Bulldogs Face Quick Turnaround Against Rhode Island
INITIAL VISIT: Less than 48 hours after suffering a conference road loss, Butler will be back on the court to host first-time foe Rhode Island on Saturday (Feb. 2). The Atlantic 10 Conference game at Hinkle Fieldhouse is schedule to start at 4 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Rhode Island will be the sixth team to make its first visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse this season, joining Penn, New Orleans, Richmond, Gonzaga and Temple. And Butler will face another new foe on Wednesday (Feb. 6) when St. Bonaventure makes its first visit to the Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs will be trying to bounce back from a 17-point setback at Saint Louis, 75-58, on Thursday (Jan. 31). It was Butler's second loss in three games, and it dropped the nationally-ranked Bulldogs to 17-4 on the season and 4-2 in the A-10. Rhode Island (6-13, 1-5 A-10) has lost three straight games since posting an overtime victory at Saint Louis. The three losses, including a 70-64 setback to VCU on Wednesday (Jan. 30), have come by a total of just ten points. The Rams boast the league's second-leading scorer in 6-2 Xavier Munford, who is averaging 17.4 ppg.
Butler is 34-10 following a loss under head coach Brad Stevens.
HOME STREAK: The Bulldogs, who are 10-0 in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season, have won at least 10 home games in 18 consecutive seasons. Butler is 222-32 at home over that 18-season stretch, including three unbeaten home records. Butler's current seniors are 50-8 in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs will play three of their next four games and six of their final 10 contests on their homecourt.
Butler is 79-11 in Hinkle Fieldhouse under head coach Brad Stevens.
POLLING PLACE: Butler is ranked in the "Top 10" of both the Associated Press national poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll for the second straight week. The Bulldogs are No. 9 this week in the A.P. poll and No. 10 in the coaches poll. Butler's victory over No. 1 Indiana on Dec. 15 vaulted the Bulldogs into the "Top 25" of both major national polls for the first time since November of 2010. The Bulldogs joined the A.P. "Top 25" at No. 19 and the Coaches Poll at No. 25.
Butler is ranked in the national "Top 25" for the seventh consecutive week.
LAST OUTING: Host Saint Louis used a 14-0 run late in the first half to take control of the game, and the Billikens went on to post a 17-point win over Butler. The final tally matched Butler's largest margin of defeat this season. The Bulldogs committed a season-high 23 turnovers, including 16 in the first half, and were out-scored in the paint, 51-22. Saint Louis had a 26-12 advantage in points off turnover and a 19-2 edge in fast break points. The sellout crowd of 10,612 was the largest in Chaifetz Arena history.
SCORING LEADER: Senior Rotnei Clarke was one of just two Butler players to score in double-figures at Saint Louis, finishing with a team-high 17 points. Teammate Andrew Smith added 12 points for the Bulldogs. Clarke has scored in double-figures 14 times in his 18 games this season, and he's had at least a share of Butler's scoring lead in 12 of those contests. The Arkansas transfer has scored 20 or more points seven times this season and 19 times during his collegiate career.
Rotnei Clarke ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring (16.7 ppg).
LEAGUE RECOGNITION: For the fourth time this season, Butler's Kellen Dunham was named Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week, following Butler's games against La Salle and Temple last week. The first-year Butler player averaged 16.0 points and shot 80% (8-10) from the three-point arc in the Bulldogs' two conference contests during the week. He scored 15 points in Butler's game at La Salle and then came off the bench with 17 points in the Bulldogs' home victory over Temple. He added eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in the two league games. Dunham also was named A-10 Rookie of the Week on Nov. 12, Dec. 10 and Dec. 31, and only Xavier's Semaj Christon has earned the conference honor as many times.
SMART CHOICE: Senior Andrew Smith has been named to the 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-District V team. The Butler center was one of five players honored on the District V squad, along with Cody Zeller and Jordan Hulls of Indiana, Aaron Craft of Ohio State and Ben Averkamp of Loyola. Each of the five players is now eligible for the Academic All-America team, which will be released in February. Smith, Butler's second-leading scorer and rebounder on the season, is an honor student majoring in finance.
