Paul Jorgensen drives the ball against Xavier earlier this season. The Xavier game was the first of three straight losses for the Bulldogs. Collegian file photo.
JOSH MULLENIX | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Who: Butler vs. Marquette
When: Jan. 12, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
How to Watch: FS1
The Butler men’s basketball team takes a three-game losing streak back home to Hinkle Fieldhouse as they face the Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette has a 12-5 overall record and has gotten off to a 3-2 start in Big East play. The Golden Eagles are coming off a home blowout win over 13th ranked Seton Hall. Butler’s tough test of four consecutive games against ranked opponents has come to a close and a lighter portion of the schedule lies ahead. Marquette stands in their way as the Bulldogs begin a six-game stretch against unranked Big East teams.
Protect Hinkle Fieldhouse
The Big East, top to bottom, is one of the best conferences in the country. This year it will be difficult to get wins against any Big East team on the road, no game can be taken for granted. As a result, protecting Hinkle Fieldhouse is a must for Butler during conference play. After two games inside Hinkle, the Bulldogs are 1-1 featuring the Villanova upset and a loss to Seton Hall. Butler gave up an 11-point lead with seven minutes left to Seton Hall. Games like that simply can’t happen if the Bulldogs look to finish conference play with a .500 or better record.
Bulldogs are facing one of the best scoring backcourts in the country.
Not many teams have two guards averaging 20 points per game. Marquette does. Not many teams have two guards shooting over 40 percent from the 3-point line. Marquette does. Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey make up one of the most explosive backcourts in the country. Howard dropped 52 points against Providence and Rowsey has put up more than 30 points on three different occasions. Butler has faced some talented backcourts and talented guards this year. But in terms of the backcourt that just knows has to score, very few compete with Marquette.
Bulldogs have to make this Marquette team work defensively.
Marquette does a lot of things right on the offensive end, but they struggle defensively and on the glass. The Golden Eagles rank 264th in the country in points allowed and 321st in the country in rebounds per game. Ball movement on offense and controlling the glass will highlight the weaknesses that this Marquette team has. Slow down that Marquette offense and control the glass and the Bulldogs should be set to get back on the right track in Big East play.