March 10, 2014

Bulldogs Face Familiar Foe In BIG EAST Tournament

Tournament Central

#9 BUTLER (14-16, 4-14 BIG EAST) vs. #8 SETON HALL (15-16, 6-12 BIG EAST)
BIG EAST Tournament Presented by NEW YORK LIFE
Wednesday, March 12, 7 p.m. (ET)
Madison Square Garden - New York, N.Y.
Television:  Fox Sports 1 (Justin Kutcher, Tarik Turner)
Radio:  1070 AM/107.5 FM (Mark Minner, Nick Gardner)

Game Notes

CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK:  Butler will make its first appearance in the storied BIG EAST Tournament when it faces #8 seed Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, March 12.  The 7 p.m. (ET) contest will be the opening game of the 10-team tournament and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.  Butler (14-16, 4-14 BIG EAST), seeded ninth in the tournament, and Seton Hall (15-16, 6-12 BIG EAST) will be meeting for the third time this season and for the second time in five days.  The two squads closed out the regular season at Butler on Saturday (March 8), and the Bulldogs claimed a 71-54 victory.  Butler also won the first meeting this season at Seton Hall, 64-57 on Jan. 29.  The Bulldogs enter the conference tournament with wins in their last two outings, their first back-to-back BIG EAST victories.  The winner of the Butler-Seton Hall game will advance to meet #1 seed Villanova at noon on Thursday, March 13.  The BIG EAST Tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.                    
   
Butler has advanced in league tournament play in each of the past eight seasons.

GARDEN PARTY:  The Bulldogs haven't played often in Madison Square Garden, but the famed arena has been the site of some special moments in Butler basketball history.  At the top of that list is the 2006 NIT Season Tip-Off.  Butler defeated #22 Tennessee, 56-44, at the Garden in the semifinals of the season-opening tournament and then captured the championship two days later with a 79-71 victory over #18 Gonzaga.  The Bulldogs also made their first-ever appearance in the NIT against St. John's at the Garden in 1958 and then picked up their first NIT win there with a 94-80 decision over Fordham a year later.  Butler's first win at Madison Square Garden came early in the 1948-49 season when the Bulldogs, led by Hall of Fame Coach Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle, defeated Long Island, led by legendary coach Clair Bee, 63-54.

Butler is 4-6 all-time in Madison Square Garden.

TOURNAMENT SHUFFLE:  Butler is playing in its third different conference tournament in three years.  The Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in 2012 and then reached the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament a year ago.  Butler's last tournament title came in the Horizon League in 2011.

CLOSING EFFORT:  Butler wrapped up the regular season with convincing wins over DePaul, 79-46, and Seton Hall, 71-56.  The Bulldogs never trailed in either game and maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half of both contests.  Hot starts keyed both victories.  Butler jumped to an 18-4 start at DePaul and led by 20 points, 38-18, at halftime against the Blue Demons.  In the win over Seton Hall, the Bulldogs bolted to a 15-4 advantage and stretched the margin to as many as 20 points, before settling for a 40-30 halftime lead.

HEAT CHECK:  Sophomore Kellen Dunham turned in the top shooting performance of his young career to spark Butler past Seton Hall in the final regular season game for both teams.  Dunham hit 11 of 14 shots in the game, including all seven of his three-point attempts, and scored a game-high 29 points.  It was the third-highest point total of his Butler career.  The seven-for-seven shooting performance from beyond the three-point arc tied Butler's single game record for long-range marksmanship, originally set by  Avery Sheets with a seven-for-seven effort against Cleveland State on Feb. 3, 2005.

SOPHOMORE RISE:  Kellen Dunham became just the fifth Butler player to score 500 points in his sophomore season during Butler's victory over Seton Hall.  He moved into fifth place on the sophomore scoring list with 504 points, 32 points behind current NBA player Shelvin Mack (2009-10) in the No. 4 spot.  Dunham became just the 13th Butler sophomore to score 400 points in the Bulldogs' game at Georgetown earlier this season.

Kellen Dunham ranks seventh in the BIG EAST in scoring (16.8 ppg).
     
HONOR ROLL:  Junior Alex Barlow was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the second time this season, following Butler's back-to-back wins over DePaul and Seton Hall.  Barlow led the Bulldogs with a career-high 19 points, including 13 in the first half, in the victory at DePaul.  He hit a career-best seven of nine shots from the floor, including a career-high four of five from beyond the three-point arc.  Two days later, he tallied nine points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals to help lead the Bulldogs past Seton Hall.  Barlow also earned a spot on the weekly honor roll after scoring 16 points in Butler's victory at Evansville in December.

