Jahmyl Telfort scored 26 points in Butler’s win over Texas Tech on Nov. 30. Photo by Andrew Buckley.
CALEB DENORME | ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR | email@example.com
The men’s basketball team looks to improve to 7-2 tomorrow as they take on Buffalo in Hinkle Fieldhouse. This is the second of a five game home stretch for Butler.
The Bulldogs are coming off a huge victory against Texas Tech (TTU) where they bested the Red Raiders in overtime 103-95. It was a tightly contested game that was highlighted by the big shots by Butler’s offense and TTU’s ability to shoot from deep. Ultimately the Dawgs pulled away in overtime to take the spoils.
The Bulldogs now have their sights set on the Bulls of Buffalo, who come to Hinkle with a dismal 1-7 record this season.
Here is what you need to know as Butler faces off against Buffalo.
Who: Butler vs. Buffalo
When: Dec. 5, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse
How to watch/listen: FS1, WXNT 1430 AM
Offensive efficiency and improvement
One of the biggest changes this season is how well the Dawgs’ offense has been able to generate points. Butler currently is 40th in the nation when it comes to scoring offense, averaging 83.4 points per game, up from last season’s average of 65.3.
The main reason for this uptick is the influx of quality transfers into the program. Additions like DJ Davis, Jahmyl Telfort and Pierre Brooks are proving their worth on the offensive end of the floor. Each one of them is averaging over double digits in points per game, and all have field goal percentages above 42%.
In the game against Texas Tech, Butler shot 54.5% from the field and 44.4% from three, scoring 103 points on the way to an eight point victory. The Bulldogs are averaging a 48.6% field goal percentage this season, a slight improvement from last season when they averaged 43.6%.
While the offensive improvement is noticeable, so is Butler’s win total. Through eight games last season, the Dawgs were 5-3. A one win improvement is not a lot, but it is the fashion in which Butler won these games that is impressive. These early season wins are giving the fanbase hope and drawing even more people to pack Hinkle.
Buffalo scouting report
Buffalo is part of the Mid-American Conference and is currently 1-7 on the year. Last season they were 15-17, getting knocked out of the MAC Tournament by Akron in the quarterfinal. The Bulls’ lone win on the season came against Roberts Wesleyan on Nov. 15, but since then they have been on a five game losing streak.
The player to watch for Buffalo is fifth-year Sy Chatman. The 6’8” forward is averaging 15.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this season, leading the team in scoring. The height of Chatman can pose a challenge for Brooks and Telfort to deal with, but with a lack of offensive options for the Bulls, the Dawgs should be able to manage.
Another contributor for Buffalo is senior Isaiah Adams. The 6’6” forward averages 11.8 points per game and can be a factor opposite of Chatman. Adams began his career at UCF before transferring to Buffalo for his junior year. He was the only player for the Bulls to start all 32 games last season.
The key for Butler will be dealing with Buffalo’s size. They have some forwards and centers who can pose a threat on the glass if the Bulldogs have a bad day boxing out. The Dawgs should win this game handedly, but winning the rebound battle is the first step to grabbing the victory.
These are the games that Butler has to win if they want to be playing in late March. If they continue to stack victories, they will be in good shape heading into the Big East portion of their schedule.