Tale of the tape
Bulldogs Look To Bounce Back: #11 Butler At Fordham
|Butler’s 12-game home win streak came to an end on Wednesday in a surprise loss to Charlotte. Brad Stevens is a master game-planner, and he should have a better idea of how to manage without his starting center now that his team has played a game without him.||Coaching||In the midst of a five-game losing streak and just 2-8 in the Atlantic 10, Tom Pecora has work to do just to get Fordham to the conference tournament (12 of 16 teams qualify).|
|Rotnei Clarke has great range and a quick release on his shot. The 6-foot Arkansas transfer leads Butler with 16.9 points per game while shooting 43 percent from deep. The Bulldogs protect the ball and hit the offensive glass hard.||Offense||Senior Chris Gaston, who has not played since Jan. 16 because of an injured knee, may return on Saturday. That would be a huge boost for an offense that has really struggled without him.|
|Butler plays very physical defense, though they’ll miss center Andrew Smith, who will miss his second straight game on Saturday because of an abdominal injury.||Defense||Xavier scored 79 and shot 47 percent against Fordham on Wednesday. The Rams’ previous three opponents scored 81, 90, and 89. Gaston should help on the boards and provide a defensive presence on the interior.|
|Smith is Butler’s second leading scorer and rebounder. Erik Fromm started in his place on Wednesday. Point guard Alex Barlow also came off the bench, replaced by Kellen Dunham.||Bench Depth||Gaston’s return would obviously help Fordham’s depth as well. They will need a group effort to pull off the upset.|
The winner is
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