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Butler Bulldogs Host Saginaw Valley State in Second Exhibition Matchup

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs will host another exhibition matchup against the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday, November 5th. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 PM ET tip and will be televised on WISH-TV with Anthony Calhoun and Ralph Reiff on the call. The game can also be heard on 107.5 FM with Mark Minner and Nick Gardner. The Bulldogs are 1-0 after one exhibition game this season.

The Bulldogs opened the 2016-17 season with a 100-53 exhibition win over Wabash last Saturday afternoon. All 13 players scored in the contest, while no player saw more than 20 minutes of action. Butler shot 62% in the game as four Bulldogs scored in double figures. Junior F Kelan Martin led the way with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting. The other three players to achieve the feat were newcomers. Redshirt senior G Kethan Savage (16 points) and graduate transfer G Avery Woodson (14 points), as well as freshman G Kamar Baldwin (13 points) combined to go 15-of-20 from the field. Butler committed only nine turnovers against Wabash, while forcing the Little Giants into 22 miscues. Butler had a 27-3 advantage in points off turnovers. Redshirt senior PG Tyler Lewis had a game-high six assists in Saturday’s win.

Photo: Butler Athletics/Freshman C Joey Brunk
Photo: Butler Athletics/Freshman C Joey Brunk

The Bulldogs scored 44 points in the paint Saturday, compared to only 10 for Wabash. Junior F Tyler Wideman (8), senior F Andrew Chrabascz (8), freshman C Joey Brunk (7 points in his Butler debut) and sophomore C Nate Fowler (4) manned the post for the Bulldogs. Redshirt freshman G Sean McDermott played 18 minutes Saturday, seeing time on the wing and in the post. He and Wideman tied for the team lead with five rebounds.

Butler was picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST standings in a preseason vote of the conference’s head coaches. The poll was announced at BIG EAST Media Day Oct. 11 (full poll on page 2). The Bulldogs are looking to finish in the top half of the BIG EAST Conference after achieving the feat in each of the two Chris Holtmann seasons.

Junior F Kelan Martin, the leading returning scorer in the BIG EAST Conference, was chosen as a Preseason All-BIG EAST First Team selection by the league’s head coaches. Martin finished the 2015-16 season by earning All-BIG EAST Second Team honors (again voted on by the conference’s coaches). Martin is also one of 15 small forwards on the Watch List for the Julius Erving Award, presented to the nation’s top player at that position.

Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann is one of only 11 coaches who has led his current team to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons as head coach. He is one of only six coaches who have won games in the NCAA Tournament in each of their first two seasons with their current team.

Chris Holtmann – Butler (2015, 2016)*
Mark Few – Gonzaga (2000, 2001)*
Bill Self – Kansas (2004, 2005)
Bruce Weber – Kansas St. (2013, 2014)
John Calipari – Kentucky (2010, 2011)*
Roy Williams – UNC (2004, 2005)*
Mark Gottfried – NC State (2012, 2013)
Mike Brey – Notre Dame (2001, 2002)*
Steve Alford – UCLA (2014, 2015)*
Bob Huggins – West Virginia (2008, 2009)
Chris Mack – Xavier (2010, 2011)
*won games in both tournaments

Butler captured its 21st season with at least 20 wins and the tenth time in the last 11 seasons. Chris Holtmann’s Bulldogs won 23 games in 2014-15, his first season on the Butler sidelines as head coach.

Under head coach Chris Holtmann, Butler is 18-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field.

Butler was 15-0 last season when scoring at least 80 points. Butler eclipsed the 80-point plateau in its last seven wins of the regular season. In the regular season finale, Butler scored 95 points in the win against Marquette, its highest scoring output since the Bulldogs put up a school-record 144 against The Citadel in the season opener.

Butler’s scoring average of 79.9 points per game last season was second in the BIG EAST and 24th nationally.

Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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