The more I have learned about Butler, the more I have gotten nervous. Ignorance is not Bliss. I hope the staff and the coach do their homework and know what they are going to face. This is a solid team that does everything rather well.
Name Position/size PPG RPG APG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
These are their top six players. As you can see, they all score, rebound by committee, all shoot the ball well, and except their big man, all shoot the three’s well. Most of them shoot the FT in the 80’s. This is going to be as hard a match and last year’s if not more.
Keep digging, consider what type of teams give us the most trouble and I think you’ll feel better. I like this matchup. Considering where we were going to be seeded, we were always going to play a solid team. Nothing is easy. But, I like the matchup.
Is Butler a team like Florida with good passing and shooters that can swing the ball around until our back side defense leaves a 3 shooter WIDE OPEN? Can we get into their legs with our trapping man, switches and press defense? Mike’s Defense versus their offense is the tipping point for our team. If Butler swings the ball around until our back side defense collapses we are at risk so it would all come down to how long it takes Mike to switch to a match up zone.
Butler is extremely guard oriented, with the exception of Martin, a forward who is their best player, and even he puts up a lot of threes. Their bigs are not particularly athletic, and tend to foul too much. Martin will get his 20-30 points, the key is whether his teammates score enough for Butler to win. They will probably shoot at least 25 threes in this game.
They will have to get a lot of help on Gafford, and I think Bailey also be a problem for them on the offensive boards. Offensively I expect Butler will take their post guys up high when we play man, to get Gafford and Thompson away from the basket.
Butler has been even worse than us defending the three this year, which kind of tells you they will play inside out on defense against a team with scoring threats inside. That has got to give them some heartburn when they think about how to play the Hogs. I am not sure they have any guards that can handle Barford physically one on one, so he needs to look for his opportunities, being mindful that they will be sagging off to attack the ball and try to force charges when he drives.
I think that we will press some, and some of it may be token pressure. I don’t see us pressing a lot against a guard heavy team unless they are wobbly against it early or we are behind late. Trapping will probably be based more on opportunity than really trying to create traps against this bunch. The basic philosophy is always to trap when the ball handler puts himself in the situation, and you don’t just click a switch and turn that off this time of year.
But I don’t think we will actively sag off to try to set traps. Butler has several guys that are pretty good but not great three point shooters, so you want to stay close enough to contest those threes, and that is tough to do if you are trying to trap.
Butler doesn’t turn the ball over on O. They have four guys on O that can shoot the trey. An x-factor could be a role guy like Baddley that comes off the bench and hits three or four treys. They typically don’t do any damage on the offensive glass and get to the line sparingly. However, they shoot FTs well when they do get to the line.
Hall could be a key for us. He is probably the best matchup that we have for Martin. Bailey isn’t a bad option either. UF ought to be a good test run for Butler. Pressuring them probably won’t accomplish much except put them on the line and give them open looks.
On D it appears that they are a team that lets you shoot and then goes and gets the rebound, though they do force some TOs. They give up high FG percentages everywhere but rebound well. That type of defense isn’t typically what stymies the Hogs. If we hurt them on the offensive glass, they won’t be able to guard us unless we are cold.
It would appear that both teams have challenges in guarding the other. Butler doesn’t play at a slow pace. The team that has the most offensive players operating at full capacity will probably win.
I had a chance to sort of cool down and collect my thoughts. On this matchup of team comparison, We shoot about the same FG 47.7 - 47.2; we shoot 3’s better 40.1 - 35.6; FT, they are better 67.8 - 77.1; and they rebound better 34.8 - 37.3. Turnovers is 13-11 close, PPG 81.1 - 79.1 close in our favor. Depth, the number of effective players is about same with Dustin Thomas gone. If we focus on rebounding as we did with FL, we should win this. I actually like the EAST region where we are. Far from home, but there is a good possibility of making it to Sweet 16. Purdue is no NC with Ref. protectors, perhaps much less. I see our chances better than last year.
I forgot to mention what happened to this post. When I wrote this, I had them in columns, laid out nicely so you can read every item. After I pressed “Submit”, The program took the columns and pressed them together where it is hard to decipher it. Also, I have never been able to use any of the “Subject:” items like B(Bold) etc. Is there something I need to know about using them? Maybe Dudley can explain this.
Boldface is easy. Click and swipe to define the text you want to make boldface, where it becomes light text on a darker/blue background. Then click the B button. Everything in your defined area turns boldfaced.
I tried a trial post. Highlighted a word, then clicked the B button. It put two brackets at each end with word “b” inside. But it did not become bold. I’ll try it here on the “B button”, above. It worked after pushing Submit. Thanks
Yeah, I should have mentioned that. It won’t become bold in the post window, but it puts in the brackets/code that will make it bold once you hit Submit. Or Preview.I and U do the same thing for italics and underline.
Butler can beat us. No doubt about that. However, every team seeded below the 1’s has that worry. Even the 2’s have some worry. As a 7, we were going to be pitted against a 10 & there’s not a 10 out there that can’t beat a 7. I’m not especially worried about this particular game or opponent, but I’ve never gone into the NCAA without worrying about losing. If we win Firday, I’ll worry about Sunday’s game.
Saying all this because we can all talk ourselves into a pretty stressed state if we look too much into the opponent.
I watched the entire Butler-Villianova at Villanova on YouTube last night. I certainly have much more respect for them than I did when I just watched the highlight clips.
We have a major matchup problem with their best player, Martin. Martin is a NBA quality forward that shoots 3 point attempts at a high rate. He is a little incosistent because he is only a 35% 3 point shooter but that night at Nova he was on fire. He went for 30 with a high 3 point percentage and a strong inside game. Who will he be matched up with, a player from our weakest position our 4’s. I see a strong possibility that he will get a 30 point 10 rebound game against 6-8 points, 6 rebound game from the combined efforts of our 4’s. That means that Macon and Barford must score 50+ points combined and that Gafford must have at least a double, double, and play most of the game without foul problems.
I certainly think that Butler is beatable, but we must play a very good smart game. If we allow Butler to shoot uncontested 3’s and layups, we will have to have a top offensive performance to overcome an explosive offensive team. This win is possible but it won’t be easy. I hope we play our “a” game. Otherwise it will be a long trip back to NWA. WPS.