NCAA Preview: Butler (10) vs Purdue (2)

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Jared Grubbs, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member VIP Member


    Game Info
    NCAA Tournament - 2nd Round
    Butler Bulldogs (21-13, 9-9 Big East) vs Purdue Boilermakers (29-6, 15-3 Big Ten)
    Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 12:10 pm
    Little Caesars Arena (Detroit, Michigan)
    CBS - Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel & Allie LaForce
    107.5 FM, 1070 AM
    Line - Butler +3.5

    Game Thread

    All time Series: Purdue leads 38-19
    Last Meeting: Purdue 82, Butler 67 - December 16, 2017, Crossroads Classic

    Pregame Quotes

    LaVall Jordan on how his team is difference since the 1st meeting with Purdue
    "I think we are a lot more fluid offensively. At that point in time it was pretty choppy. That was one of our worst games. Now a lot of that was due to Purdue's defense. And then I think defensively we've gotten a lot stronger, a lot more solid, a lot more aware, a lot more connected on that end of the court, where we've had from that point on, once we got in the Big East play, we've had some really solid defensive performances. And guys have good clarity, a lot more clarity at this point.

    I think Kamar Baldwin, specifically, during that time, he was transitioning, kind of learning on the fly, where we look at him last night, he's got a really good command of the court. He knows what he's looking for. And that was due to us simplifying some things for him, us probably over-coaching at that point, and then him studying and growing and developing."

    LaVall Jordan on the defensive challenges of Purdue playing small
    "I think probably Creighton would be the best reference point for us. Providence has done that in our league where they play Bullock and just go small. And the decision you have to make on our side is are you going to match it? Or are you going to try to play advantage basketball with your post? And we have to do some of that in the Creighton game. So we've got something to draw on there. And that's kind of a game-time -- I think we've got to prep for all of it and make a game-time call as you're in the moment and see what's best if they do that, how you're going to counter it."

    Projected Starters


    PJ Thompson (5-10, 185) - Senior - 7.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg
    Carsen Edwards (6-1, 200) - Sophomore - 18.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg
    Dakota Mathias (6-4, 200) - Senior - 12.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg
    Vincent Edwards (6-8, 225) - Senior - 14.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg
    Matt Haarms (7-3, 250) - Freshman - 4.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg

    Aaron Thompson (6-2, 190) - Freshman - 4.3 ppg, 3.4 apg
    Kamar Baldwin (6-1, 170) - Sophomore - 15.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg
    Sean McDermott (6-6, 190) - Sophomore - 7.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg
    Kelan Martin (6-7, 220) - Senior - 21 ppg, 6.3 rpg
    Tyler Wideman (6-8, 240) - Senior - 9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg

    Purdue Involvement Chart


    3 Keys For Butler

    Deny Dribble Penetration

    Purdue's offense is ridiculously efficient because they excel at getting the ball in the paint and scoring at the rim while having several elite shooters on the outside to keep the floor spaced. But Purdue is expected to be missing their huge inside presence with Isaac Haas suffering from a fractured elbow. Haas averaged an outstanding 1.12 points per post up this season on 330 chances. Purdue replaces a 7'2" player with a 7'3" one, but Haarms isn't near the back to the basket threat. He saw only 33 post up opportunities this season and averaged only 0.85 points per possession on them.

    With Haas out, expect Purdue to attack the rim via the drive more instead of the post up. Carsen Edwards is one of the best players in college basketball, and Butler is going to need to keep him out of the paint. If Butler has to help frequently on drives it will mean leaving shooters open, and that's not a recipe for success against the Boilermakers. They shot 42% from distance this season, good for 2nd best in the nation.

    Win the Battle of the Boards
    It defies logic given their superior size, but Purdue's biggest weakness is rebounding. They ranked 207th in the country in offensive rebounding and 131st in defensive rebounding. The big problem with bigs trying to block shots is they often leave their man free to crash the boards. Tyler Wideman was able to exploit this against Arkansas by grabbing 5 huge offensive rebounds to help Butler pound the Razorbacks on the glass 45-25. Haarms has a higher block rate than Gafford with a worse defensive rebounding rate. This is another matchup Big Cat can take advantage of.

    Get to the Charity Stripe
    Purdue ranks 8th defensively in keeping opponents off the foul line. The Bulldogs rank 335th at getting there. Looking at those numbers one might expect free throw trips to be rare for Butler, but once again the loss of Haas changes everything. Haarms is an excellent shot blocker, but he also has a tendency to foul, averaging 6 fouls per 40 minutes of game time. Purdue absolutely cannot afford to lose Haarms to foul trouble in this one. Expect the Bulldogs to go right at him early to try and pick up a quick foul or two in an attempt to make him much more passive the rest of the game. Frontcourt foul trouble could spell disaster for Purdue.

    Final Thoughts and Prediction

    Purdue is a terrible matchup for Butler when fully healthy, but the loss of Haas makes this a different story. Butler's post defense is one of the worst in the country, but that's no longer a major concern. Now Purdue will rely heavily on Carsen Edwards, who will go up against two of the best defenders in the Big East in Aaron Thompson and Kamar Baldwin. Trying to keep Edwards in check while also hugging shooters on the perimeter will still be a difficult task, but it's one Butler is equipped to handle. I think Butler once again rides their defense in March to advance to their 4th Sweet 16 this decade.

    Prediction: Butler 72, Purdue 68
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    BHayden likes this.
  2. ButlerBulldog86

    ButlerBulldog86 New Member

    Typo, it says Arkansas above Projected Starters.
  3. ButlerNut

    ButlerNut Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Jared...when you projected Arkansas to beat Butler...the reverse jinx was a good thing...are you sure you are picking Butler to the Sweet 16?
  4. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member VIP Member

    Maybe someday I’ll get through a post without a mistake.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
  5. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member VIP Member

    I don’t possess the power of Danville.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
  6. ButlerNut

    ButlerNut Well-Known Member VIP Member

    And for that, we thank you!
  7. Jared Grubbs

    Jared Grubbs Administrator Staff Member VIP Member

    In all seriousness, I’ve been awful with Butler predictions this season. I usually have a good grasp of matchups and do a good job predicting Butler games but they’ve been so bipolar this year. I did actually love the matchup with Arkansas but 3 point shooting scared me off. I’m still terrified of that 3 point shooting today. If Butler outshoots Purdue from 3 they will win. That’s hard to do though.

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
    ButlerNut likes this.
  8. ButlerNut

    ButlerNut Well-Known Member VIP Member

    No sportsbook for this one? Maybe it should be Butler +100 just to get everyone some bucks! ;)

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