Arguably no team was more disappointing in the Big East last year than the Butler Bulldogs. Brandon Miller's first year as head coach saw the Bulldogs finish dead last in the conference in scoring, as they struggled to a 14-17 record, with only four of those wins coming in Big East play. A big part of this was the absence of Roosevelt Jones, who suffered a wrist injury in the preseason last year and missed the entire season. Jones will be back for this season, but Butler still has questionable depth. How will that affect their chances in the Big East? Let's take a look at their conference schedule, firstly.
|At Villanova Wildcats||December 31||2:30 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|At St. John's Red Storm||January 3||TBA||CBS Sports Network|
|Vs. Providence Friars||January 6||9 p.m.||CBS Sports Network|
|Vs. Xavier Musketeers||January 10||2 p.m.||FOX Sports Net|
|At Seton Hall Pirates||January 13||7 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|At Georgetown Hoyas||January 17||5 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|Vs. Creighton Bluejays||January 21||9 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|Vs. Seton Hall Pirates||January 25||3 p.m.||FOX Sports Net|
|At Marquette Golden Eagles||January 31||2 p.m.||FOX Sports Net|
|Vs. St. John's Red Storm||February 3||7 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|Vs. DePaul Blue Demons||February 7||3:30 p.m.||TBA|
|Vs. Villanova Wildcats||February 14||6 p.m.||CBS Sports Network|
|At Creighton Blue Jays||February 16||8 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|At Xavier Musketeers||February 21||2 p.m.||FOX Sports Net|
|Vs. Marquette Golden Eagles||February 25||8 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|At DePaul Blue Demons||February 28||2 p.m.||FOX Sports 2|
|Vs. Georgetown Hoyas||March 3||7 p.m.||FOX Sports 1|
|At Providence Friars||March 7||12 p.m.||FOX Sports Net|
A nice thing about the Big East compared to some bigger conferences is every team plays each other twice throughout the course of conference play. If a team gets the best of you early in the season, or on the road, you get another shot at them later on. This is something Butler will definitely be keeping in mind as they open the season against Villanova, who is likely the best team in the Big East.
A lot of teams in the Big East got better (Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier, Seton Hall, Providence), while probably only Creighton took a considerable step back this season. For Butler to be able to compete in the conference this year, they have to beat up on bad teams like Marquette and DePaul. This could be easier said than done for Butler, as they lost to the Blue Demons at Hinkle Fieldhouse last season.
Another set of games worth looking at for the Bulldogs will be their contests against Seton Hall. Butler swept the season series with the Pirates last year, giving them half of their conference wins, before losing by a point in the opening round of the Big East Tournament to the same Seton Hall team. As stated above, Seton Hall has drastically improved this season, so it will not be an easy set of games for the Bulldogs, but surely they will have revenge on their minds.
Depth concerns aside, the return of Roosevelt Jones alone makes Butler a better team than last season. The big concern for the Bulldogs is their very tough nonconference schedule. Any time you have to potentially play a Final Four team to win your early-season tournament, it is clear you have a tough schedule. The benefit of playing in the Big East is that there are a lot of good teams, so with a couple big nonconference wins and a couple Big East upsets, the Bulldogs could have a very nice resumé going into Selection Sunday.