Butler basketball will open the 2019-20 campaign with a home matchup against IUPUI. What should the Dawgs focus on to walk out victorious?
Butler basketball missed the NCAA Tournament during this past season but a strong senior class looks poised to lead the squad to a potential return visit in 2019-20. Kamar Baldwin and Sean McDermott are right at the forefront of this excitement and they look poised to kick the new campaign off with a bang against in-state competition. Butler’s first contest of the season will come on Wednesday, Nov. 6 when the IUPUI Jaguars come to Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Heading into this game, fans have already gotten a little taste of Butler Basketball with a pair of home exhibition contests. During these battles, the Dawgs showcased discipline on both ends of the floor while McDermott caught fire from beyond the arc and Christian David showcased he is ready to break out. It was clear in those performances that the team seems to be returning to “The Butler Way” and that is something every fan has to be excited about.
With regards to IUPUI, the program stumbled to an overall record of 16-17 (8-10 Horizon) last season while finishing sixth in the conference. It was not a particularly great campaign for the team and the offseason did not help. In addition to losing key all-around seniors in Evan Hall and D.J. McCall, the Jaguars also lost leading scorer Camron Justice to transfer (Western Kentucky) and their head coach after resigning due to an OWI arrest.
With former assistant Byron Rimm II now holding down the job without any of the top contributors from last season, expectations are not high. IUPUI is widely projected to be one of the worst teams in the Horizon League and landed the No. 246 spot in KenPom’s preseason national rankings.
As a result, it appears as though Butler will be able to use this matchup as a “tune-up”. Even though the team played well in both exhibitions, there are always some things that can use some work. Limiting turnovers and finding a consistent bench scorer seem to be at the top of the list.
Now, with the season-opener now hours away, let’s take a deeper dive into Butler’s matchup with IUPUI and analyze what the team will need to do to come away victorious. The Dawgs are heavy favorites in this game but there are still some facets of the game worth keeping an eye on because of their potential impact on the rest of the season.