RANKINGS: Portland State (#212 KenPom) | Butler (#54 KenPom)
RECORDS: Portland State (4-1) | Butler (3-2)
TIME: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV CHANNEL: ESPNU
WATCH ONLINE: WatchESPN
Kelan Martin does not tweet often. In fact, he has tweeted just three times in the past month. His most recent tweet was this one from Thursday night:
Bad shooting night fellas, let’s get back to what we do, bounce back game tomorrow afternoon!!— Kelan Martin (@kelan30_) November 24, 2017
The tweet followed a very poor offensive performance by the Bulldogs – and especially Martin – in which they lost to Texas 61-48. Martin’s tweet is reminiscent of a tweet from former Butler forward Andrew Chrabascz after a tough loss in 2016:
A lotta season left. I know it starts with me. I have to play a lot better. We are focused on getting better every day.— Andrew Chrabascz (@chrabascz45) January 24, 2016
Martin’s tweet is timely as was Chrabascz’s. With a new coaching staff, significant roster turnover and a couple of early losses, an early panic threatens to set in among the Butler faithful. Martin, however, seems optimistic.
The 2015-16 team bounced back shortly after the tweet from Chrabascz and went on to make the NCAA tournament, advancing to the second round. This year’s Bulldogs will attempt to bounce back as well, starting tomorrow against Portland State.
The Vikings are coming off a tough loss to Duke. Portland State played an inspired first half, and actually led by four at the break, but eventually fell to the superior Blue Devils. The 99-81 game could not have been less similar to the defensive grind played by Butler and Texas.
Butler hopes to have a better shooting performance and put away Portland State to prepare for what will surely be a tougher opponent in the final round of PK80 games on Sunday.