Butler has had a player on the District V All-Academic Team for seven straight seasons.
CROWD FAVORITE: When the Bulldogs take the court against Rhode Island, they'll be playing in front of their third consecutive homecourt sellout. And the attraction hasn't been limited to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler's games at Saint Joseph's, Dayton, La Salle and Saint Louis also were sellouts, giving the Bulldogs seven capacity crowds in the past eight games, including five straight. Butler's future home games against Saint Louis and Xavier are already sold out, which sets a Butler record for most home sellouts (5) in a single season.
Rhode Island is the 11th sellout crowd for a Butler game this season.
CLASS EFFORT: Seniors Andrew Smith, Chase Stigall and Emerson Kampen became the fifth Butler class to record 100 victories with the Bulldogs' win over Temple. Over the past three-and-a-half seasons, the trio has helped Butler to a 100-34 record, including this season's 17-4 mark. The 100 wins ties Butler's 2002-03 senior class of Darnell Archey, Joel Cornette, Lewis Curry and Mike Moore for fourth place on the Bulldogs' all-time wins' list. The Butler senior class record for victories is 118, set by the 2009-10 class of Willie Veasley and Nick Rodgers.
QUICK START: Butler head coach Brad Stevens has moved into sixth place on the NCAA Division I list for Best Career Coaching Starts By Wins, 6 Seasons. The Bulldogs' coach, who boasts a 156-44 record, trails Mark Few (Gonzaga, 2000-05), Dave Rose (BYU, 2006-11) and Roy Williams (Kansas, 1989-94) in third place by three wins. Stevens holds the NCAA three-year (89), four-year (117) and five-year (139) records, and he's second on the two-year (56) list.
•Senior Andrew Smith has started 88 of Butler's last 90 games, including both NCAA Final Four games in 2011.
•Andrew Smith ranks fifth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.560).
•Andrew Smith stands sixth on Butler's all-time list for field goal percentage (.549).
•Andrew Smith is shooting .617 (37-60) in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
•Andrew Smith needs three points to become the 34th Butler player to score 1,000 career points. Bruce Horan (2002-06) currently stands 33rd on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,018 career points.
•Senior Rotnei Clarke leads the A-10 and ranks seventh in the NCAA Division I in three-point field goals made per game (3.6). Clarke has had at least four three-pointers in a game 10 times this season.
•Rotnei Clarke ranks seventh in the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point field goal percentage (.433).
•Rotnei Clarke currently ranks sixth in the A-10 in free throw shooting (.857).
•Rotnei Clarke scored his 1,600th career point at Saint Louis. He enters the Rhode Island game with 1,607 career points.
•Butler is 11-0 this season when junior Khyle Marshall scores in double-figures.
•Sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones has had at least a share of the team lead in assists in nine of Butler's last 12 games.
•Roosevelt Jones has hit 39 of 64 (.609) free throws in Butler's last 12 games. He shot 40% from the free throw line through Butler first nine games.
•Freshman Kellen Dunham is averaging 13.2 points in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
•Kellen Dunham had a career-high seven rebounds to lead the Bulldogs at Saint Louis.
•Kellen Dunham leads the A-10 and ranks fourth in the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting (.921).
•Butler's 23 turnovers at Saint Louis were the most in six seasons under head coach Brad Stevens and the most for the Bulldogs since Jan. 23, 2003, when Butler had 24 turnovers in a 69-65 loss at Milwaukee.
•The Bulldogs lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in team field goal shooting (.464).
•Butler is tied with Charlotte in field goal percentage defense (.401) in conference games only.
•Butler is ranked first in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 17th in the NCAA Division I in team rebounding margin (+7.9).
•Butler has six "Top 10" wins under head coach Brad Stevens. The Bulldogs defeated #4 Syracuse and #7 Kansas State in the 2010 NCAA Tournament and #4 Pittsburgh in the 2011 national tournament, prior to beating #1 Indiana, #8 Gonzaga and #9 North Carolina this season.
•Butler is 58-6 under head coach Brad Stevens when hitting at least nine three-point field goals in a game.