Coach Austin Parkinson watches practice before the regular season tips off. Photo by Claire Runkel.
SAM CARUS | SPORTS REPORTER | email@example.com
The Butler women’s basketball team will open up in Hinkle Fieldhouse against Chicago State on Wednesday, Nov. 9. This is a new-look Bulldogs team with head coach Austin Parkinson in his first year on the job. The Bulldogs only won one game last year so getting off to a good start under a new regime is imperative.
One of the leaders of this team will be graduate student guard Shay Frederick. Frederick is a transfer from Valparaiso and will bring experience to a young Butler team. She led the Missouri Valley Conference in assists per game and led the team in scoring with 12 points per game during the 2021-22 season.
In the coaches poll released by the Big East, Butler ranked in the bottom third of the conference. In order for Butler to exceed the rather low expectations set for them, starting off with a win at home will be a great start. Here is what you need to know ahead of the showdown between the Bulldogs and the Cougars.
Who: Butler vs. Chicago State
When: Wednesday Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse
Where to watch: FloSports/Butler+
Butler’s new identity
Parkinson said after the win against Benedictine that he was pleased with how the team moved the ball and got everyone involved. Every active player on the roster got into the game and 12 Bulldogs got in on the scoring.
The Bulldogs also did not take any possessions off in their win, dishing out 19 assists on 32 made field goals. On the defensive end, the Bulldogs were active against Benedictine, not allowing a single point by the Eagles in the entire third quarter.
Butler brought in eight new players this year — three first-years and five transfers. In the exhibition game versus Benedictine, fans saw a heavy dose of Frederick, junior forward Anna Mortag and first-year Jordan Meulemans — all three started the game. First-years Caroline Strande and Jessica Carrothers saw big minutes off the bench and are expected to be part of the rotation going forward. With the new talent and Parkinson’s success at IUPUI, Butler will look to elevate to the next level.
The matchup vs. Chicago State
The Chicago State Cougars went 4-23 last year and won just three games in the Western Athletic Conference. Although they struggled last season, this team should not be overlooked.
Transfer Tae’lor Willard looks to be a big part of the Cougars’ offense this season. Willard transferred from Grayson College where she averaged 10 points, seven assists and three steals per game. Look for Butler to be aggressive on defense early in the game. Willard is one of the Cougars’ only ball handlers so if Butler can force a few turnovers early, they may be able to take over the game.
Butler’s initial starting lineup of Frederick, Trinity White, Meulemans, Sydney Jaynes and Mortag is versatile and will have the experience advantage at the point guard spot with Frederick handling the ball. Watch for the Bulldogs to emphasize ball movement against Chicago State. Butler was most effective in their exhibition game when they were moving the ball quickly and cutting to the basket. Butler’s 19 assists during the game allowed everyone to get involved. The offense was unselfish with each player on the roster having no issue deferring to a teammate and making the extra pass. If Butler plays disciplined, they will be able to handle Chicago State effectively.