Providence Looks to Finish the Week 2-0 at Home: Butler – Friar Preview

Providence, coming off an 83-75 win against Georgetown, look to sweep this week with a win at home against the Butler Bulldogs. We provide insight into the Butler Bulldog team and how the Friars can secure a victory. Butler is coming off a 19 point defeat to the UCONN Huskies

Butler Bulldog Overview

Butler is 9-9 overall and 2-5 in the conference. Chuck Harris is the team’s leading scorer at 10.2 points/game. Freshman Jayden Taylor, a 3 start recruit out of Indiana, helps in the backcourt putting up 9.7 points a game. The two Bryce’s (Golden and Nze) man the frontcourt as seniors.

Butler has underwhelmed relative to what The Crier and I expected heading into this season. We thought the continuity of last season’s starters would carry them to be in the upper half of the Big East and potential NCAA tournament team. The injury to Myles Tate and Bo Hodges have hampered their season, as Tate paired with Harris last year to serve as the future to Butler. Realistically, this Butler team may be two years away when Tate and Harris are seniors and Taylor is a junior with other frosh Lukosius.

Keys to the Game

  1. Make this game the Watson/Croswell show – Butler doesn’t have the size and strength to last a full 40 minutes against Nate Watson, Noah Horchler, and Ed Croswell. Providence also has a 6 rebound advantage over Butler and should look to impose itself on the glass on the offensive and defensive end. Minaya may see a big game in this regards.
  2. Stay engaged defensively – Both teams are last in the Big East in points scored/game. Providence scores 70 a game, while Butler scores 62. Butler already doesn’t score at an efficient level. If Providence doesn’t have any mental lapses defensively, it should shut down Butler on the offensive end. Butler really does nothing well on the offensive end, as they are last in the Big East in 3 point field goal percentage and points scored. It is a great game for Providence to flex its muscles defensively.
  3. Ball Pressure a Must – Butler is last in the Big East in the assist to turnover ratio, averaging 0.87 assists to turnovers a game. Providence should look to apply consistent on-ball pressure to the inexperienced guards on this team and force turnovers to lead to easy buckets.
  4. Play Providence Friar Basketball – When watching this Butler team, nothing jumps out that scares me. Providence should win this game handily if they simply play Friar basketball. Tough defense, taking care of the basketball, and offensive execution should lead to a comfortable victory at home. This isn’t some type of trap game. Providence should win rather comfortably.

Predictions

BOC: The fact that I’m not concerned at all about this game should be a concern in and of itself. I think Providence wins rather easily 71 – 57.

Crier: Ok I’ll admit I didn’t know a ton about Butler when were recorded the latest episode of the Providence Crier Podcast. I have since watched some tape and the dawgs just don’t have enough dawgs. Chuck Harris is a problem and will be a problem the next two years in the Big East. However that’s where the offensive fire power ends. Butler’s offense is putrid, makes some poor Ed Cooley offensive teams look like the Sistine Chapel. Their front court really isn’t imposing and got worked by UConn’s bigs in their last game. Expect them to try and be more physical but doubt it will impact the game. Butler has some nice pieces for the future with Harris, Taylor and Lukosius but the future ain’t now. The Friars tend to smack Butler when they have a team higher in the standings than the dawgs. Look for PC’s offense to keep it rolling and for the defense to be more of what we’ve seen pre Covid pause. PC 82- Butler 61.

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