Princeton (1-0) at Butler (1-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000) -- Indianapolis, Indiana. Television: FS2. Home Record: Princeton 1-0, Butler 1-0. Away Record: Princeton 0-0, Butler 0-0. Neutral Record: Princeton 0-0, Butler 0-0. Conference Record: Princeton 0-0, Butler 0-0. Series Record: Butler leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Butler Bulldogs will try to continue their success at home when they host the Princeton Tigers in a non-conference tussle at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs were 14-2 at home last season and got off to another strong start in front the their frenzied fan base a week ago with an 89-58 rout of Lamar. Butler has won 20 of its last 23 home contests and is an astounding 227-34 in Hinkle Fieldhouse over the past 18 seasons.
Butler coach Brandon Miller, who also began his collegiate playing career in Hinkle Fieldhouse as a member of the Southwest Missouri State team in 1998, had a successful debut for the Bulldogs. Taking over for Brad Stevens, who departed for the head coaching job with the Boston Celtics, Miller saw his team post the most points in a home opener since 2000 when Butler beat Eastern Illinois, 90-73. Miller, who transferred to Butler, scored 26 points in that contest, his first with the Bulldogs.
Miller's squad connected on 54.3 percent of its shots against Lamar, but was just 4-of-17 from 3-point range. The big difference in the opener, and an advantage the Bulldogs may have over Princeton, is the inside game. Butler outscored Lamar 62-22 in the paint. Forward Khyle Marshall went 9-of-13 from the field and finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. The 6-foot-6 senior is shooting 55 percent from the field for his career, which is sixth-best in program history. Kameron Woods, a 6-foot-9 junior forward, drained 5-of-6 from the floor and had 11 points. That was one more than teammate Erik Fromm and two less than Kellen Dunham, who is always a threat from long distance. Dunham tied Butler's freshman record for 3-point field goals with 57 in 2012-13. Junior guard Alex Barlow, who led the Bulldogs in steals (42) last season, had a team-high three assists and no turnovers in 17 minutes against Lamar.
Princeton, coming off a 67-50 win over Florida A&M last Sunday afternoon in Jadwin Gym, is aiming for its first 2-0 start since the 2009-10 season. Junior forward Denton Koon, who started the last 24 games last season, came off the bench for team-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds in the season-opening victory. Jimmy Sherburne had 13 points, Will Barrett 12 and Hans Brase grabbed 10 rebounds, but the Tigers shot just 38.9 percent from the field. Forward Spencer Weisz became the first Princeton freshman in five years to start a season opener and had five points and six boards.
Butler is 11-0 against teams currently calling the Ivy League home. The Bulldogs and Princeton don't have a rich history, as this will be only the third meeting between the squads, and first since Jan. 2, 1962 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. There is one thing in common, the Cinderella runs in past NCAA Tournaments. Mitch Henderson, the current coach of Princeton, played for the Tigers when they secured a first-round upset in 1996 of defending national champion UCLA. That game took place at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Marshall and Fromm are the last remaining players from Butler's Final Four team of 2011.
The Bulldogs don't have the roster to sustain the magic from their recent runs in the NCAA Tournament, but they should have enough to topple a team that could struggle shooting the basketball.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Butler 71, Princeton 67
11/16 10:39:47 ET