October 28, 2013

Bulldogs Host Nova Southeastern In Exhibition Contest

STARTING GATE:  Butler will play the first of two men's basketball exhibition contests when it hosts Nova Southeastern on Tuesday, Oct. 29.  The preseason game is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse.  Butler is wrapping up four weeks of preseason practice, which included a Blue-White Scrimmage during the BIG EAST Tip-Off Party on Friday (Oct. 25).  The Blue Team won that 32-minute game, 65-60, though players freely rotated between the two teams.  The game with Nova Southeastern will be Butler's first outside competition in the United States this season.  The Bulldogs played four games during a summer trip to Australia in early August.  Nova Southeastern, located in Davie, Fla., will be playing its second exhibition game in two days.  The Sharks began their trip to Indiana with a 64-59 victory at Marian on Sunday.  Guard Brian Cahill led Nova Southeastern in that win with 14 points.  Following Tuesday's exhibition game, Butler will close out its preseason schedule with a contest against Division III opponent DePauw on Saturday, Nov. 2.  That game at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 2 p.m.

SCRIMMAGE LINE:  Butler fans looking for the scoring potential of the 2013-14 Bulldogs were given a good indication during the team's Blue-White scrimmage.  Six different players scored in double-figures in the shortened game, led by freshman Elijah Brown with 19 points.  Senior Khyle Marshall, the team's top returning scorer, finished with 18 points, while sophomore Kellen Dunham and freshman Nolan Berry each added 15.  The Blue team, behind Brown's strong early scoring, took a 38-34 halftime lead and then held the advantage in the second half.
    
CHANGING PLACE:  Butler will begin a new basketball season with a new head coach, a host of new players and a brand new conference.  Even the Bulldogs' venerable home, 85-year-old Hinkle Fieldhouse, is undergoing a new upgrade!  Change has become a familiar word around the Butler basketball camp since last year's team ended a 27-9 campaign in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.  Former head coach Brad Stevens left in July to become head coach of the Boston Celtics, and former Butler player and assistant coach Brandon Miller was named to the Bulldogs' top position.  That change in coaches occurred just days after Butler officially kicked off its membership in the new BIG EAST Conference.  Miller will be looking at a very different Butler team this season.  The squad's top two scorers from last year, guard Rotnei Clarke and center Andrew Smith, both graduated, and both are playing professional basketball overseas.  Then in the first game of Butler's summer trip to Australia, top returning scorer Roosevelt Jones suffered a season-ending injury to his left wrist.  Miller does have a pair of returning starters, 6-6 Khyle Marshall and 5-11 Alex Barlow, plus seven other returning letterwinners.  He'll look to blend those returnees with six freshmen, all of whom had a chance to put on a Butler uniform during the team's trip to Australia.  The Bulldogs will be facing a new set of conference foes for the second consecutive year and will be playing in their third conference in as many years.

Brandon Miller played or coached under Butler's previous four head coaches.

SUCCESS RECORD:  Brandon Miller has spent time at five different universities and his tenure at each has been marked by incredible success.  Over 14 years as a player, staff member and coach, Miller has been part of 12 teams that reached the NCAA Tournament and one team that advanced to the NIT.  During his tenure, he's been to the NCAA "Sweet 16"  six times, the NCAA "Elite 8" twice and the NCAA national championship game once!  He's been with three teams that have won 30 or more games in a season and all 14 of his teams have won at least 20 games. The combined record of Miller's14 teams is 344-103.

Brandon Miller played in the NCAA "Sweet 16" at two different universities.

SUMMER BALL:  Brandon Miller got an early jump on his head coaching career when the Bulldogs took an 11-day training trip to Australia.  The Bulldogs played four games in Australia and posted a 2-2 record.  Butler opened its trip with a 77-75 victory over Noths Bears Invitational Team and then posted an 82-76 victory over the Sydney Kings.  The Bulldogs dropped their final two contests on the tour, losing to the Australian National Team (Boomers), 96-57, and the Cairns Taipans, 97-73.  The Boomers featured several professional players, including Patty Mills of the San Antonio Spurs.  The game against the Taipans came 24 hours after the contest with the national team and followed a long flight from Canberra to Cairns.  In addition to the practices and games, the Bulldogs did some sightseeing in Australia, including a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
    
TOUR LEADER:  Sophomore Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs in scoring on the four-game tour of Australia with a 16.0 average.  He had Butler's best single-game output on the trip with 22 points against Noths in the opener, and he scored 16 points each against the Boomers and Taipans.  Dunham scored in double-figures in all four contests, and he finished the trip with a team-high 13 three-point field goals.  The 6-6 guard averaged 9.5 points during his freshman season with the Bulldogs.

