Time and Date: Friday, November 16 @ 8 p.m. ET
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse — Indianapolis, Indiana
Records: Butler (2-0) | Ole Miss (1-0)
Rankings: Butler (#30 KenPom) | Ole Miss (#83 KenPom)
TV Channel: FS2
Stream: FOX Sports Go
Butler’s undefeated record will be put to the test Friday night against Ole Miss. Ole Miss won its only contest so far this year by blowing out Western Michigan. The Rebels are attempting to return to relevance with new head coach Kermit Davis, who previously coached at Middle Tennessee.
Butler has yet to play a close game in the budding season, but Ole Miss will likely be the toughest team they have faced. The Bulldogs’ main task will be containing star guard Terence Davis. Davis is a talented scorer who tested the NBA draft waters before returning for his senior season at Ole Miss. The Rebels also showed a renewed defensive intensity to start the season, racking up 15 steals against Western Michigan, so Butler needs to take care of the ball.
The Bulldogs actually looked sharper in their opener against Miami (OHIO) than they did against Detroit on Monday. To be successful against a bigger and more athletic Mississippi team, Butler will have to do a better job of penetrating the defense and working the ball around to create open shots.
Coach Davis will be somewhat familiar with the Dawgs, having lost to them in the NCAA Tournament two years ago; Kamar Baldwin scored 13 points in that game. On Friday, Baldwin will look to stay hot after a 26-point performance against Detroit.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Butler had to rely too much on individual plays (mostly by Baldwin) on Monday for scoring. Against Ole Miss, the Bulldogs have to do a better job of picking apart the defense with controlled drives and good passing. McDermott, Baddley, and Jorgensen should be shooting open, rhythm threes instead of late-in-the-shot-clock heaves.
Ole Miss: Keep up the defensive pressure
As mentioned above, the Rebels caused all kinds of problems for Western Michigan with aggressive defense. Mississippi forced 24 turnovers, but they also allowed the Broncos to shoot 21 free throws. If Ole Miss can defend aggressively without fouling, they should be able to upend the Dawgs on the road.