CHART CLIMBING:  Senior Khyle Marshall, who scored 18 points at DePaul and 10 against Seton Hall, heads into the BIG EAST Tournament ranked among the "Top 20" players all-time at Butler in both scoring and rebounding.  He currently stands 17th on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,351 career points, trailing Rylan Hainje (1998-2002) in the No. 16 spot, by 37 points.  The 6-6 forward also ranks 16th on Butler's all-time rebounding list with 602 career rebounds.  Marshall is one of 15 players in Butler basketball history to record 1,000 career points and 500 career rebounds.

BOARD ROOM:  Junior Kameron Woods, who led the Bulldogs against Seton Hall with nine rebounds, stands 15th on Butler's all-time rebounding list with 607 career rebounds. He ranks just ahead of teammate Khyle Marshall on the Bulldogs' all-time rebounding chart.  Woods ranks 13th on Butler's single season rebounding chart.

Kameron Woods leads the BIG EAST in rebounding (8.9 ppg).

ALL-BIG EAST:  Sophomore Kellen Dunham became Butler's first All-BIG EAST player, when he was named second team on this year's honor squad.  Teammate Andrew Chrabascz is Butler's first freshman to earn a spot on the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Khyle Marshall has started 71 of Butler's last 72 games.  He did not start on Butler's "Senior Day" a year ago.  Marshall has 88 career starts at Butler.

•Khyle Marshall ranks eighth on Butler's all-time list for field goal shooting (.540).

•Kyle Marshall is fourth in the BIG EAST in field goal shooting (.527).

•Khyle Marshall ranks fourth in the BIG EAST in offensive rebounds (2.4).   

•Khyle Marshall stands 12th in the BIG EAST in scoring (14.7).

•Khyle Marshall has scored in double-figures in 21 of the past 24 contests.

•Khyle Marshall has shot 61.3% from the field in Butler's 14 victories this season, but just 44.9% in the Bulldogs' 16 losses.

•Khyle Marshall could become the first Butler player to start a conference tournament game in three different conferences.

•Kameron Woods continues to lead the BIG EAST in defensive rebounds (6.8), and  he's 10th in offensive rebounds (2.1).

•Kameron Woods averaged 8.5 rebounds in two games against Seton Hall this season.

•Kameron Woods had his last double-figures scoring performance with 11 points against Seton Hall on Jan. 29.  

•Kameron Woods stands 12th in the BIG EAST in blocked shots (0.9).

•Alex Barlow ranks second in the BIG EAST in assist/turnover ratio (3.1).  He's 11th in the conference in assists (3.5).
 
•Alex Barlow has scored in double-figures in four of Butler's last seven games.  He's averaging 10.7 points over that stretch.

•Alex Barlow ranks sixth in the BIG EAST in three-point field goal shooting (.402).  Barlow is shooting 48.5% from three-point range over the past seven games.

•Alex Barlow matched his career-high with five steals at DePaul.  Barlow ranks second in the BIG EAST in steals (2.0).

•Alex Barlow has had at least one steal in eight consecutive games and in 27 of Butler's 30 games this season.

•Alex Barlow ranks sixth on Butler's single season chart for steals with 60, one behind Tim Bowen (1990-91) in the No. 5 position.

•Alex Barlow was Butler's second-leading rebounder against Seton Hall with an 8.0 average for the two games.

•Kellen Dunham has averaged 17.9 points and shot 45.1% from the three-point arc in Butler's 14 victories.  He averaged 15.9 points and shot 29.8% from beyond the three-point arc in Butler's 16 losses.

•Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs in rebounding in five of the last 12 games and in six total games in his career.

•Kellen Dunham ranks fifth in the BIG EAST in three-point field goals (2.6).

•Kellen Dunham has hit at least one three-point field goal in 30 of his last 31 games and in 56 career games.  He had a career-high seven three-pointers against Seton Hall.

•Kellen Dunham ranks tenth in the BIG EAST in free throw shooting (.810).

•Kellen Dunham is fourth in the BIG EAST in minutes played (36.0).

•Andrew Chrabascz made his first collegiate start against Seton Hall and posted 11 points and three rebounds in 30 minutes.

•Andrew Chrabascz has averaged 9.9 points in his nine starts for the Bulldogs.

Elijah Brown averaged 11.0 points in a reserve role in two games against Seton Hall.