INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs have been creating quite the riff in the Horizon League this season winning their last 17 games improving to 25-4 overall.
This isn’t even the most impressive stat of their 2010 basketball season either.
Undefeated in their conference, the Bulldogs have won 17-straight giving them the nations longest win streak of the 2009-2010 NCAA season. Led by Gordon Hayward, who averages 15.9 ppg, The Butler Bulldogs have been outscoring their opponents by just under 10 points. Hayward also pulls down an impressive 8.4 rebounds per game making him the marquee player of the nation’s 13th ranked squad. Shelvin Mack, Matt Howard and Willie Veasley have been averaging double-digits in the scoring column as well making it four total Bulldogs.
An impressive 13-0 at home has to make Coach Brad Stevens a happy man in Indianapolis, Indiana. It’s their 11-1 road record that he is more proud of being that they have gone into such places as Cleveland State, Northwestern and Detroit and have returned home winners. However, they have a less than stellar 2-3 record when playing teams in neutral locations. Yes, those loses were to such power houses as Clemson and Georgetown, but come March every game will be a neutral site and this has to worry the Bulldogs of Butler a tad.
Something that Butler does not have to be worried about come March will be their poise. They have been on the big stage before qualifying for the NCAA Tournament in each of the last four seasons. Plus, they average a mere 12.3 turnovers per game which is 2.9 less than the #2 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. In addition their free-throw average is a superb 75.3% which means that close games will be going in the Bulldogs favor down the stretch. Lastly, Butler has been a fantastic 33.3% shooting team from beyond the arc meaning that their opponents won’t be able to play an effective zone defense.
I’m jumping on the Butler Bulldogs bandwagon and if you decide not to, then let me be the first person to tell you not to be surprised come March when they make some noise.