Marquette Golden Eagles (14-7, 3-5) vs Butler Bulldogs (14-6, 3-5)
Marquette Stat Leaders
Points: Henry Ellenson, 15.5 ppg
Rebounds: Henry Ellenson, 10.0 rpg
Assists: Traci Carter, 4.2 apg
Butler Stat Leaders
Points: Kellen Dunham, 16.3 ppg
Rebounds: Roosevelt Jones, 6.9 rpg
Assists: Roosevelt Jones, 4.6 apg
Current KenPom Rankings
KenPom Predictions: Butler has a 60% chance of victory, with a predicted score of 75-72.
Tempo Free Fun: This is going to be a fun duel when Butler has the ball. The Bulldogs have the 21st best Adjusted Offensive Rating, while the Golden Eagles have the 42nd best Adjusted Defensive Rating. Butler's really great at shooting (#52 in eFG%) and Marquette's really great at making opponents miss (#25 in eFG% defense). Butler rarely turns it over, and Marquette loves forcing turnovers. Where problems start to arise is if Marquette's shooting defense is effective in this game. BU is a top 50 offensive rebounding team while Marquette struggles at preventing teams from getting to their misses. If there was ever a game where it would be great if Henry Ellenson could take a run at Marquette's single game rebounding record (28 by Pat Smith in 1967), this would be it.
When Marquette has the ball.... well... The Golden Eagles are quickly becoming one of the least efficient teams in the country. They're already in the bottom half with a #225 AdjO ranking, and this is largely due to currently being the 56th worst team in the country at holding on to the ball. Yeah. It's like that. Butler's not exactly some kind of ball stealing wizard team (#167 in defensive turnover rate), but any team can look good at turnovers when things like "Henry Ellenson gets whistled for three offensive fouls" happen. I know Marquette's not all that great at hauling in their own misses this season, but we have to point out that in Big East contests only, Butler's the worst defensive rebounding team in the league.
Butler Last 10 Games: Butler is 5-5, with a win over DePaul in their most recent game snapping a two game skid.
Marquette Last 10 Games: Marquette is 5-5, with wins in their last two games.
All Time Series: Butler has a 17-16 lead.
Current Streak: Butler has won the last two games between the two teams.
Henry Ellenson Watch: Ellenson's 326 points so far this season are the 7th most points by a freshman in Marquette history, and 17 points against Butler would tie him with Jerel McNeal in 6th place. He's 9th for freshmen in field goals made and 8th in field goals attempted. Henry has tied Dameon Mason for the fourth most made free throws by a newbie, and he's three behind Mason for fourth in FT attempts. Ellenson has moved into second place for a freshman in both rebounds and blocks, but only one of them is achievable for him: His 209 rebounds trail Bo Ellis at 264, while his 32 blocks can barely see Jim McIlvaine's record of 92 swats in his freshman campaign.
Traci Carter Watch: This has slowed down a bit, as Carter has recorded just three assists in 40 minutes in the last three games. Still, he has 93 assists on the season, which is tied with Cordell Henry for the fourth most by a freshman wearing blue and gold. Third place is Doc Rivers with 112, so we'll see if Carter can get there by the end of the season at his new rate off the bench.
Follow Along On Twitter:
@MarquetteMBB - Official Marquette account
@ButlerMBB - Official Butler account
@AnonymousEagle - Hey, that's us!
@ButlerWay - Our favorite Butler site's account
@becb_sbn - SB Nation's Big East site
@Matt_Velazquez - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel MU beat reporter