By now you have probably heard the news of the injury to Butler‘s leading scorer, Rotnei Clarke.
Clarke, who hit the bottom of the basket hard on Saturday, suffered a neck sprain that is severe enough to sideline him for a couple of days. Many are speculating that Clarke will miss the next two games for the Bulldogs while recovering, although he is expected to return to practice either Thursday or Friday of this week.
Butler is preparing for a crucial, non-conference test that will pin two, top-15 squads up against each other on Saturday night when Gonzaga comes to town.
As for now however, Butler is ready to move forward with Wednesday’s game against Richmond, a contest that marks a situation in which the Bulldogs do not want to overlook.
Clarke, who leads the team averaging 16.3 points per game, will not play for the Bulldogs on Wednesday, but Butler should still be fine. Freshman guard Kellen Dunham will look to step up and add some increased offensive numbers, while senior Chase Stigall will look to do the same.
Andrew Smith anchors the team down low, so it might not be any surprise if head coach Brad Stevens looks to establish more of a low post game given Clarke’s absence on the perimeter.
Richmond enters the contest at 11-6 overall, while Butler rolls into Wednesday on a current, 11-game winning streak. The Bulldogs have not lost a contest since Nov. 21.
Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS