Bulldogs Face Rematch With Cleveland State
Feb. 15, 2008
LEAGUE CHALLENGE: Butler will face its fourth game in eight days and the foe of its last setback when it hosts Cleveland State on Saturday, Feb. 16. The game between two of the top three teams in the Horizon League is slated for 2 p.m. (ET) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The "Top 10"-ranked and league-leading Bulldogs (23-2, 12-2 HL) posted their third win in six days with an 89-73 decision over Youngstown State on Thursday (Feb. 14). The victory was Butler's seventh straight and 15th in the past 16 outings. The one loss in that stretch came at Cleveland State, 56-52, on Jan. 17. The Vikings (17-10, 10-5 HL) defeated Valparaiso, 71-58, on Thursday to maintain sole possession of third place in the league standings.
Butler has won 10 straight home games, dating back to last season.
POLL CLIMBING: Butler climbed to No. 9 in the Associated Press poll and to No. 10 in the ESPN/USA Today poll, released on Monday (Feb. 11). Both rankings are Butler's highest this season, and the A.P. ranking is Butler's highest ever! Butler reached No. 10 in the A.P. and No. 9 in the ESPN/USA Today polls last year. The Bulldogs have been ranked in the A.P. poll for 13 straight weeks and in both polls for 12 consecutive weeks. Last year, Butler became the first team in Horizon League history to be ranked in the "Top 25" for more than five weeks.
Butler has been nationally ranked in basketball (Top 25) for 29 weeks since November 27, 2006.
ADDITIONAL POLLING: The Bulldogs are ranked first in The CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 (Feb. 4). Drake, Butler's opponent in the ESPNU BracketBusters, is ranked second in the poll.
20-SOMETHING: Butler has posted its tenth 20-win season in the past 12 years. The win over Youngstown State boosted the Bulldogs into a tie for the fifth-highest season win total (23) in school history.
BEST MARK: At 23-2, the Bulldogs share the best 25-game record in school history with last year's team.
TOP DOG: Head coach Brad Stevens is the first coach in Butler men's basketball history to own an 23-2 career record. Stevens' former boss, Todd Lickliter was 22-3 through 25 games, while Harlan O. "Pat" Page (1920-22) was 21-4 through his first 24 contests. Hall of Fame coach Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle started 20-5.
HOME WORK: The Bulldogs improved to 9-0 at home this season with their victory over Youngstown State. Butler has won 32 of its last 34 games in Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Bulldogs own a 105-14 (.882) mark at home since the start of the 1999-2000 season.
HOT NIGHT: Butler turned up the heat in Hinkle Fieldhouse with a blistering shooting performance against Youngstown State on Thursday. The Bulldogs hit eight of their first 12 shots in the game and went on to connect of 18 of 26 (.692) attempts in the first half, while building a 50-34 lead. The 50 points were the most in one half by the Bulldogs this season. Butler wound up shooting a season-best .623 (33-53) for the game, while scoring a season-high 89 points.
LONG RANGERS: The Bulldogs returned to a familiar weapon to dispatch visiting Youngstown State. Butler connected on 13 three-point field goals in the victory, including eight in the high-scoring first half. The 13 three-pointers were the most by the Bulldogs since the Great Alaska Shootout, Nov. 21-24, when Butler cashed 17 threes against Michigan, 14 against Virginia Tech and 16 against Texas Tech. The Bulldogs hit 13 of 20 (.650) long-range shots against Youngstown State.
Butler is 18-0 when hitting eight or more three-pointers in a game.
GREEN PARTY: Senior Mike Green led the Bulldogs in scoring for the second straight game with 17 points in just 23 minutes against Youngstown State. Green played just seven minutes in the second half, after helping Butler build a 24-point lead early in the period. He also led all players in assists with six and he tied for Butler's rebounding lead with five. Green has averaged 16.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists during Butler's current seven-game winning streak.
Mike Green has scored in double-figures in 16 consecutive games.
BENCH MARK: Butler's non-starters have scored 78 points in the past two games. The Bulldogs picked up 41 bench points in their win at Milwaukee on Tuesday (Feb. 12) and then added another 37 in the victory over Youngstown State.
LEAGUE HONOR: Senior A. J. Graves, who led the Bulldogs to back-to-back road wins at Valparaiso and Green Bay was named Horizon League Player of the Week (Feb. 11). Graves led all scorers with 20 points and added eight rebounds and four assists in Butler's nationally-televised win at Valparaiso. He then topped all scorers with 16 points in the Bulldog's win at Green Bay.
WATCH LISTS: Senior Mike Green is one of 16 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate point-guard. Green also is one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's outstanding collegiate player. Senior guard A. J. Graves is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, a tribute to college seniors based on classroom, community, character and competition.
Butler is leading the Horizon League in scoring margin (+10.6), team scoring defense (59.5), free throw shooting (.756), turnover margin (+3.96), fewest turnovers (10.4), and assist/turnover ratio (1.25). The Bulldogs rank second in three-point field goals (9.16).
Butler ranks third in the NCAA Division I in fewest turnovers per game (10.4). The Bulldogs are 12th in free throw shooting (.756), 14th in scoring defense (.595) and 16th in three-point field goals (9.16).
A. J. Graves stands sixth on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,689 career points. He's the 39th player in Horizon League history to reach the 1,500-point plateau and the current active league-leader in career scoring.
A. J. Graves is second on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals with 281, 33 behind all-time leader Bruce Horan (2002-06). He's currently fourth in the league in three-pointers (2.92).
A. J. Graves has 93 double-figures scoring performances in 121 career games. He stands 11th in the Horizon League in scoring (13.8).
A. J. Graves has moved into eighth place on Butler's all-time assist chart with 294 career assists. He's 11 assists behind assistant coach Brandon Miller, 2000-03, in seventh place.
A. J. Graves, who had three steals at Milwaukee, ranks fourth in the Horizon League in thefts (1.60). He leads the league in minutes played (35.44).
Mike Green ranks fourth in the Horizon League in scoring (15.5). He's scored 1,527 points during his collegiate career (641 at Towson and 884 at Butler).
Mike Green leads the Horizon League in assists (5.00) and in assist/turnover ratio (1.87). He's fifth in steals (1.52), ninth in rebounding (6.3) and 10th in free throw shooting (.774). Green leads the league in free throws made (144).
Mike Green stands 10th on Butler's all-time list for free throws made (340).
Mike Green was in Butler's starting lineup for the 61st consecutive game against Youngstown State.
Pete Campbell has moved into 12th place on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals (149).
Pete Campbell ranks second in the Horizon League lead in three-point field goals (3.09) and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.444). He's hit at least one three-pointer in 25 consecutive games, dating back to last season.
Matt Howard leads the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.60) and in field goal percentage (.602). He ranks fourth in blocked shots (1.20), seventh in free throw shooting (.798), 13th in rebounding (5.6) and 14th in scoring (13.1).
Matt Howard leads all freshmen in the Horizon League in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, field goal shooting and free throw shooting. He's the only player, regardless of class, to rank in the "Top 15" in all five categories.
Matt Howard currently owns the fifth-highest single season scoring total (327 pts) ever by a Butler freshman.
Sophomore Avery scored a career-high 11 points in a career-best 17 minutes against Youngstown State.
Butler had a season-high 20 assists on 33 field goals against Youngstown State. The 33 field goals also were a season-high for the Bulldogs.