The Butler Bulldogs (7-1) , fresh off a win against the Northwestern Wildcats, look to continue to roll through their nonconference schedule Monday night when the Kennesaw State Owls (3-6) pay them a visit. Here are three things to focus in on while watching the game.
Kennesaw State's (lack of) offense
In their nine games so far this season, the Owls are averaging 61.1 points per game. that's "good" enough for 296th in college basketball, and a full seven points lower than the miserable Bulldogs offense last year. Butler will win this game, but they have to be sure to zone in on guard Yonel Brown and forward Nigel Pruitt, averaging 13.0 and 11.0 points per game, respectively.
Smart, physical, play from the Bulldogs
In the win against Northwestern, Butler stuck to their signature style. That being a "hard-nosed grind it out" type of win. They drove the lane on offense and were rewarded with fouls, as they drew 26 fouls to Northwestern's 12. In a nine point game, getting to the free throw line that many times plays a huge difference. Butler loves to shoot threes, but it's nice to see that if they need to drive in and be physical, they can. You can't just rely on shooting threes, because we've seen many times how that can backfire if you go cold.
Tune up for Tennessee
Sure, Butler should take it one game at a time and not overlook any opponent, but let's not kid ourselves. This game is a tune up for the next two on the nonconference slate: Tennessee and Indiana. Tennessee is a team that has taken a giant leap back from last season, and Indiana seems to have stayed right where they were last season (not very good). A game like this is a good time to experiment some different looks defensively and offensively you may want to bring out against Tennessee or Indiana.