As the NBA makes way for All-Star Weekend, Big East play continues on Saturday night. The Butler Bulldogs (14-11, 5-7 Big East) play host to the DePaul Blue Demons (13-10, 5-7 Big East), with both programs — tied with Georgetown for fifth in the Big East — looking to gain separation in the tight conference race.
These teams last met on Jan. 16, with Butler prevailing 87-69 over the Blue Demons in Chicago. Butler leads the all-time series 11-6.
Time & Place: 8:00 PM ET, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: FS1 (Jeff Levering, Len Elmore)
Radio: 107.5 FM/1070 AM (Butler), WSCR 670 AM (DePaul)
Online: Fox Sports Go (where available)
About the Combatants
About the Bulldogs
Butler ended January on a rough note, losing three straight to close the month. This includes double-digit losses at Creighton (by 14) and Marquette (by 18). However, the Bulldogs have competed in February. They picked up a win at home over Seton Hall, a road win over Georgetown, and took St. John’s to overtime before ultimately losing by four.
Paul Jorgensen has been the hot hand of late for Butler, win or lose. He has scored double-digits off the bench in each of the last four games. In February, specifically, the redshirt senior is averaging 15.0 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, both team-highs. He’s shooting 56.7 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from 3-point range in the process.
Kamar Baldwin is pacing the starters, averaging 14.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in February.
About the Blue Demons
DePaul is 2-1 in February after starting the conference schedule 3-6. Like much of the year, Max Strus has led the way for the Blue Demons over this surge. He is averaging 15.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game this month, despite shooting 32.6 percent from the field.
However, the bigs have been the true X-Factor. Paul Reed has continued his emergence on the Big East scene with three solid efforts this month. He’s currently averaging 14.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in February. This includes a 15-point, 18-rebound outing against Providence.
But the frontcourt dominance doesn’t end when Reed is resting. Femi Olujobi has been a key piece for DePaul since head coach Dave Leitao moved him to the bench four games ago. Olujobi is averaging 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game this month while shooting an impressive 60.9 percent from the field.