The Butler Bulldogs have really been known for three things over the past decade. We pretty much always expect Butler to play tough defense, play fundamental basketball and crash the boards.
All of that proved to be too much for today’s opponent, the Evansville Purple Aces, to handle as Butler improved to 9-2 on the season.
Butler held Evansville to 37 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent from behind the arc. The Bulldogs didn’t shoot so hotly themselves, as they were only 37 percent from the field and 27 percent from three-point land. However, they out-muscled Evansville, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds.
That is why Butler is a serious contender this year in not just the Big East, but in the NCAA Tournament.
They’re so good on the glass and can out-muscle any team under the boards and on the perimeter. Yes, Evansville gave Butler all they could ask for as the game was closer than the final score indicates, but Butler did what they do best and stuck to it, giving them another victory in the win column.
When Butler gets into league play at the end of this month they will need to rely on performances like this to win games. That translates well to postseason play as NCAA Tournament games are won by this type of basketball. If a team can play stout defense like Butler did today, crash the bounds like they did today (they had a 49-31 rebounding advantage) and have strong point guard play, then they’re set.
Junior guard Alex Barlow had career highs in points (16) and rebounds (8) in today’s victory. If he can continue that, then Butler is going to be a team nobody wants to play.