Andrew Chrabascz's hot start got the Butler Bulldogs rolling and Khyle Marshall put the team ahead for good with a late layup as Butler picked up its first Big East road win ever. Credit goes to coach Brandon Miller and the whole team for its most efficient offensive performance following a five-game stretch of scoring less than a point per possession.
Butler Breakdown (Player Grades)-
Let's start off with Chrabascz (C+), the team's best offensive big man who finally earned the first start of his career on Wednesday night. The Freshman scored nine of Butler's first 15 points to put the Bulldogs ahead early. He cooled off the rest of the game and finished with just three rebounds in 30 minutes on the floor, but showed that he deserves to be in the starting lineup with the energy he brought from the tip.
Erik Fromm (C), the man Chrabascz replaced, wasn't bad off the bench but didn't provide much offensively either. He made his only shot attempt, a three, in 17 minutes and was an improved force on the glass. Four rebounds marked his best performance in four games and was a needed improvement after Butler was walloped on the boards against St. John's.
Alex Barlow (C+) is another guy who really stepped his rebounding game up, with eight. I think that's an indication of how much rebounding is a factor of effort. Barlow's the smallest guy on the roster, but his defensive rebound percentage is better than Marshall, Fromm, or Chrabascz (all of whom have 7-9 inches on him). Props to Barlow for staying out of foul trouble as well. His lower grade is a result of shooting one for six from the floor, his fourth bad performance in a row. Everybody has cold streaks, but its looking more like Barlow just isn't the viable shooter many hoped he could turn into after big games against Oklahoma State and LSU.
Kellen Dunham (C-) isn't shooting well either, but his three three-pointers were the most he's had since the double-overtime loss to DePaul. Nine points total, his first single-digit output of Big East play. Marshall (B-) has been a really consistent scorer for Butler throughout this tough Big East stretch. He hit the shot that put the Bulldogs away for good and made six of nine from the floor. He hasn't rebounded or passed the ball much in 2014 but he's second in the league in field goal percentage and Butler would've lost its other games by a lot more without him (small moral victories).
Kameron Woods (C+) brought his typical workmanlike effort with 11 points and eight rebounds. He also added four assists, a block, and a pair of steals to a strong all-around performance. He's the team's worst culprit when it comes to turning the ball over and had four again last night.
With dad in attendance once again, Elijah Brown (B+) played the best we've seen since the Villanova game. 12 points on five of nine shooting, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Maybe he's getting some confidence back. All things considered, Butler won this game because its two freshmen made a big impact which should raise hopes moving forward.
Butler takes on Marquette next at the Bradley Center. The Golden Eagles are the only other Big East team Butler has beaten this year. Win that one, and maybe we can see the Bulldogs put on a little run to contend for a late NIT bid.