In a week that saw multiple Big East teams struggle against less than stellar competition in their season openers, the Bulldogs were having none of it. Butler scored the first 9 points of the game and never looked back, defeating Miami (Ohio) decisively by a final score of 90-68. Kamar Baldwin led the Bulldogs with 21 points, Jorgensen had 17, Thompson 11, and Joey Brunk contributed a career high 17 points.
Perfect Start To The Season
Miami certainly isn't a Big East quality team, but they aren't some 300+ RPI cupcake either (we will likely see one of those on Monday as Detroit visits Hinkle). This was an impressive win for the Bulldogs. They showed a little bit of everything, and I can't imagine asking for anything more. Butler won nearly every statistical category outside of turnovers. It's slightly concerning that Butler only forced 8 turnovers and allowed Miami to get off 33 attempts from behind the arc, but that's just being picky about an all around excellent performance by the Bulldogs.
Breakout Day For Joey Brunk
Nate Fowler started but picked up a quick foul less than 3 minutes into the game. The rest of the first half belonged to Joey Brunk. Brunk exploded for 15 points on 6-6 shooting in the first half. He finished the game with 17. Brunk primarily scored on catch and finish plays around the rim, but he also stepped out and knocked in a 15 foot jumper and finished a nice back to the basket jump hook as well. Cheers of "Joey! Joey!" broke out from the Dawg Pound multiple times, and the sellout Hinkle crowd broke into one of the loudest frenzies of the night when the PA announcer declared Brunk player of the game. We will see if he can live up to the hype this game created, but Brunk fever is in full swing in Indianapolis.
Kamar Baldwin Is Even Better
Big East coaches will be up all night trying to figure out how to stop Kamar Baldwin. It's no secret he's a conference player of the year candidate, but one of the most versatile scorers in the Big East has even further expanded his game. Kamar has added a legit post game and he wasn't afraid to show it off tonight. He used his newly added strength to bully smaller players and his lightning like quickness to sneak by bigger ones. Kamar finished with a team high 21 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds. The only blemishes on the evening for him were the 5 turnovers.
Gillens-Butler Earning Rotation Minutes
The biggest surprise outside of Brunk's big night was Jerald Gillens-Butler. He didn't impress in the box score, but he earned 14 minutes of playing time and looked like he belonged. We've been waiting to see who would emerge as the 8th man in the rotation between Gillens-Butler and David, and on this night it was clearly Gillens-Butler. There's a long way to go before a rotation is settled, and Jordan Tucker will complicate the matter, but it appears Gillens-Butler is the early frontrunner in that position battle.