Bulldogs Host St. Bonaventure In A-10 Tilt
NEW FOE: Butler will wrap up its brief, two-game homestand when it faces first-time foe St. Bonaventure on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The 7 p.m. (ET) Atlantic 10 Conference contest at Hinkle Fieldhouse will be televised on CBS Sports Network-Regional (seen locally on WNDY-TV). St. Bonaventure will be the seventh consecutive Butler opponent making its first visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bonnies (10-10, 3-4 A-10), who are coming off a 68-60 home victory over Duquesne, have won three of their last four games, including road wins at Temple and Saint Joseph's. The team's lone setback in the past four outings came at home to a red-hot Saint Louis squad, 67-57. Butler bounced back from a loss at Saint Louis to defeat Rhode Island, 75-68, in Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday (Feb. 2). The win lifted the Bulldogs to 18-4 on the season and 5-2 in the A-10. VCU currently leads the A-10 with a 6-2 record, while Butler is tied with Saint Louis and Charlotte for second place. Just one game in the loss column separates the top nine teams in the A-10 standings! The Bulldogs will continue a stretch of first-time opponents on Saturday (Feb. 9) when they travel to Washington, D.C., to meet George Washington in a 2 p.m. (ET) game.
Butler has won 18 of its last 19 February home games.
HOME STREAK: The Bulldogs, who are 11-0 in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season, have won at least 10 home games in 18 consecutive seasons. Butler is 223-32 at home over that 18-season stretch, including three unbeaten home records. Butler's current seniors are 51-8 in Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs have five of their final nine contests on their homecourt.
Butler is 80-11 in Hinkle Fieldhouse under head coach Brad Stevens.
POLLING PLACE: Butler continues to be nationally-ranked in both the Associated Press national poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 14 this week in both national polls. 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 eighth consecutive week.
LAST OUTING: Butler used a sizzling second half shooting performance to erase a halftime deficit and pull away to a seven-point win over visiting Rhode Island. The Bulldogs, who trailed by as many as nine points in the opening 20 minutes, began the second half with a 13-0 run to take a 43-32 lead, and Rhode Island was left playing catch-up for the rest of the contest. The Rams did cut the margin to four points, 72-68, with a minute to play, before Butler scored the final three points at the free throw line. The Bulldogs hit 13 of 22 (.591) shots from the field, including three of six from beyond the three-point arc, and 16 of 18 (.889) attempts from the free throw line in the final period. Butler scored 12 of its final 14 points from the charity stripe.
LEAD ROLE: Senior Rotnei Clarke led the Bulldogs in scoring for the third consecutive game, since returning from a neck injury that sidelined him for three-and-a-half contests. The 6-0 guard topped all players with 23 points against Rhode Island, including 13 in the decisive second half. Clarke has scored in double-figures 15 times in his 19 games this season, and he's had at least a share of Butler's scoring lead in 13 of those contests. The Arkansas transfer has scored 20 or more points eight times this season and 20 times during his collegiate career.
Rotnei Clarke has averaged 21.3 points since returning from his injury.
FORWARD LOOK: Butler forwards Roosevelt Jones, Khyle Marshall and Kameron Woods combined for 38 points and 14 rebounds to help spark the Bulldogs past Rhode Island. Jones finished with 18 points, including 13 in the final 20 minutes, and six rebounds, while Marshall, who tallied 11 points in the opening period, posted 13 points and three rebounds. Woods came off the bench to add seven points and five rebounds. The three front court players helped Butler to a 32-25 rebounding advantage in the victory.
GRAND EFFORT: Senior Andrew Smith became the 34th Butler player to score 1,000 career points during the Bulldogs' victory over Rhode Island. Smith, the lone current collegiate player who has played in two NCAA Division I national championship games, hit the 1,000-point mark with his third tally against the Rams. He enters this week's action with 1,005 career points, 13 points shy of Bruce Horan (2002-06) in 33rd place on the all-time Butler list. Smith joins former teammates Matt Howard (1,939 points, 2007-11) and Shelvin Mack (1,527 points, 2008-11) in Butler's 1,000-Point Club.
CHARITABLE WORK: The Bulldogs connected on a season-best 24 of 27 (.889) free throws against Rhode Island. Butler missed one free throw in the first half and two in the second. The visiting Rams were nearly as good, hitting 24 of 28 charity tosses.
CLASS MOVE: 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 101-34 record, including this season's 18-4 mark. The 101 wins places this year's senior class in fourth place on the Bulldogs' all-time 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 157-44 record, trails Mark Few (Gonzaga, 2000-05), Dave Rose (BYU, 2006-11) and Roy Williams (Kansas, 1989-94) in third place by two 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.
POPULAR DRAW: The Bulldogs played in front of their fifth consecutive sellout crowd overall and their third straight at home when they hosted Rhode Island. Butler has performed in front of seven capacity crowds in the past eight games and in 11 total games this season. 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.
•Senior Andrew Smith has started 89 of Butler's last 91 games, including both NCAA Final Four games in 2011.
•Andrew Smith ranks eighth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.549).
•Andrew Smith stands sixth on Butler's all-time list for field goal percentage (.547).
•Andrew Smith was named to the five-player 2012-13 Capital One Academic All-District V Team. Butler has had a player on the Academic All-District V team for seven straight seasons.
•Senior Rotnei Clarke ranks third in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring (17.1).
•Rotnei Clarke stands second in the A-10 and ranks eighth in the NCAA Division I in three-point field goals made per game (3.7). Clarke has had at least four three-pointers in a game 11 times this season.
•Rotnei Clarke ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in three-point field goal percentage (.443).
•Rotnei Clarke currently ranks sixth in the A-10 in free throw shooting (.846).
•Butler is 12-0 this season when junior Khyle Marshall scores in double-figures.
•Junior Erik Fromm missed Butler's game with Rhode Island, following the death of his father on Feb. 2. He will be in uniform for Butler's game with St. Bonaventure.
•Sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones has had at least a share of the team lead in assists in 10 of Butler's last 13 games. Jones had a team-high four assists against Rhode Island.
•Roosevelt Jones is averaging 13.3 points over Butler's last ten games.
•Roosevelt Jones hit a Butler season-best eight of eight from the free throw line against Rhode Island.
•Roosevelt Jones has hit 47 of 72 (.653) free throws in Butler's last 13 games. He shot 40% from the free throw line through Butler first nine games.
•Freshman Kellen Dunham is averaging 12.4 points in Hinkle Fieldhouse this season.
•Kellen Dunham leads the A-10 and ranks fourth in the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting (.921).
•Butler is ranked first in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 14th in the NCAA Division I in team rebounding margin (+7.9).
•The Bulldogs stand second in the Atlantic 10 Conference in team field goal shooting (.465).
•Butler is holding conference opponents to a league-best .401 field goal percentage.
•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.