Butler 2007 NCAA Tournament Capsule
Butler Bulldogs - Horizon League (27-6, 13-3)
Seed: #5 - Midwest Region
Big Wins: 11/14 Indiana (60-55), 11/22 vs Tennessee (56-44), 12/16 Purdue (68-65)
Bad Losses: 12/9 at Indiana State (64-72), 1/10 at Illinois-Chicago (67-73), 2/2 Loyola Ill (71-75)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2003, Sweet Sixteen loss to Oklahoma
Coach: Todd Lickliter (2-1 in 1 NCAA appearance)
Butler Bulldogs NCAA Tournament history
Probable Butler Starters:
Mike Green, Junior, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 4.0 apg, 5.8 rpg
A.J. Graves, Junior, Guard, 17.0 ppg, 2.5 apg, 2.2 rpg
Julian Betko, Senior, Guard, 4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg
Brandon Crone, Senior, Forward, 11.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Brian Ligon, Senior, Forward, 3.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg
Key Roleplayers for Butler:
Marcus Nellems, Senior, Guard, 2.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Drew Streicher, Junior, Guard, 4.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Willie Veasley, Freshman, Guard, 2.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg
Pete Campbell, Junior, Forward, 8.9 ppg, 1.6 rpg
Why They Can Surprise:
The Bulldogs have won game after game, seen upset after upset, thanks to their stifling defense. On par with traditional Butler defense, this group is not flashy. They will not have many steals leading to fast breaks or magnificent blocks that ignite the Butler faithful, but it is straight up tough defense. The opposition shoots 40% from the floorand, if their shooters are hot, Butler can beat anybody.
A.J. Graves, Brandon Crone and Pete Campbell are all dangerous shooters from behind the arc. Graves leads the way with 17.0 points per game. The 6-1 junior is not just a catch and shoot guy launching up three after three; he will get to the basket and has a solid mid-range game. Crone, a 6-6 forward, will do a little bit of everything and the senior excels in the big games. Campbell will provide a big spark off the bench and makes 2.2 three’s per game.
Why Butler Can Disappoint:
Mike Green, a 6-1 point guard, leads the team in rebounding and that is not good. Green is a dynamic scorer, a great floor leader and a very good rebounder for his size, and that says more about the lack of forwards than it does about Green’s ability to rebound. Crone spends a lot of time on the perimeter, minimizing his rebounding abilities and Brian Ligon will do the dirty work under the basket, but is not very effective crashing the glass. With Butler’s style of play, they are going to suffer on the boards, but the more they can control the damage, the better.
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Who To Watch:
Wings Julian Betko and former walk-on Drew Streicher have both stepped up their game for the 2006-2007 campaign. Neither are big scoring threats, but both have the ability to hit from beyond the arc. The duo will not make many headlines, but their defensive intensity is very valuable to Butler.
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.4 (178th in nation, 3rd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 57.2 (7, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.7 (190, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 40.5 (35, 1)
Free-Throw Percentage: 76.3 (6, 1)
Rebound Margin: -1.2 (224, 7)
Assists Per Game: 12.2 (243, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.4 (1, 1)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Old Dominion
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