Every day almost, bracket predictions are coming out and new matchups are presented to the general public. Today I found an interesting matchup for the Red Raiders that could possibly happen if both teams continue on their current trends. The Butler Bulldogs, who the Red Raiders faced in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, are predicted to be a 12 seed at this moment. Some placed have the Red Raiders at a 4 seed, others have the Red Raiders as a 5 seed. Either way, if these two teams met in the tournament, it would be an intriguing matchup.
The Bulldogs currently have a record of 14-11 (5-7) and most recently lost to St. Johns, a team that will be in the NCAA Tournament. They are currently sixth in the Big East, loaded conference with teams like the Villanova Wildcats and the Marquette Golden Eagles. Butler has been relevant in the college basketball landscape since the days of Brad Stevens, who is now the coach of the Boston Celtics.
Their current head coach LaVall Jordan is in his second season at his alma mater. He led them to a NCAA Tournament bid last season and even won a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks. He’s been an assistant coach at Butler, Iowa, and Michigan before getting his first head coaching gig at the University of Milwaukee. He only stayed there one year before Butler offered him the Head Coaching Job in 2017.
On the court, the Bulldogs are led by junior guard Kamar Baldwin. He leads the Bulldogs in scoring and rebounding at only 6’1” tall. He averages 5 rebounds and 17.9 points per game. He also averages 3.5 assists and 1 steal per game for the team. He plays more off the ball as 6’2” guard Aaron Thompson facilitates more as he averages 4 assists per game this season for the team. The Red Raiders actually match-up very well with these two as Davide Moretti would matchup with the facilitator Thompson and Matt Mooney could use his size and quick hands to bottle up Baldwin.
Butler also has a legitimate sixth man, just like Texas Tech. Paul Jorgenson is the man off the bench for the Bulldogs and is second on the team in scoring with 12 points per game. He also shoots the three at a good clip, shooting 40% on about 5 shots per game. He has the same role as Red Raider Brandone Francis. Both players come off the bench and score for their teams.
Quick start to the second half by Sean McDermott. He has 12 and Butler has a 49-39 lead with 16:33 to play. pic.twitter.com/XUXypfGmRa— Butler Basketball (@ButlerMBB) November 18, 2017
The Bulldogs have two solid forwards that can score in a variety of ways. Sean McDermott and Jordan Tucker are both 6’7” forwards that can shoot and score from anywhere on the court. They are also good two-way players as both can play defense. Tucker, a transfer from Duke, is averaging 10 points per game and put up about 9 shots per game. McDermott is more of an outside shooter, averaging 9.6 points per game while shooting 41% from behind the arc. Both of these guys can warm up at any time and fill up the stat sheet.
With the semester over at Butler, Duke transfer Jordan Tucker is now eligible for the #Dawgs. He’s getting some shots up at Bankers Life ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with Indiana. pic.twitter.com/DyhSn6JHWJ— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) December 14, 2018
Joey Brunk and Nate Fowler are the big men in the middle for the Bulldogs. Brunk starts for the Bulldogs, but he and Fowler almost split minutes for the team. Both standing at 6’10”, both guys stay near the rim and get post shots, putback, and rebounds. They both average 4 boards per game, Brunk scores a bit more as he averages 8 points, but Fowler also gets a couple of baskets per game averaging 6 points and recently scored 15 in a win against Seton Hall. Forwards Henry Baddley and Christian David come off the bench and combine for about 30 minutes per game. These two don’t fill up the stat sheet with points, but they are both good defenders.
The Red Raiders matchup pretty well with this team. There is a bit of a concern with some of their shooters, mainly McDermott and Jorgenson, but they are a team that the Red Raiders can shut down. Matt Mooney would be crucial in stopping one of their smaller guards, but Mooney long wing-span and quick hands could make life tough for whoever he guards.
Nah nah nah, give my man Jarrett Culver his dunk. pic.twitter.com/xwtU7HRgTu— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) February 2, 2019
Offensively, the Red Raiders have a bit of an advantage with their bigs. Both Norense Odiase and Tariq Owens will have to be very active on the offensive end of the floor with a big body like Joey Brunk playing down low. Jarrett Culver should be able to play on the ball with either Jordan Tucker of Sean McDermott playing on him. Brandone Francis will need to come in to the game and hit some big shots in order to jumpstart the offense.
What do you all think of this matchup? Would the Red Raiders have the advantage against this team? Let us know in the comment section below!