INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs, coming off a home win against Furman, will travel to face the Texas Longhorns in Portland, OR in the PK80 Phil Knight Invitational on November 23, 2017. The game at Veterans Memorial Coliseum is set to tip at 7 PM ET on ESPN2 with Dan Shulman & Jay Bilas on the call. Butler is 3-1 while Texas is 3-0.
Butler will also play games on Friday and Sunday as part of the Motion Bracket.
PK80 – Phil Knight Invitational presented by State Farm is a two-tournament men’s college basketball event held in Portland, Ore., honoring Nike co-founder Phil Knight for his 80th birthday and in recognition of his significant contributions to collegiate basketball. Sixteen college teams will participate in what will be the best collection of college basketball teams in one event, at a single site, in the history of the sport.
Butler is 1-0 all-time against the Longhorns. The lone win 56-48 win in the came in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Butler and Shaka Smart‘s VCU program met in the 2011 national semifinals, a 70-62 Butler win.
Butler has enjoyed success in recent early-season/Thanksgiving week tournaments. Last season, the Bulldogs defeated Vanderbilt and Arizona to win the Continental TireLas Vegas Invitational. Butler advanced to the championship game of the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off as well. Butler has also won the 2010 Diamond Head Classic, the 2007 Great Alaska Shootout and the 2006 Preseason NIT over the course of the past decade.
Last time on the court, the Bulldogs rebounded from their first loss of the season by running past Furman, 82-65, Saturday afternoon at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler shot a season-best 57.4 percent from the field and four players scored at least 16 points in the win over the Paladins, who tied for the regular season title a season ago in the Southern Conference. The Bulldogs had 19 assists on 31 made field goals Saturday against Furman, as redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott, senior F Kelan Martin and freshman G Aaron Thompson each had four. Butler combined for only 18 assists in the two previous games (a win over Princeton and a loss at Maryland). On his 22nd birthday, senior F Tyler Wideman had a game-high 19 points to lead the Bulldogs to the win over Furman. The total was one shy of his career-high.
Redshirt sophomore G/F Sean McDermott has scored 17 points in back-to-back games. Entering last week, his career-high was seven points, but the forward has nailed eight of 14 three-point attempts over the past two games, including a 5-of-7 performance Saturday against Furman. He had 69 points total a season ago.
Freshman G Aaron Thompson, who made his first career start Saturday against Furman, has dished out four or more assists in three of his first four college games.
Senior F Tyler Wideman is third on the team in scoring (12.3) so far this season, while making 67 percent (20-30) of his attempts from the field.
Redshirt junior G Paul Jorgensen came off the bench for the first time this season against Furman Saturday and promptly tied his career-high with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting. His only other time scoring 16 points came during his two seasons at George Washington before transferring to Butler.
Sophomore G Kamar Baldwin had a season-best 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting in the team’s win over Furman. Following a seven-point performance in the regular season opener, Baldwin has rebounded to average 16 points per game over the team’s last three games. Against Furman, Baldwin also had four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and a block.
In Butler’s three wins, the Bulldogs are a combined +82 in points in the paint, highlighted by a 50-16 advantage in the season-opener against Kennesaw State. Butler’s three post players – Tyler Wideman, junior C Nate Fowler and sophomore F Joey Brunk – are shooting a combined 69 percent.
Butler has scored north of 80 points in all three of its wins this season. That has been largely due to strong shooting performances as the Bulldogs have also shot 50 percent or better in those three games.
Butler is shooting 89 percent (39-44) from the free throw line over the team’s past three games after starting the season 12-of-23 (52 percent) against Kennesaw State.
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 @CafultzISRand the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.
Chris Fultz is a Senior Writer and the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indiana Sports Report. Chris Fultz is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler University Athletics and has full media access.
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