Preview: Butler at Xavier

Preview: Butler at Xavier

Butler (10-3) travels to Xavier (11-3) for its first road game in the Big East as it looks for its first win as well. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.

Cincinnati (OH) - Butler (10-3) travels to Xavier (11-3) for its first road game in the Big East as it looks for its first win as well. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at what to expect.

Know Your Foe

Record - 11-3 (1-0)

Coach - Chris Mack - 5th Season - 101-47

Mascot - Musketeers, D'Artagnan the Musketeer

Conference - Big East

Enrollment - 6,650

Tale of the Tape

The Bulldogs lost their first game in the Big East in overtime against Villanova 76-73. Butler was led by sophomore Kellen Dunahm with 22 points, while freshman Elijah Brown scored a career-high 19. Butler is 11-3 under first year head coach Brandon Miller and are led by Dunham who averages 18.4 points per game. Senior forward Khyle Marshall was saddled with foul trouble against the Wildcats and chipped in just 4 points, but averages 16 points and 6.4 rebounds on the year.

Xavier is in its 5th season under Chris Mack. The Musketeers are 11-3 and won their debut in the Big East at home against St. John's 70-60. Xavier used a 13-0 run to start the second half in order to run away from the Johnnies. The Musketeers were led by Justin Martin with 15 points, Isaiah Philmore with 11, and Semaj Christon with 10 points and 8 assists. On the season, Christon leads the Musketeers at 14.4 points per game, while junior center Matt Stainbrook leads the team in rebounding at 8.6 rebounds per game and chips in 11 points as well.

Players to Watch

Kellen Dunham - Dunham leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 18.4 points per game, which ranks 4th in the Big East. The talented sophomore came back to score 18 of his 22 in the 2nd half and overtime against Villanova and rallied the Bulldogs scoring 15 of the final 20 points for Butler.

Kameron Woods - Woods leads the Big East in rebounding at 9.5 per game and is averaging 9.3 points per game as well. The long, lean forward will need to have another solid game on the glass for Butler to control the Musketeers transition game and take advantage of 2nd chance opportunities.

Khyle Marshall - The Butler senior scored just 4 points on 2/7 shooting against Villanova as he had foul troubles early and often. Marshall is averaging 16 points and 6.4 rebounds per game this season and needs just 4 points to pass his coach, Brandon Miller for 27th on the all-time scoring list for Butler.

Semaj Christon - Christon is sure to test the NBA waters in the off-season. The talented sophomore is averaging 14.4 points per game to lead the team and is second on the team in assists at 4.2 per game. Christon is smooth when he attacks the basket and can finish when he gets to the rim. The 6-foot 3 point guard is also shooting 41.2% from three point range.

Matt Stainbrook - Xavier's second leading scorer at 11 points per game, Stainbrook leads the team in rebounding at 8.6 rebounds. Stainbrook is a transfer who redshirted after arriving from Western Michigan. While not a threat from the three point line, Stainbrook is efficient in the paint connecting on 55.1% of his field goal attempts.

James Farr - While Farr doesn't get the minutes that Justin Martin or Isaiah Philmore get as starters he can make an impact on the game by stepping out and hitting a three. The 6-foot 9 sophomore forward is shooting 50% from the three point range and attempts at 2 three pointers per game. Farr averages 8.2 points and 5.9 rebounds in just 16.1 minutes per game.

Keys to the Game

Transition

Xavier loves to get out in transition. Led by Justin Martin, Myles Davis, Dee Davis, and Semaj Christon the Musketeers are dangerous in the open court. Butler will need to control the pace of the game in order to keep Xavier from running.

Rebounding - One way to control the Musketeers getting out on the break is to control the glass. The Bulldogs have an opportunity to make an impact on the offensive glass. Xavier is giving up about 11 offensive rebounds per game, while Butler averages 11.8. The Bulldogs give up just 8.5 offensive rebounds per game, while Xavier grabs 12.5 per game. Butler has a 53.7% rebounding rate, while Xavier is just above at 54.5%.

Fouls - As we saw in the opener against Villanova, Butler's offense, and defense, change dramatically when one of their stars gets in foul trouble. Against the Wildcats, not only did Marshall find himself on the bench with 2 fouls, so did Dunham. With the foul trouble becoming a problem in Hinkle Fieldhouse, it is more likely to happen again on the road at the Cintas Center.

Notable Stats

2.2 - Alex Barlow leads Butler in steals, ranks 2nd in the Big East, and 39th in the country.

75.6 - Butler leads the Big East in defensive rebounding percentage and ranks 9th in the country.

29.3 - Butler's defensive 3 point percentage, ranking 2nd in the Big East.

1-2 - Butler's record all-time at the Cintas Center against Xavier.

19 - Elijah Brown's point total against Villanova, the most points by a freshman at Butler since 2/21/09 when Gordon Hayward scored 27 against Davidson.

28th - Khyle Marshall's standing on the career points list for Butler. He needs just 3 points to pass his head coach, Brandon Miller for 27th.

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