Bulldogs Head To The Jungle
TV: Hometown Sports Network (Greg Rakestraw, Bob Lovell)
The Starting 5 - Butler's Top Storylines
1. All 3 Transfers Together: Daress McClung and Taylor Schippers have been Butler's top two players this season, leading Butler in scoring in every game this season. Schippers, a 5-8 point guard from Oklahoma State, leads BU in scoring and assists. McClung, a 6-0 forward, came to BU from Cincinnati. She is averaging 16.4 points and a team-best 9.3 rebounds. In addition, Butler now has the services of Liz Stratman, a 6-2 transfer from Xavier.
2. Christmas Present: Sunday's win at NKU marked the first time Butler was able to play sophomore Liz Stratman, and the 6-2 transfer from Xavier did not disappoint. Stratman became eligible after final exams, and scored 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting in her first game as a Bulldog. She also blocked three shots in 19 minutes of action. Stratman, who was Indianapolis City Player of the Year in high school in 2011 out of Heritage Christian School, played in 12 games at XU before transferring to Butler.
3. Atlantic 10 Player of the Week: Daress McClung has been selected Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Player of the Week. She had an all-around excellent performance in Butler's 66-56 win at Northern Kentucky. McClung totaled 15 points, 13 rebounds and six assists. It was her fifth double-double of the season. The redshirt junior also added six blocked shots and four steals in the Butler victory.
4. Charity Work: Butler is converting 75.0 percent of its free throw attempts, nearly the highest mark in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Bulldogs currently rank 33rd in the nation in free throw percentage as well. Butler has shot at least 75 percent at the foul line in seven of this season's games, highlighted by a 14-for-15 (.933) effort vs. Valparaiso. Individually, BU is led at the charity stripe by Taylor Schippers (.823) and Hannah Douglas (.800).
5. Big Ten Win: Butler's 59-56 win over Indiana on Dec. 9 was BU's first win over a Big Ten opponent for Beth Couture and the first since 1998. That season, BU defeated Michigan State and Illinois. Daress McClung led the Bulldogs with 21 points and 12 boards against the Hoosiers. BU led by 22 at one point and had a 40-25 lead before hanging on in the final minute.
Butler vs. IUPUI: Butler leads the all-time series vs. IUPUI 15-7, including wins in the last three meetings. BU has won five of the last six meetings and Beth Couture is 5-1 against the Jaguars. This is BU's first visit to IUPUI since January 4, 2006.
Short Van Ride: Hinkle Fieldhouse and IUPUI's gym are located 6.7 miles from each other.
More On McClung: Daress McClung owns all five of Butler's double-doubles this season. Prior to her 15 & 13 at Northern Kentucky, she poured in 19 points with 10 rebounds against both Marquette and Fairfield and had 18 points and 10 rebounds against Eastern Michigan. She also scored a career-high 20 points at Ball State.
All-Around Game: Daress McClung has been filling the stat sheet on both ends of the floor. She ranks fifth in the A-10 in both scoring (16.4) and rebounding (9.3) and is second in blocks (2.5). She tied career highs in blocks (6) and steals (4) at NKU and also had six assists.
Steering The 'Schip': Taylor Schippers is Butler's starting point guard and leading scorer. She has scored in double figures in every game, including a career-best 27 points at St. Mary's. Schippers ranks third in the A-10 with 16.9 points per game. She is seventh in the conference in FT shooting (.823) and sixth in minutes (34.4).
Schippers Named All-Tourney: Taylor Schippers was picked for the all-tourney team at St. Mary's after Thanksgiving. The 5-8 guard averaged 21.5 points and 3.0 assists per game during the two games in California. Her weekend included a career-high 27-point effort against St. Mary's, then she scored 16 vs. Portland State.
Hannah Consistent: Hannah Douglas has been a consistent scorer. The sophomore has been in double figures in five of the last six games. Her emergence slashing to the basket gives BU a dependable perimeter scorer.
No Experience Needed: In a survey done during the offseason, Butler was listed as the 16th least-experienced team in the nation. The players on BU's roster average 1.077 years of college experience, tied with Nicholls State for 16th.
Coaching Connection: Alex (Webster) Mislan, an assistant on Austin Parkinson's staff, worked for Beth Couture at Butler during the 2010-11 season. She was recruiting coordinator and helped Butler to a 20-14 season and a WNIT appearance. She also has a history of playing against BU during her time as a player at Green Bay.
4 Straight 20s: Prior to last year, Butler had won 20 games in each of the past four seasons, the first time the team has achieved that as a Division I program. The Bulldogs went 20-14 in 2010-11 and finished second in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs were 23-10 in 2009-10, the team's most wins since 1998. BU was 20-10 in 2007-08 and followed that with a 20-12 season in 2008-09. Butler is 96-62 during the five seasons before this year.
Block Party: The Bulldogs are leading the A-10 in blocked shots with 5.7 swats per game. Four times the Buldogs have rejected at least eight shots in a game. BU swatted 11 shots against Valparaiso and eight apiece against Portland State and Bowling Green. On Sunday, Butler blocked 10 NKU shots, including nine by Daress McClung (6) and Liz Stratman (3). Nationally, BU ranks 23rd in the country in blocks. Daress McClung leads the conference and stands 25th in the nation with 2.5 blocks per game.
Ball Control: Butler commits just 14.9 turnovers per game, the lowest figure in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 41st-best in the nation. During a three-game stretch in November, Butler averaged just 10.3 turnovers per game. BU had nine turnovers against Fairfield, 10 against Valparaiso and 12 at St. Mary's. Only once has Butler surpassed 20+ turnovers (at Ball State).
Up Next: The Bulldogs host Indiana State Saturday, Dec. 22 following the Butler men's basketball game. Couture's squad is expected to tip against the Sycamores at 5 p.m. ET.