Basketball

March Madness – Who is Butler?

Getting to know the Butler men’s basketball team.

Campus Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Campus Population: ~4,500 students
Conference: Big East (mid-major)
Tournament Appearances: 14
Run in the Tournament: 2 National Championship Game Runner-ups (2010 & 2011)
Big East Regular Season Ranking: #5 out of 10

Roster

Player # Class Pos Height Weight Hometown High School Summary
Steven Bennett 25 JR G 6-2 175 New Castle, IN Chrysler 0.7 Pts, 0.5 Reb, 0.2 Ast
Andrew Chrabascz 45 JR F 6-7 225 Portsmouth, RI Cushing Academy 10.1 Pts, 4.2 Reb, 2.0 Ast
Jackson Davis 13 SO F 6-8 210 Lexington, KY Lafayette 2.5 Pts, 1.6 Reb, 0.1 Ast
Kellen Dunham 24 SR G 6-6 185 Pendleton, IN Pendleton Heights 16.3 Pts, 2.6 Reb, 1.5 Ast
Austin Etherington 0 SR F 6-6 215 Cicero, IN Hamilton Heights 3.8 Pts, 1.8 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Nate Fowler 51 FR C 6-10 250 Cincinnati, OH Moeller HS 1.2 Pts, 1.3 Reb, 0.2 Ast
Jordan Gathers 5 SR G 6-3 200 Woodland Hills, CA William Howard Taft 4.3 Pts, 1.3 Reb, 0.7 Ast
Roosevelt Jones 21 SR F 6-4 227 O Fallon, IL O`Fallon 14.0 Pts, 6.6 Reb, 4.7 Ast
Tyler Lewis 1 JR G 5-11 170 Statesville, NC Oak Hill Academy (VA) 6.2 Pts, 1.5 Reb, 3.0 Ast
Kelan Martin 30 SO F 6-6 215 Louisville, KY Ballard 16.1 Pts, 6.8 Reb, 1.1 Ast
Sean McDermott 22 FR G 6-6 182 Pendleton, IN Pendleton Heights HS
Trey Pettus 10 JR G 6-4 195 St. Louis, MO MICDS 0.8 Pts, 0.6 Reb, 0.6 Ast
Kethan Savage 11 JR G 6-3 201 Fairfax, VA Episcopal
Tyler Wideman 4 SO F 6-8 245 Schererville, IN Lake Central 7.7 Pts, 5.7 Reb, 0.8 Ast

The players that stick out right away are senior guard Kellen Dunham and sophomore forward Kelan Martin. Both players average over 16 points per game.

From indystar.com on Dunham –

Over the past 18 games, Dunham has been 54-of-100 on 3-pointers. If that had been all in the regular season, he would have broken the all-time Big East record for 3-point percentage, coming on the heels of that cold spell.

NBA scouts and potential agents have contacted Dunham’s father, Jim, and Butler coaches about his pro prospects. He does not appear on any mock draft boards but hopes to land on a summer league roster.

He said Stephen Curry is “inspirational” and that if he has a future in the NBA, it would be in the role of a J.J. Redick, E’Twaun Moore or Kyle Korver. Dunham has been invited to next month’s Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational, where would-be pros have an additional chance to showcase skills.

He gained a needed 10 pounds last summer and maintained his body fat at 14 percent. His aim is to reduce it to 10 percent, which would align with that of NBA wings. Work ethic, more than shooting skill, is “his calling card,” according to Brian Hahn, who coached him at Pendleton Heights.

In the scouting report we need to note that Dunham can get hot from beyond the arc. Do not let him have any breathing room as soon as he steps over the halfcourt line when the Bulldogs are on offense.

From todaysu.com on Martin (a week ago) –

The brightest spot for Butler this season has been the exceptional play of Martin. The Kentucky native has been on a tour de force since sliding into the starting lineup earlier this year after playing very well as a sixth man. The added minutes have not deterred his play but, instead, have only made him better.

Martin has the highest points per 40 minutes amongst all Butler scorers during conference play at 23.2, per Sports-Reference.com. He’s also leading in points per game during conference play with a mark of 17.6.

In addition, his mark of 32.9 points per 100 possessions is also tops amongst his Bulldog peers, this while having a high usage rate of 28.5 percent.

He’s not turning the ball over much at all – a TO% of just 10.5 percent – and his win shares/40 minutes outpaces Dunham’s .152 with .175 for the Ballard High School alum.

Martin is going to find points near the bucket, and get points at the free throw line from drawing fouls. He is also going to be banging the boards hard to clean up any missed shots off the rim. We need to put a lot of defensive pressure on this guy, and block him out as soon as a shot goes in the air.

Butler Team & Opponent Stats:

FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PTS/G
Team .466 220 569 .387 .731 1132 445 210 104 320 80.6
Rank 55th 178th 270th 25th 51st 194th 131st 111th 186th 10th 22nd
Opponent .431 222 655 .339 .710 1022 389 141 139 409 71.2
Rank 148th 158th 178th 138th 245th 31st 115th 9th 329th 150th 161st

Butler is Excited to Play in the Tournament:

From indystar.com

Butler’s Chris Holtmann said coaching colleagues – notably Brad Stevens – have “hammered” it into him that making the 68-team field is not be taken for granted.

For instance, there were no watch parties on campuses of NCAA tourney regulars UCLA, Ohio State, Illinois, Georgetown, Florida and Tennessee.

“We’ve been terrific down the stretch,” Holtmann said. “These guys need to enjoy what this is. Think about in your mind all the great college basketball programs around the country in power leagues who are not playing, who are not celebrating and are not gathering together as a family and enjoying this.

“And when you do that, your sense is that you’ll be very, very grateful, and hungry to do it more.”

Players wore new navy Nike “Butler Vs. All” T-shirts as they watched the announcement on a big screen at Hinkle Fieldhouse’s Wildman Room. They were joined by coaches, staffers and their children.

/snip

“Two and a half weeks ago, we were probably on the outside looking in, according to some people,” Holtmann said. “Certainly, when you’re 7-3, you played your way in. Not only in, but safely in. As things shook out, I didn’t have any anxiety about not being in the tournament. I didn’t have any anxiety about being in Dayton (play-in game). The only anxiety I had was about how we played the other night.”

Holtmann has been the head coach of Butler for two seasons going 44-21. He took Butler into the round of 32 in the NCAA last year after beating the Texas Longhorns. They ended up getting knocked out in the second game, but took #3 seed Notre Dame to overtime before a heartbreaking loss by 3 points. These guys have been here before, and that overtime Notre Dame loss last year is still probably fresh in their minds.

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