Time and Date: Tuesday, November 26 @ 9:30 pm ET
Records: Butler (6-0) | Stanford (7-0)
Rankings: Butler (#20 KenPom) | Stanford (#61 KenPom)
TV Channel: ESPN2
Watch Online: watchESPN
After an impressive victory over Missouri, Butler moves on to face Stanford in the championship of the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. Stanford reached the final by blowing out Oklahoma 73-54.
Both teams are undefeated, but Ken Pomeroy’s rankings like Butler a lot more. The Bulldogs have played a tougher schedule thus far, but Stanford’s convincing win over Oklahoma suggests that the Cardinal may be a tougher challenge than originally thought.
Tyrell Terry has been the leading scorer for Stanford thus far, but the real threat to Butler comes in the frontcourt. The Dawgs’ defense has been suffocating this year, but most of the teams they’ve played so far are very reliant on guard play, giving Butler a significant advantage since Kamar Baldwin and Aaron Thompson are two of the nation’s premier perimeter guards. Stanford offers a different challenge.
The Cardinal have three forwards — Oscar da Silva, Spencer Jones, and Jaiden Delaire — who combine for almost 35 PPG. Butler’s ability to depend big men was a huge question mark coming into the year. While Bryce Nze and Bryce Golden have both played well for the Dawgs, they still have much to prove; in fact, the lone opposing player Butler really didn’t have an answer for this season was Daniel Oturu, a 6’10 forward for Minnesota.
Offensively, Butler will have to keep from turning the ball over. The Bulldogs shot well and spread the ball around nicely in the victory over Missouri, but they had too many turnover — a focal point of LaVall Jordan’s post-game comments to his team. Containing the Cardinal big men and taking care of the ball will be the keys if the Dawgs hope to hoist the trophy in Kansas City.