Kellen Dunham was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team last year.

COSTLY SHOT:  The 2013-14 Bulldogs suffered a setback on their trip to Australia when junior forward Roosevelt Jones went up for a shot, was bumped off balance and fell hard on his left hand, injuring tendons in his wrist.  He had surgery to repair the injury when the team returned to Indianapolis, and he will sit out this season as a medical redshirt.  Jones was Butler's top returning scorer and rebounder, as well as the team's leader in assists.  He averaged 10.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and a team-best 3.5 assists in 2012-13, and he was the lone Butler player to start all 36 games.  He was named to the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Defensive Team in in both the preseason and the postseason last year.  During his freshman season, the 6-4 forward was named to the All-Newcomer Team in the Horizon League.  Jones will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Brandon Miller is the fourth consecutive Butler assistant coach to assume the top position with the Bulldogs.

•Butler's top two scorers last season, seniors Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith, each signed professional contracts after graduating.  Clarke is playing in Australia, while Smith is playing in Lithuania.

•Khyle Marshall finished fourth in the A-10 in field goal percentage (.566) last season.  Marshall shot 63.3% (30-68) over Butler's final 10 games of 2012-13, including 62.5% (5-8) in Butler's two NCAA  Tournament games.

•Khyle Marshall currently stands sixth on Butler's all-time list for field goals shooting (.547).  

•Butler was 16-1 in 2012-13 when Khyle Marshall scored in double-figures.

•Khyle Marshall averaged 10.5 points on Butler's four-game tour of Australia.

•Khyle Marshall and Erik Fromm are the last remaining players from Butler's Final Four team of 2011.

•Erik Fromm tied for third on the team in three-point field goals last year (17).

•Erik Fromm averaged 9.5 points in Australia, including a team-high 18 points against the Sydney Kings.

•Erik Fromm had 13 points in Butler's Blue-White scrimmage.  

Kameron Woods had 14 rebounds in Butler's two NCAA games last year.  He had eight rebounds in a reserve role against Bucknell and six against Marquette.

•Kameron Woods scored more than one-third (58) of his entire season total for points (163) in Butler's last seven games last year.

•Kameron Woods led Butler in rebounding in Australia with a 9.8 average.  He pulled down 15 rebounds in Butler's victory over the Sydney Kings, and he had 10 rebounds in the Bulldogs' win against Noths.

•Kameron Woods had a team-high eight rebounds in Butler's Blue-White scrimmage

•Alex Barlow led the Bulldogs in steals (1.2) in 2012-13.  Barlow had a team-high four steals in the NCAA Tournament.

•Alex Barlow scored a career-high 10 points against Bucknell in his first NCAA Tournament game.

•Alex Barlow tied for second on the team with six rebounds in the Blue-White scrimmage.  He scored five points.

•Kellen Dunham finished eighth on Butler's all-time freshman scoring list with 342 points last season.

•Kellen Dunham tied Butler's freshman record for three-point field goals with 57 in 2012-13.  Current NBA player Shelvin Mack also hit 57 three-pointers in his freshman season (2008-09) with the Bulldogs.

•Kellen Dunham ranked 28th in the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting (.867) in 2012-13.

•Kellen Dunham stood third among freshmen in the A-10 in scoring (9.5).

Andrew Chrabascz posted 11 points and four rebounds in Butler's Blue-White scrimmage.  He led Butler's six freshmen in rebounding in the game.

•Butler ranked 11th in the NCAA Division I in team rebounding margin (+7.3) in 2012-13.  The Bulldogs out-rebounded 16 of their final 20 opponents and 29 foes on the season.

•Butler tied for 21st in the NCAA Division I with 27 wins in 2012-13.

•Butler cracked the "Top 10" in the A.P. and USA Today national polls for the fifth time in seven seasons last year.  The Bulldogs were ranked as high as No. 9 in both polls.

•Butler had victories over two of the number one seeds in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. (Gonzaga and Indiana).  The Bulldogs also had victories over NCAA Tournament teams Marquette, North Carolina, Temple and La Salle prior to the championship.