Junior forward Pierre Brooks averages 16.7 points per game for the Bulldogs. Photo by Grace Hensley.
CALEB DENORME | ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR | firstname.lastname@example.org
The men’s basketball team returns home to Hinkle Fieldhouse tomorrow to take on Texas Tech in the Big East-Big 12 Battle. This is the first matchup of a five game home stand for the Bulldogs.
The Dawgs come back to Butler after playing in the ESPN Events Invitational where they posted a 2-1 record. Butler lost to No. 13 Florida Atlantic before taking down Penn State and Boise State to improve their record to 5-2 on the season.
The Bulldogs now shift their focus to the Red Raiders, who sit at 5-1 on the year. After a strong showing in the Bahamas, they head to Hinkle to clash with the Dawgs.
Here is what you need to know as Butler takes on Texas Tech.
Who: Butler vs. Texas Tech
When: Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse
How to watch/listen: FS1, WXNT 1430 AM
Stacking wins together in Orlando
After a tightly contested loss to FAU, the Bulldogs bounced back by taking down Penn State and Boise State at the ESPN Events Invitational. The tournament gave a peak behind the curtain into the potential this Butler team has as conference games loom on the horizon.
In the 88-78 win against the Penn State Nittany Lions, the Dawgs got their offense back on track after a dismal day against Florida Atlantic. Butler shot 50% from the field, including 32.1% from beyond the arc. Another key so far this season has been how well the Bulldogs have shot free throws. Against Penn State, Butler hit on 89.5% of their shots from the charity stripe.
Junior forward Pierre Brooks was the star of the game, scoring 26 points on 69.2% shooting. Brooks also led the team in time on the court, only missing two minutes throughout the whole game. The transfer from Michigan State continues to produce on the offensive end of the floor and spark the Butler offense game after game.
Moving ahead to Boise State, the Dawgs were looking to return home with a 5-2 record. They took care of business handedly, taking a 70-56 win over the Broncos. The Bulldogs had yet another solid offensive day, shooting 51.8% from the field. On defense, Butler limited Boise State to hitting on only 32.3% of their shots, and held the Broncos to only five three pointers in the entire game.
Although both teams the Bulldogs beat were unranked, it still shows how far this team has come since last year. If this squad wants to keep playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, those are the games they have to win.
Texas Tech scouting report
Texas Tech is a part of the Big 12 conference and are currently 5-1 on the year. Last season they posted a 16-16 record, missing out on the NCAA Tournament. Despite last season’s shortcomings, they have started the 2023-24 campaign off strong, beating No. 14 Texas A&M and Michigan, with their only loss coming to Villanova.
The key player for the Red Raiders is super-senior guard Joe Toussaint, a transfer from West Virginia. Toussaint started his career off at Iowa before moving to WVU, and now to Lubbock to join Texas Tech. The 6 foot guard is averaging 14.5 points per game on 46.6% shooting. His matchup with senior guard Posh Alexander will be one to watch.
Another strong member for Texas Tech is super-senior forward Warren Washington. The 7 footer was on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team last season at Arizona State, and will pose a threat down low to the Butler big men. To win this game, the Bulldogs will have to rebound the ball, which means dealing with Washington.
The key for the Butler defense will be limiting chances inside the arc for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech shoots only 27.4% from three, so most of their points have come from close range. The Bulldogs will have to be tough inside and box out if they want to come out of this game with a win.
This is another test for Butler to see where their team stands as conference play draws near. In front of a Hinkle crowd and coming off of two solid victories, the Bulldogs can make a statement that they can be a force in the Big East this season.