Men’s basketball goes 2-1 in ESPN Events Invitational: Beyond the Box Score

Men’s basketball improves to 5-2 on the season after a win against Boise State. Photo courtesy of Butler Athletics


Butler wrapped up play in the ESPN Events Invitational on Nov. 26 with a 70-56 victory over Boise State. Junior guard Pierre Brooks led the Bulldogs with 25 points and added four rebounds. He averaged 21.3 points throughout the tournament — scoring a career-high 26 against Penn State on Nov. 24. 

With this win, the Dawgs moved to 2-1 in the tournament with their only loss coming from a tough-fought game versus Florida Atlantic (FAU), who went on to win the tournament. 

No. 19 FAU was a great test for this Butler team. Despite being down for the majority of the game, their effort did not slow. That is a factor that Bulldog fans did not really see last season. 

After the FAU loss, the Dawgs fought back to earn fifth place in the tournament and improve their record to 5-2 on the season. 

Transfer impact 

Senior forward Jahmyl Telfort and Brooks have been the two most impactful players on offense for the Dawgs. Both have been consistently efficient in the field — both shooting over 44%. 

Senior guard DJ Davis is another name in the mix of this offense. He seems to be the guy the team looks to hit a three in key situations. He has struggled with maintaining consistency behind the arc — shooting around 33% —  but look for these shots to really start falling as this offense continues to get in sync. 

The rebounding 

Rebounding has been the continuing issue for this team. In Butler’s loss to FAU, the Owl’s had 17 second chance points compared to the Bulldogs’ nine. This game was an offensive shootout, but FAU’s second opportunities allowed them to take the victory. 

Against Penn State and Boise State, the Dawgs started to show some more aggression on the boards. Senior center Jalen Thomas grabbed nine defensive rebounds in the effort against Boise State. He only had two against FAU. Strength of competition is certainly a factor, but improvement is important for this team. 

This tournament was a great opportunity for Butler to show they compete, and they certainly did that. Although it may not seem like some of these games matter at the moment, this experience with a new team is so valuable for entering Big East play. 

Butler’s next test is against a tough 5-1 Texas Tech team at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. 


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