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Big East Christmas Lists: Butler Bulldogs

All the ‘Dawgs want for Christmas is a better offense

NCAA Basketball: Princeton at Butler Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Santa,

Can we have an offense that isn’t whatever this thing is?

In the past, Butler has done a great job of getting its best players easy shots to get them going early. I.e. a screen or handoff to get Kellen Dunham an open three or getting Andrew Charbascz the ball at the elbow where he can drive and get that weird spinning right-handed push shot thing.

This year, it feels like not as much of an effort has been made to get the best players the ball in spots where they’re comfortable, and its caused a lot of slow starts an low scoring first halves.

Can Kamar Baldwin hit step-backs? Yes. Should his first four shots of the game be step-backs as the shot clock runs down? No. How about a nice screen to free him up for that baseline jumper he likes?

Can Kelan Martin hit shots with a hand in his face? Yes. Should his first few shots every game be a size up and then a contested shot? No. Maybe draw up something where he gets the ball cutting downhill toward the rim? Or some motion up top and a dribble handoff for that straight on three that he likes?

A few times this year, the announcers have said, “Butler’s getting good shots, they’re just not going down.” They’re really not good shots, and they’re not going down because they’re contested and/or rushed late in the shot clock. Let’s try and get our best players some easy buckets, please?

Santa, can you tell the team to stop giving up open threes?

At least two or three times a game a Butler defender will “help” off their man in the corner (that’s being generous sometimes they just get lost in no man’s land.) It’s 2017, everyone takes threes. Everyone is trying to get an open corner three. Don’t give them up.

This team is also very prone to going under ball screens, or just dying on them at the top of the key, resulting in wide open shots for opposing guards. Not great. Teams aren’t going to win many games when they let opponents shoot around 40% from three, and are 300th worst team in the country at defending the three ball.

Through 13 games that’s not an aberration, it’s probably not just going to even out on its own. If you’re giving up those wide-open looks to teams at the top of the Big East you’re going to get run out of the gym.

P.S.

Some commitments or grad transfers to help the squad next year would be nice too.

Thanks, Santa!