INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs enter the 2016 NCAA Tournament as the No. 9 seed in the Midwest Region. The Bulldogs will travel to Raleigh, N.C., and face the No. 8 seed Texas Tech Red Raiders on Thursday (March 17) at the PNC Arena. The Bulldogs are 21-10 and have won seven of their last 10 games entering the Big Dance. The Red Raiders are 19-12 overall. The game will air on truTV at 12:40 p.m. with Indiana Pacers great Reggie Miller, Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner on the call. The game can also be heard on 1070 AM and 93.5 FM with Mark Minner and Nick Gardner.
Butler and Texas Tech have met only once before, an 81-71 Butler win in the championship game of the 2007 Great Alaska Shootout. The Bulldogs made 16 of their 24 three-point attempts in that game as Mike Green earned Tournament MVP honors. The 2007-08 season was Brad Stevens’ first as Butler head coach.
Butler and Texas Tech both participated in the 2015 Puerto Rico Tip-Off earlier this season, but did not play against each other in San Juan. Five of the eight teams in the event made the NCAA Tournament (Butler, Texas Tech, Miami, Utah, and Temple).
This is Butler’s 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and the Bulldogs have a 20-13 all-time mark in the NCAA Tournament. Butler’s first NCAA Tournament appearance came in 1962. The Bulldogs are 17-8 with two trips to the Final Four and two additional “Sweet 16” appearances among the last eight visits to the Tournament. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament in eight of the last 10 years. The 1962 Tournament was not seeded and Butler was a double-digit seed in its next five appearances. In each of its appearances since 2007, the Bulldogs have been a single-digit seed.
Butler went 5-8 against the NCAA Tournament field during the 2015-16 season. The five wins came against Seton Hall (two), Purdue, Cincinnati, and Temple. Butler has won at least one game in seven of its last eight NCAA Tournament appearances. This includes the 2015 Tournament when Butler defeated Texas in the opening round before losing in overtime to Notre Dame. Butler is one of five BIG EAST teams in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, joining Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall, and Providence.
Redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones and senior G Kellen Dunham were on Butler tournament teams in both 2013 and 2015. Jones has averaged 12.8 points in four career NCAA games, including a 23-point performance in 2015 against Notre Dame. Dunham averages 8.5 points per game, including 20 points in 2015 versus Texas. Junior F Andrew Chrabascz averaged 13.5 points in two 2015 contests.
Three others on the Butler roster have NCAA Tournament experience with other teams. Redshirt junior PG Tyler Lewis played in three tournament games (two in 2014, one in 2013) for North Carolina State. He averaged 7.5 points and 7.0 assists as the Wolfpack went 1-1 in the 2014 Tournament. Graduate transfer F Austin Etherington was on Indiana‘s 2012 and 2013 NCAA Tournament teams but did not appear in any games. Graduate transfer G Jordan Gathers got the start for St. Bonaventure as a freshman in their 2012 NCAA Tournament loss to FloridaState. He had four points and six rebounds.
Etherington is averaging 9.0 ppg over the last six games, shooting 11-of-18 (61%) from three-point range during that stint.
Tyler Lewis returns to PNC Arena where he suited up for North Carolina State during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. He transferred to Butler and sat out the 2014-15 season before seeing action this season. In 70 career games (20 starts) with the Wolfpack, Lewis averaged 3.9 points and 2.6 assists per game.
Tyler Lewis is sixth nationally in assist to turnover ratio. His 3.73 ratio is based on 82 assists against only 22 turnovers this season.
Known as one of the most versatile players in the country, Roosevelt Jones has a knack for making “winning plays” according to coach Chris Holtmann. Jones is the only player in Butler history to rank in the Top 10 in both career rebounds and assists. Jones currently ranks fifth in both categories with 456 assists and 801 rebounds. He is also eighth in career steals (143).
Jones has been part of 93 wins during his Butler career; Kellen Dunham’s teams have won 85. (Jones’s total includes games from his freshman season of 2011-12, but not the 2013-14 season that he sat out as a medical redshirt.)
Jones became just the 13th Bulldog to register 1,500 career points when he passed the mark in the regular season finale against Marquette.
