DePaul Travels to Butler: The Preview II

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The Blue Demons Travel to Indy to Face the Butler Bulldogs for the 2nd Time

The Setup

DePaul plays the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday, 2/3/2018 at 11:00 am Central at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, in front of thousands of Butler fans and their dog.  It will be carried on FS1 (Channel 237 on Comcast) and on the Score (Radio 670).

Butler comes into the game with 16 wins and 7 losses overall, with a 6-4 record in Big East games after embarrassing Marquette in Milwaukee.

DePaul is coming off of  poor performance at home, getting man-handled by Seton Hall. Gambling Corner

Vegas is favoring Butler by 14 with the over/under of 146.5.  Kenpom.com favors Butler by 13.

Recent History

Butler demoralized DePaul, and the Demons decided to just shoot like crap. .  Since the forming of the new Big East in 2014, the Bulldogs hold a 8-1 series lead.  Last time DePaul beat Butler was January 9th, 2014 in a double overtime thriller at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Fun Facts about Butler

Founded in 1855 as NorthWest Christian University, founder Ovid Butler imparted his abolitionish values of diveristy, inclusiveness, and equality.

Hinkle Fieldhouse

They play at Hinkle Fieldhouse, completed in  1928 as the then-largest basketball arena in the nation.  Just like when the Blue Demons opened the Wintrust Arena, Butler opened Hinkle Fieldhouse against Notre Dame on March 7, 1928.  Of course, Butler beat the Irish in 1928, unlike the Demons in 2017, who choose to grant mercy on all comers in a true Vincentian way.

And as you all know, one of the best basketball movies ever, Hoosiers, filmed its climatic scene at Hinkle (and of course, the actual team that inspired the movie played their climatic game at Hinkle.)

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Hickory High (base on Milan, Indiana Indian’s 1954 State Champions)

The Story of the Last Shot of the Milan State Championship

Creator of the Orange Basketball

Coach Tom Hinkle (Hinkle Fieldhouse people) evidently created the orange basketball.

 

Religious affiliation:  Non-Sectarian (Only Non-Catholic Big East School)

The Current Flavor of Bulldogs

Since DePaul last saw these guys, Butler has been dominate by beating St. John’s by 25 and walking into Milwaukee and beating Marquette by 20.  The Bulldogs have been doing it through improved defense.  After starting 3-4 in conference play, Butler has put in 3 dominate defensive performances, holding their last 3 opponents to effective field goal percentages of 43.3, 33.6, and 51.0.   Holding Marquette to 51% is an accomplishment, since the Golden Eagles are one of the most efficient and accurate shooting teams in the country.

Additionally, the Bulldogs have been trending towards more effective shooting on the offensive side.  The combination of these two factors have seen the Indy Boys rise to 22nd overall in the kenpom.com rating system.

In conference only stats, Butler is 2nd overall in offensive efficiency, 3rd in effective FG%, and 2nd in turnover percentage.  Additionally, they are 3rd best in 3pt and 2pt shooting percentage.

Basically, they are a nightmare match up for DePaul’s defense.

Who should Scare the Blue out of Us?  Kelan Martin

Kelan Martin is a 6’7″ power forward who plays both inside and outside.  Last time around he killed us from the outside, going 5-11 from 3 point land ending with a game high 24 points.

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I like to shoot the 3 and then tell you about it.

The Player of the Game in the 1st Game:  Kamar Baldwin

Baldwin, a 6’1″ point guard, had an almost perfect night shooting 5-6 from the field and 8-8 from the free throw line, for a sweet 18 points.  He also lead all players with 9 rebounds overall.

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I torched the Demons last time, and I am ready to do it again.

All Other Players in the 1st Game were Meh.

3 Point Specialists

Paul Jorgesen shoots most of his shots outside the arc.  He is shooting 38.5%

Sean McDermott, when he shoots, he shoots mostly from 3 land, at a rate of 42.6%

How does DePaul Matchup?

Let’s go to the tail of the tape.

Offense

As mentioned above, in conference play Butler has been 2nd to 3rd best in most important offensive categories.  DePaul on the other hand is last or in the bottom 3 of all Big East offensive categories except Offensive rebounding.  In fact, DePaul is now dead last in Effective Field Goal percentage!  Go Blue Demons!

Huge Advantage:  Butler

Defense

Butler plays mostly man defense.  In conference play, the Indy Boys are mid-tier, but they have been showing a trend of improvement as mentioned above.

Teams can still make 3 pointers on them, and get to the free throw line.

Contrast this with DePaul’s defense.  It has been trending negative over the past few games.  The Demons are 8th in conference defensive efficiency, and 7th at effective FG%.  Also, the Lincoln Park Blue Boys are now dead last in allowing possessions to end in a free throw, meaning they give up lots of trips to the free throw line.  We are DePaul!

Advantage:  Butler  

In Conclusion

Last time around both Marin Maric and Jaylen Butz were unavailable.  What should have been a definitive height advantage on the offensive side, turned into the dynamic walk-on duo of Peter Rychbosch and Joe Hanel.  Maybe we see both Maric and Butz, with a sprinkling of Paul Reed.

Last time around in 17 minutes of action, Reed had 9 points on 3 of 5 shooting, with 6 rebounds while fouling out.  He had the best offensive rating of the game.

Max Strus had 27 points, but many of those points were of the garbage time variety, including hitting 2 three pointers in the closing minute.  Maybe he can come out hot and get DePaul an early lead.

Butler is a fundamental team.  DePaul is a shooting challenged team.  At Butler, this should be a Bulldog victory.

 

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