Junior guard Myles Tate attempts a lay-up during the game against Seton Hall on Jan. 28. Photo by Claire Runkel.
MATTHEW CRANE | SPORTS CO-EDITOR | email@example.com
The Butler men’s basketball team will take on a team on a losing streak of their own as they will play host to the St. John’s Red Storm. The Red Storm enter the matchup having been defeated last game by Xavier by 25 points. Butler comes into this game showing signs of competing after falling by eight points to Marquette. Neither team will want their streaks to continue and both will be fighting to get their team to get back into the win column.
Here’s what you need to know before tip-off between the Bulldogs and the Red Storm.
Who: Butler vs. St. John’s
When: Feb. 7, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse
How to watch/listen: FS1/WXNT 1430AM
Battle behind the arc
The last matchup between these two teams saw the Red Storm shoot 44.4% from the three-point line en route to a 16-point win. On the season, they are shooting 33.4% which ranks eighth in the Big East. The Bulldogs will have to get back to showing off their strong perimeter defense which has allowed opponents to only shoot 31.9% on the season.
First-year AJ Storr is coming off a 14-point effort against the Musketeers in which he hit multiple three-pointers. Storr is the best perimeter threat for the Red Storm shooting 46.9% on the year. If the Bulldogs can chase Storr off the line, they will be much more successful on defense. The Bulldogs can also attempt to help their efforts by knocking down their own attempts.
In the last two games, Butler has combined to shoot 28.5% from three. In order to give themselves a chance in this game, they must shoot better from the field and keep up from behind the arc. They will also have to seal off the paint, which will be a difficult task and one that the team has not been able to accomplish throughout the season.
Defending Joel Soriano
Joel Soriano is on a shortlist of players for Big East player of the year. Soriano is averaging 15.5 points per game, 12 rebounds per game and shooting 57.3% from the field. In the last game against the Bulldogs, he picked up a double-double and the Dawgs had no answers to prevent him from affecting the game. He has an astonishing 18 double-doubles in 24 games this season.
While no team has shown a way to stop him, the Bulldogs can throw different bodies at him to try to slow him down. Graduate center Manny Bates and senior forward/center Jalen Thomas will be counted on in this game down low. It will be imperative for Bates to play strong defense and avoid foul trouble so he can stay on the court and allow for the rotation between him and Thomas to be consistent to try to wear down Soriano.