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Butler Bulldogs 2013-2014 College Basketball Preview

Butler Bulldogs - Big East Conference

Home Court: Hinkle Fieldhouse 2012-2013 Overall Record 27-9

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Given their routine year in, year out success, it was no surprise when the Big East snagged Butler up to round out its new look conference.  The Bulldogs face a lot of questions with the departure of head coach Brad Stevens, but should have just enough talent to be in the mix at the top of the league.

Backcourt: New coach Brandon Miller inherits a solid backcourt, but multiple role players will need to become consistent scorers for this team to succeed.  The Bulldogs lost sharpshooting guard Rotnei Clarke to graduation and will look for Kellen Dunham to fill his shoes this year Dunham is not the penetrator that Clarke was, but he is one of the best shooters in the country and will likely see his minutes increase heavily.  Joining Dunham in the backcourt is Alex Barlow -- a former walk on who broke the Butler starting rotation last year and is more than capable of picking up scoring slack this year.  

Butler Bulldogs 2013-2014 College Basketball Preview

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Frontcourt: Butler said goodbye this past season to big man Andrew Smith -- a key contributor to Butler's final four runs in the previous season.  The Bulldogs have raved about newcomer Nolan Smith who will step in immediately and look to replace Smith's post production.  The largest void on the Bulldog roster also comes in the frontcourt where all everything contributor Roosevelt Jones was lost for the  season to a wrist injury suffered during a summer league game.  Jones contributes in all facets of the game and even with Clarke on the roster last year, Jones was often the Bulldogs go to guy during crunch time.  Kyle Marshall (9.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg) is expected to try and fill Jones's shoes this season.

Outlook: Butler made a great decision keeping the  coaching search in house and bringing in a former player who understands the blueprint the Bulldogs execute so strongly for their success.  Look for a big year out of Kellen Dunham and if Nolan Smith can solidify his role down low quickly, Butler should easily finish in the top 4 in the conference and secure a solid tournament seed.

 

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