Butler basketball is fresh an impressive season-opening win and will be looking for a similar result against New Orleans. What should fans watch for?
Now with a dominating victory over IUPUI in the rear-view mirror, Butler basketball season is now in full swing. The Dawgs hold a 1-0 record following their performance with essentially just a six-man rotation against the Jaguars and the hope is that the rest of the roster returns to 100% health in the near future. As a result of the team’s sensational short-handed performance in the season-opener, Butler moved up to the No. 25 spot in the KenPom national rankings. This is already a higher slot than the team ever reached a season ago.
While it is definitely too early to talk about these types of rankings, the Dawgs’ one-game leap of eight spots from the preseason does put the team’s dominance against IUPUI into perspective. Even with only six players for 35 minutes of the contest, Butler managed to control the entire game and walk away with a 33-point victory. Sean McDermott led the way with 26 points while Bryce Golden flashed his all-around game, Bryce Nze dominated the paint, and Aaron Thompson dictated the pace of play on both ends of the floor.
Looking forward to the Dawgs’ second game of the season, the team will be tasked with taking on New Orleans. The Privateers enter this contest at 1-0 following a non-D1 victory over Spring Hill by 56 points. It is hard to draw too many conclusions from that battle but this should not be an altogether extremely difficult test for Butler. New Orleans comes into this game ranked as the No. 264 overall team in KenPom and the program has only won two games over high-major opponents (Tulane and Washington State in 2017) in the last seven seasons.
For Butler, there are several potential keys to success in this matchup. Before diving into those, though, let’s break down New Orleans a bit more in a new game preview section.