Butler Faces Northern State In Exhibition Game
FIRST LOOK: The
wait is over. Butler will officially unveil its 2011-12
men’s basketball squad in a exhibition game against Northern
State on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The initial test at Hinkle
Fieldhouse will tip at 7 p.m. (ET) and will be the first of two
exhibition games this week. There’s been a great deal
of speculation about this year’s Butler team, following the
Bulldogs’ second consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division
I national championship game. Head coach Brad Stevens lost
six players from last year’s 28-10 squad, including leading
scorer and rebounder Matt Howard and second-leading scorer Shelvin
Mack. Howard, who’s currently playing professional
basketball in Greece, completed his four years at Butler as the
Bulldogs’ third all-time leading scorer and rebounder, while
Mack, who was drafted by the Washington Wizards in the second round
of the 2011 NBA Draft, ended his three-year career in 11th place on
Butler’s all-time scoring list. Also gone from last
year’s squad are starting point-guard Shawn Vanzant and
backcourt sharp-shooter Zach Hahn. The departures accounted
for 64% of Butler’s scoring and 48% of the squad’s
rebounding a year ago. But the Bulldogs return eight players
from a year ago, and Stevens has added six promising
freshmen. Following the Northern State game, the Bulldogs
will face local foe Franklin in a second exhibition contest on
Saturday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m.
Butler will play 18 games, including 16 regular season contests, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2011-12.
NEW FOE: Butler will be facing Northern State, from Aberdeen, S.D., for the first time. The Wolves, who play in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NCAA Division II), return four of their top eight scorers from last year’s 12-14 team, including top point-producers Collin Pryor and Dustin Tetzlaff. Pryor, a 6-6 junior, averaged a team-best 15.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds a year ago, while Tetzlaff chipped in with 11.5 points and 7.2 rebounds. Northern State opened a three-game exhibition tour with a 71-53 loss at Northern Iowa on Sunday, Oct. 30, and the Wolves will play at Purdue on Tuesday, Nov. 1, before visiting Butler.
LOOKING BACK: Two current Butler squad members, senior Ronald Nored and junior Andrew Smith, were in the starting lineup a year ago when the Bulldogs faced Florida Southern in the first exhibition game of the season. Nored had 14 points and five assists, while Smith added nine points and four rebounds for the Bulldogs, who posted a 90-70 victory. Senior Garrett Butcher, who started Butler’s second exhibition game against Hanover, came off the bench with five points and four rebounds against Florida Southern, while junior Chase Stigall, who ended the 2010-11 season in Butler’s starting lineup, had three points in a five-minute reserve stint in the Bulldogs’ opening exhibition game.
BULLDOG BITS: Head coach Brad Stevens has named seniors Ronald Nored and Garrett Butcher as captains of the 2011-12 Butler squad...Butler is among the teams receiving votes in both the A.P. and ESPN/USA Today preseason national polls. The Bulldogs are ranked 31st in both polls with 25 votes. Three Butler opponents are among the “Top 25” teams in the two polls. Louisville is ranked 8th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and ninth in the A.P.; Xavier is ranked 14th in the A.P. and 15th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and Gonzaga is ranked 23rd in both polls...Ronald Nored tops the current Butler roster with 89 career starts for the Bulldogs. He’s averaged 5.1 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 106 career games. Junior Andrew Smith has started 32 games during his Butler career. Smith is Butler’s top returning scorer (8.5) and rebounder (5.6)...Junior Emerson Kampen and freshman Elliott Kampen are the first brothers to play for Butler since Ben and Andy Grunst in 2002-03.