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Butler vs. Belmont: 3-Point Preview

Bulldogs prepare for their final non-conference game of the season

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Butler Bulldogs will take on the Belmont Bruins on Sunday, Dec. 28, in their final nonconference tune-up before Big East play begins on New Years Eve. Here's three things to watch:

1. Andrew Chrabascz's Hot Hand

After dropping two straight games to Tennessee and Indiana, the Bulldogs got their swagger back at home on Monday with a big win over UT Martin. The team's key offensive contributor in that game? It wasn't Kellen Dunham or Kelan Martin, it was Chrabascz. Over the last two games, the sophomore forward is averaging 15.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, and has gone a blazing hot 4-7 from behind the arc. He's been much more assertive as of late, finishing with efficiency on a couple of runners to the rim and has even broken out a little hook shot in his post repertoire. Chrabascz's offensive explosion has been a delight to watch, and it's been paying dividends for the Bulldogs.

2. The Craig Bradshaw Show

If you thought Chrabascz's numbers looked nice, just wait until you see what Belmont guard Craig Bradshaw has been doing this year. The guy has been punishing teams all year, averaging 20.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game while shooting 53 percent from the floor and a blistering 46 percent from three. Bradshaw pretty much single-handedly dismantled Ohio in a close game in late November with 42 points, going 8-12 from deep. The Bruins have lost four games this year, including a three game losing streak in early December. Bradshaw missed all three of those games with a calf injury. Coincidence? I think not.

3. Butler's Non-Conference Finale

This matchup will serve as Butler's final test before kicking off Big East play in just a few days. And it will be a test. The Bruins are 8-4 with an efficient offense, and they've battled with some good squads even without Bradshaw in the lineup (he returned last week). They play small and enjoy putting a lot of guards on the floor at the same time, so it'll create an interesting defensive challenge for the Bulldogs. It's amazing how fast this season is going. Seriously, how is it already time to start conference play? Enjoy the game, folks.