Fresh off a comfortable home win against North Dakota, the Butler Bulldogs have to get back to speed quickly for their second game in three days. Manchester University, a DIII school with 1400 undergraduates, shouldn't provide much of a challenge.
Kellen Dunham and Khyle Marshall teamed up again to carry Butler against North Dakota. Dunham scored 29 on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. His offensive rating (150) marked the most efficient game of Dunham's season so far and a nice bounce back from a couple weak shooting performances in Orlando.
Marshall added 21 points with another good night on the offensive glass. He has pulled down three or more offensive rebounds in four of the past five games. Marshall now ranks 10th in the Big East in OR%, an impressive mark given that five of guys above him are 6'10" or taller.
Butler has the second-shortest bench in the Big East, with its starters playing 75.9 percent of the team's minutes so far. Eleven players saw action against North Dakota after effectively limiting themselves to a seven-man lineup in the Old Spice Classic. Nolan Berry, at one point thought to be a contender for sixth or seventh man status, will be player one to watch. He needs to build some upper body strength, but at 6'10" is the future of the Bulldog frontcourt. Jackson Aldridge and Rene Castro will compete to show that they deserve Brandon Miller's confidence to run the point when Alex Barlowgets into foul trouble.
Manchester is 1-7 this season, 0-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. They've played two games against Division I teams, both blowout losses.
Brady Dolezalleads the Spartans with 12.5 points per game. He scored 18 in a 101-48 exhibition loss to Central Michigan but didn't play in Manchester's 83-33 loss at Wright State.
Manchester really struggled with hanging on the basketball against Wright State. The Spartans turned it over 25 times in that game. They had 22 turnovers against Central Michigan as well.
KenPom: Butler victory (nothing more specific against a DIII team)
Easy win for Butler in what looks like an exhibition matchup. Either Aldridge or Castro should take advantage and make strides towards sealing the backup PG role.