For Butler’s season opener, there’s no sugar-coating it, it’s going to be ugly. The Citadel, hailing from Charleston, South Carolina, will likely become the victims of some serious Bulldog-on-Bulldog violence.
The Butler men’s basketball team kicks off its much-anticipated 2015-16 season Saturday, November 14th, at Hinkle Fieldhouse against The Citadel Bulldogs.
After two blowout victories in the preseason, Butler is primed and ready for a strong start to its non-conference schedule.
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Good news for Butler heading into Saturday’s match up – and terrible news for The Citadel – is 6-foot-8-inch junior forward Andrew Chrabascz is expected to be back on the floor after a concussion suffered during practice kept him out of the team’s final preseason game.
David Woods, the Indianapolis Star’s Butler insider, tweeted the news Wednesday.
Back at full force, Butler should have no problem notching a win in its home opener against a Citadel team that finished tied for second-to-last place in the Southern Conference last season.
The Citadel ended the 2014-15 season with an 11-19 overall record, but brought in additional talent this year in the form of explosive freshman guard Quayson Williams and two graduate transfers.
One of those transfers, P.J. Boutte, played last season with IUPUI. Boutte, a 5-foot-9-inch guard, played in 29 games in his only season as a Jaguar, and averaged 5.7 points per game, 2.4 rebounds per game, and 2.9 assists per game.
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Prior to attending IUPUI, Boutte played two seasons with the University of Detroit Mercy, and will likely take over the starting point guard role for The Citadel this year.
The Citadel defeated Erskine College 118-73 Friday in the team’s only preseason game. Williams and 6-foot-8-inch forward Brian White each posted 22 points in the contest. The Citadel put up a strong defensive effort, scoring 52 points off of 31 forced turnovers.
In order to cruise to an easy victory, Butler will need to contain Williams, who went 5-13 from behind the arc against Erskine, and limit the amount of turnovers – both forced and unforced – it commits.
But even in a worst-case scenario where everything goes wrong for the ‘Dawgs and right for The Citadel, Butler should still walk away with a solid win.While The Citadel has several players standing 6-feet-8-inches tall, it’s unlikely any are able to consistently hang with Chrabascz or 6-foot-10-inch freshman Nate Fowler. If Butler gets up big early, look for Coach Chris Holtmann to rest Chrabascz and give Fowler some extra minutes.
The Citadel is also at a major disadvantage in the backcourt.
With its tallest guards listed at just 6-feet-3-inches and 190 pounds or less, it appears Butler senior Kellen Dunham – listed at 6-feet-6-inches and 200 pounds – will have himself a hay day.
With a clear size advantage, Dunham should have no problem scoring both inside and out. Look for him to show up at the charity stripe early and often.
Although it goes without saying, NC State transfer Tyler Lewis and redshirt senior Roosevelt Jones should have monster games as well.
In short, Butler should have no problem taking care of business in its home opener against an outmatched Citadel squad.
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