The versatility of Roosevelt Jones is evidenced by being in the Top 15 in seven BIG EAST statistical categories: fourth in steals (1.5), fourth in minutes (33.5), fourth in assists (4.7), sixth in assist/turnover ratio (2.0), 11th in rebounding (6.6), 12th in scoring (14.0), and 15th in offensive rebounding (2.0). Jones is just outside the Top 15 in field goal percentage.
Roosevelt Jones has 132 career starts. Matt Howard has the Butler record with 133 career starts.
Senior G Kellen Dunham scored 20 or more points in 10 games during the regular season, tying Kelan Martin for the team-lead in that category. Dunham leads the BIG EAST in both three-point percentage (.428) and three-pointers made (2.6 per game). He made three or more from behind the arc in 10 of the 18 BIG EAST contests.
Dunham’s three-point percentage jumped to .495 in BIG EAST contests. Dunham has led Butler in scoring 51 times in his career, including 11 this season.
Kellen Dunham now has 1,915 career points, good for fourth on Butler’s all-time list. The top three in Butler history are Chad Tucker (2,321 points; 1983-88), Darrin Fitzgerald (2,019 points; 1983-87), and Matt Howard (1,939 points; 2007-11). Dunham passed A.J. Graves on Feb. 16 in the game against Creighton.
Sophomore G Kelan Martin posted his eighth double-double of the season in the team’s last outing, posting 13 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s BIG EAST Tournament loss to Providence.
Kelan Martin enters NCAA Tournament play with an even 500 points (16.1 ppg average) so far this season. That is the sixth-best scoring output for a sophomore in Butler history. Billy Shepherd (1969-70) holds the mark with 724 points. Dunham is fifth with 508 points as a sophomore in the 2013-14 season.
Starting with the Jan. 30 game at Marquette, Martin led the Bulldogs in scoring in seven straight games. In that seven-game streak, Martin averaged 22.6 points per game.
Kelan Martin scored his 700th career point Feb. 27 at Georgetown. It took Martin 42 games to register his 350th career point. He accumulated his next 350 in just 20 games. His scoring average has jumped from 7.1 points per game as a freshman.
Sophomore F Tyler Wideman is up to 48 blocks on the season. His 1.5 blocks per game rank third in the BIG EAST and are tied for fourth on Butler’s single-season list. Rolf van Rijn holds the single-season mark, blocking 64 shots in both the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.
Junior F Andrew Chrabascz had four assists at Georgetown Feb. 27. He had a career-high eight in the season-opening win against The Citadel. Butler is 13-2 in games when Chrabascz has two or more assists. Chrabascz is third on the team in assists.
Chris Holtmann and Brad Stevens are the only coaches in Butler history to begin their Butler careers with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. In addition to Holtmann’s two appearances at Butler, he also was part of the Ohio staff in 2010 that reached the NCAA Tournament and upset third-seeded Georgetown in the opening round. Holtmann came to Butler from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C. The campus is 213 miles from Raleigh.
Butler assistant coach Michael Lewis spent the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons as a graduate assistant on the Texas Tech staff under coach Bob Knight. Lewis played for Knight at Indiana, graduating in 2000. After a brief professional playing career, Lewis got his start in coaching on Knight’s staff in Lubbock.
Butler is 15-0 this season when scoring at least 80 points. Butler has eclipsed the 80-point plateau in its last seven wins. 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 80.6 points per game this season is second in the BIG EAST and 22nd nationally.
Butler shot 56% from the field in the regular season finale win over Marquette March 5. It was the 11th time this season that Butler has shot 50 percent or better from the field. Butler is 11-0 in those games. Under head coach Chris Holtmann, Butler is 18-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from the field.
Butler shot 10-of-21 from behind the arc in the BIG EAST Tournament loss to Providence March 10. That is a .476 clip. Butler shot at least 40 percent from three-point range in 17 games so far this season. Butler is 13-4 in those games.
Butler leads the BIG EAST with a .387 mark from three-point range this season. That is 26th nationally.
Butler had the edge on the glass in the BIG EAST Tournament loss to Providence (34-31). It was the 19th time that the Bulldogs out-rebounded its opponent this season, but only the third time Butler had lost when this occurred. Butler is 16-3 in those games.
Butler leads the BIG EAST and ranks 15th nationally in turnovers per game (10.2). Butler is 11-5 in games when committing 10 or fewer turnovers this season.
Chris Fultzis asenior writerfor 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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