ronald Nored ranks second in the Horizon League in assists (5.2) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.9).  Nored has 54 assists (6.8) in Butler’s last eight games.

•Ronald Nored has posted career-highs for points (18), rebounds (11) and assists (10) since mid-December.

•Junior Andrew Smith has shot .595 from the field, .464 from beyond the three-point arc and averaged 12.9 points in Butler’s 21 wins this season.

•Andrew Smith ranks seventh in the Horizon League in field goal shooting (.525).

•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 (.561).  He’s third in the Horizon League.

•Khyle Marshall has averaged 10.0 points in nine games since returning from a concussion that sidelined him for two games.

•Junior Chase Stigall came off the bench with 10 points against Delaware.  It was his first double-figures scoring performance since Jan. 13.

•Freshman Roosevelt Jones leads the Bulldogs and ranks eighth in the Horizon League in rebounding (6.0).

•Roosevelt Jones ranks third in the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.6).

•Freshman Alex Barlow came off the bench against Delaware with career-highs of four points, four rebounds and three steals.

•Butler played 19 regular season games this year against teams that advanced to postseason play.

•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 18-4 in March under head coach Brad Stevens.