Battle Of Two Rising Star Coaches: #20 Butler At VCU

#20 Butler
Gonzaga v Butler
NCAA Basketball Tournament - VCU v Indiana
Winner Brad Stevens’ squad has wins over the top two teams in the country but has lost two of its last four to fall to third in the conference. Stevens is just three wins away from accumulating the most victories in a coach’s first six seasons.
VCU is 10-3 and in second place in the conference. Shaka Smart has done a great job of recruiting the right players for his system. Like his counterpart on Saturday, he’s proven to be an excellent tournament coach.
Winner The Bulldogs have shot very well the last two games. Rotnei Clarke continues to stay hot from the outside. Butler must protect the ball against VCU’s pressure.
The Rams protect the ball and crash the offensive glass. They go from defense to offense very quickly. Juvonte Reddic averages 14.4 points per game and shoots 57 percent.
Butler doesn’t force many turnovers but they are solid on the defensive glass. They’ll have to defend the three-point line against the Rams.
Winner Smart has coined his pressure defense “Havoc,” fitting considering VCU’s defense leads the country in turnover percentage. If you can get into your offensive sets you can have success against this team, but doing so isn't easy.
Bench Depth
Kellen Dunham comes off the bench and is the team’s second-best three-point shooter, behind Clarke. Senior Chase Stigall hasn't developed as expected.
Winner Briante Weber is the perfect defender for Smart’s system—a quick, long-armed player who creates a ton of turnovers.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Gonzaga v Butler NCAA Basketball Tournament - VCU v Indiana

Both schools are still in the hunt for a league title in their first season in the Atlantic 10. With the calendar turning to March, you know both of these coaches are going to have their teams playing their best. Meeting for the first time since the 2011 Final Four, VCU gets the edge at home.

-Andrew Kahn, College Basketball Contributor


  1. OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Matt Schaub #8 of the Baltimore Ravens takes practice throws during pregame against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Johnny Manziel (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens At Cleveland Browns

    The Ravens have been enduring a most difficult season, and circumstances got even harder last Sunday in the win over the Rams when Joe Flacco’s season came to an end late in the game with an ACL tear.

  2. FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 8:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by LeGarrette Blount #29 in the first half against the Washington Redskins at Gillette Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the bench Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 29-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Denver Broncos

    Tom Brady has had MVP-type numbers and consistently excellent production through the first 10 games of the season.

  3. Ben Roethlisberger Russell Wilson (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Week 12 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Seattle Seahawks

    Ben Roethlisberger appears to be indomitable at the quarterback position, and he is the key to the Steelers’ season.

See All Tales of the Tape
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live