Freshman guard Aaron Thompson drives to the basket. Butler has two more games before Big East play kicks off.
JOSH MULLENIX | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Who: Butler vs. Morehead State
When: Dec 19, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
How to Watch: FS1
After a rough go at the Crossroads Classic, the Butler men’s basketball team returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse to face off against the Morehead State Eagles. Coming into Tuesday’s game the Eagles are winners of two straight after starting the season 2-6 with six road losses. Here’s what you need to know as the Bulldogs try to add one to the win column.
Can we start fast for a change?
The first half against Purdue was just terrifying. Butler looked like they didn’t belong in the same gym as the Boilermakers. However, the second half came around and the Bulldogs went on a 22-9 run over seven minutes to make the game respectable and cut the lead to single digits with three minutes left. Butler was all over the court defensively, Kamar Baldwin had his hand on the ball every time a Purdue guard put it on the floor and Paul Jorgensen was making jump shots from Narnia. If the Bulldogs played close to that level for 40 minutes, the game might have had a different outcome. Sure, Morehead State is not Purdue and Butler might not need their best for the entire game to get a win. But for the principle of the thing, a fast start makes things a lot easier for the Bulldogs.
Morehead State has two scorers in double figures. Both of those players are in the backcourt. Butler had a lot of trouble with Purdue’s guard who combined for 50 of the 82 Boilermaker points. Baldwin and Aaron Thompson will have their hands full against the brunt of the Eagle offense. When Jordan Walker and Djimon Henson play well, the Eagles play well. If the Bulldogs look to stop this offense, winning the backcourt battle is a good place to start.
Making the most of the next two games
Butler has two nonconference games left before starting Big East play on Dec. 27 at Georgetown. According to ESPN, they have over a 90 percent chance of winning both games. In other words, the Bulldogs should win both of these games. They should win both easily. While the W’s are important, getting back to playing better basketball like they were prior to the Crossroads Classic is crucial. Taking this opportunity to play with a sense of urgency and make sure everything is smooth around the edges is important. Because in the Big East, there are no nights off.