Major losses – including legendary former head coach Brad Stevens, Blue II – the former mascot, and a prominent and powerful starter from last season, Roosevelt Jones – to the Butler University men’s basketball program have not halted the squad one bit.
Four games. Four wins.
The Butler Bulldogs entered Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. with a huge amount of confidence on their shoulders. The team defeated a typically powerful Vanderbilt University on Tuesday, in overtime fashion.
The Butler Way has not been shattered or tarnished in any way following the depressing and heart-breaking news the summer kept bringing fans. Although the shots did not seem to sink into the bucket in Saturday’s game, the Bulldogs still pulled away (barely) with a 59-58 win, improving their record to 4-0. The team pulled off an impressive come from behind victory late in the second half. Going into the second half, the Cardinals had full control of the game – up 30-23.
Senior Khyle Marshall and freshman Elijah Brown led the Bulldogs to victory, combining for 27 points on the early evening. Both players had no troubles scoring in the game. Marshall scored seven times within the arc out of 14 attempts, and Brown scored five times out of nine attempts. Shots from beyond the arc appeared to be non-existent or seemed to be poor attempts. The team as a whole was 3 for 11 (27.3%) beyond the arc, while the Cardinals attempted for 20 three-pointers, collecting 21 points from beyond the arc. Capitalizing on the Bulldogs weaknesses in the first half, the Cardinals forced the team to either shoot from beyond the arc or risk missing within the arc. Heading into the second half, the Cardinals were 4 for 10 (40%) for three-pointers and had blocked three of the Bulldog’s shots.
The second half featured a different, yet familiar Butler team. The Bulldogs stormed down the court, collecting 36 points, blocking two Cardinal’s shots, while maintaining to limit the opposition to 28 points in the finally frame. Alex Barlow and Brown hit a three-pointer each to establish a solid streak of capturing points. No doubt Brown took control of the Bulldogs mentality, tallying 13 points in the half alone. The young talent proved necessary for the second half when head coach Brandon Miller left Brown in for 16 minutes, compared to six minutes in the first.
An impressive and undefeated start for the Bulldogs leaves fans with true hope that the squad is persevering through the multiple saddening news July and August offered.
The Bulldogs face off against Washington State University on Thursday, Nov. 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST in Orlando, Fla. as a Thanksgiving Day event. Tune into ESPN2 to watch the game.