Bulldogs Head To New York To Face Fordham
ROAD WORK: Butler will try to bounce back from its first home loss of the season when it makes its initial visit to Fordham on Saturday, Feb. 16. The game in venerable Rose Hill Gym is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on CBS Sports Network. The Bulldogs had a 12-game, homecourt winning streak snapped by Charlotte, 71-67, on Wednesday (Feb. 13). The loss dropped Butler to 20-5 on the season and 7-3 in the Atlantic 10 Conference, while knocking the Bulldogs out of a tie for first place in the conference standings. Fordham (6-19, 2-8 A-10) is coming off a 79-66 loss at Xavier on Wednesday. The Bulldogs, who play their home games in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse, will be competing for the first time in Rose Hill Gym, recently named one of the "Cathedrals of College Basketball" by ESPN The Magazine. Rose Hill Gym, built in 1925 (three years before Hinkle Fieldhouse) is the oldest on-campus venue currently being used by a NCAA Division I basketball team. The Rams are 4-4 on their homecourt this season. Following the trip to New York, Butler will return to Indianapolis for back-to-back home games against conference foes Duquesne and Saint Louis.
Butler is 35-10 following a loss under head coach Brad Stevens.
POLL WATCH: Butler climbed to No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 11 in the Associated Press national poll this week. It's the third time the Bulldogs have reached the "Top 10" in at least one of the 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 ninth consecutive week.
LAST OUTING: Visiting Charlotte shot 54% for the game and held off a late Butler charge to hand the Bulldogs a four-point loss at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The hot-shooting 49ers looked to have things comfortably in hand when Darion Clark hit a free throw to give the visitors a 60-50 lead with 3:30 remaining. But the Bulldogs stormed back and cut the margin to one, 68-67, with nine seconds left. Butler then had the ball, trailing 69-67 with seven seconds remaining, but a turnover in the closing seconds ended Butler's comeback attempt.
HOT FINISH: Butler scoring leader Rotnei Clarke was held in check for nearly 37 minutes against Charlotte, but he exploded for 15 points in the final 3:30 to lead Butler's comeback attempt. The 6-0 guard, who had just three points in the first 36:30 of the game, hit four three-point field goals and added three free throws in the closing flurry, which saw him score nine points in 14 seconds in the final minute! Clarke finished with a game-high 18 points. He has scored in double-figures 18 times in his 22 games this season, and he's had at least a share of Butler's scoring lead in 16 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 led the Bulldogs in scoring in six straight games since returning from a neck injury.
BATTLING ADVERSITY: Butler was without second-leading scorer and rebounder Andrew Smith for the game against Charlotte. Smith was injured during Butler's win at George Washington, and he required medical attention when the team returned to Indianapolis following the game. His return has not been determined. Smith's injury was the latest in a series of setbacks for the Bulldogs. Butler played three-and-a-half games in January without leading scorer Rotnei Clarke, who was sidelined with injury, and junior center Erik Fromm missed Butler's game against Rhode Island following the death of his father. Sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones sat out most of the second half of Butler's win over St. Bonaventure after sustaining a shoulder injury in the game.
HEALTHY EFFORT: Sophomore Roosevelt Jones put to rest any lingering doubts about his recovery from a shoulder injury with a 17-point, nine-rebound performance against Charlotte. Jones, who suffered the injury in Butler's victory over St. Bonaventure on Feb. 6, played a game-high 37 minutes against the 49ers, one minute shy of his career-high. He shared game-high rebounding honors, and he added two assists, one blocked shots and one steal, before fouling out late in the contest. In the two games since his injury, Jones has averaged 14.5 points and 8.0 rebounds.
RELIEF PERFORMANCE: Junior Erik Fromm, inserted in Butler's starting lineup in place of injured center Andrew Smith, wound up scoring a season-high 13 points against Charlotte. The 6-8 forward hit a season-best three three-point field goals and pulled down a career-high nine rebounds in 24 minutes of action against the 49ers. Fromm was averaging 3.7 points and 2.9 rebounds prior to the Charlotte start.
TOP TWENTY: The 2012-13 Bulldogs became the 19th Butler team to record 20 victories in a season with the win at George Washington on Feb. 9. Butler has won at least 20 games in eight consecutive seasons and in 15 of the past 17 campaigns.
QUICK START: Butler head coach Brad Stevens has moved into a tie for third place on the NCAA Division I list for Best Career Coaching Starts By Wins, 6 Seasons. The Bulldogs' coach, who boasts a 159-45 record, trails Everett Case (North Carolina State, 1947-52) in second 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 ATTRACTION: When Butler takes the court at Fordham, it will be the sixth consecutive Atlantic 10 Conference road sellout for the Bulldogs. Overall, it will be Butler's ninth capacity crowd in the past 11 games and the 13th sellout crowd 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.
•Seniors Andrew Smith, Chase Stigall and Emerson Kampen have moved into fourth place on Butler's list for Most Senior Class Wins with a four-year record of 103-35.
•Andrew Smith became the 34th Butler player to score 1,000 career points in the Bulldogs' victory over Rhode Island. He currently stands 32nd on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,024 career points, four points shy of Dave Bennett (1968-71) in the No. 31 spot.
•Andrew Smith ranks fifth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.543). Smith's career shooting percentage of .545 ranks sixth all-time at Butler.
•Senior Rotnei Clarke ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring (17.0).
•Rotnei Clarke is second in the A-10 in scoring in conference games only (18.3).
•Rotnei Clarke leads the A-10 and ranks eighth 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 12 times this season.
•Rotnei Clarke ranks fifth in the A-10 and 16th in Division I in three-point field goal percentage (.430).
•Rotnei Clarke currently ranks fifth in the A-10 in free throw shooting (.864).
•Rotnei Clarke is shooting .903 from the free throw line against conference opponents and ranks third in the league in A-10 games only.
•Rotnei Clarke is one three-point field goal shy of 10th place on Butler's single season list for three-pointers. Pete Campbell (2006-07) and Darin Archbold (1991-92) currently share the No. 10 spot with 81 threes. Bruce Horan (2004-05) in ninth with 84 and Shelvin Mack (2010-11) is eighth at 87.
•Butler is 13-0 this season when junior Khyle Marshall scores in double-figures.
•Khyle Marshall ranks fourth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.549).
•Junior Erik Fromm posted the second-highest scoring total of his Butler career with 13 points against Charlotte. His highest total was 16 points at Gonzaga in December of his sophomore season.
•Erik Fromm matched his career-high with six three-point field goal attempts against Charlotte.
•Sophomore Roosevelt Jones has led or shared the team lead in rebounding a team-high eight times this season.
•Freshman Kellen Dunham leads the A-10 and ranks fifth in the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting (.919).
•Butler is ranked first in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 15th in the NCAA Division I in team rebounding margin (+7.4). The Bulldogs have out-rebounded eight of their last nine opponents and 21 foes on the season.
•Butler is 59-7 under head coach Brad Stevens when hitting at least nine three-point field goals in a game.
•Butler is 12-0 in games played on Saturday this season.