Friday, December 10, 2010

News On The Horizon 12/10/2010

Mid-Majority Chat Block, Episode 705--The Mid-Majority


[Comment From MKE Panther MKE Panther : ]
I haven't seen much of Butler this year, but what's their deal at 4-4? Keeping it in the Horizon League, I've seen Cleveland State play (at Milwaukee) and they really impressed me, even though a lackluster performance was put forth by Milwaukee.
Friday December 10, 2010 4:09 MKE Panther

It's the bench. There are a lot of new players and guys who don't have much game experience; last year was a rotation adventure, but Coach Stevens is having trouble finding combos. I don't get the people who said that Butler's D was so great last night, it was a lot of freshmen flailing their arms around -- Xavier had the *choice* not to shoot into a guy's hand half the time. Cleveland State is for real, maybe not beat-West-Virginia real, but THAT'S some defense. As for Milwaukee, watch out for South Dakota State. That's a serious Butler Formula team.

[Comment From LU Wolf LU Wolf : ]
Who's the hardest working mascot in mid-majordom?
Friday December 10, 2010 4:31 LU Wolf

There's that credit card contest, and that has its own rules, but I don't know if any of those participants would go out in a lake-effect snowstorm and slap high-fives with loyal Loyola fans. So there's that.

[Comment From Tyler (Indianapolis) Tyler (Indianapolis) : ]
Great to have you back at the CPIA. Basketball wasn't born in Indiana, but it was raised here. That being said, If Butler somehow crazily gets it together, and wins from here on out, is the Horizon a two bid league with Cleveland State?
Friday December 10, 2010 4:43 Tyler (Indianapolis)

It is so awesome to be back here, as always. I think it'll have to be a star alignment, two best teams in the final, worse one winning. If Cleveland State can get wins against West Virginia and/or South Florida, and at least split the Butler series, the Bulldogs would likely be the spoiler. I'm still stuck on how they're going to get it together. Big key will be young players settling into roles so that Brad Stevens can count on them. Right now, like last night, he's just throwing stuff at the wall.

The Other 26: Week Four--Rush the Court
Friday's Pregame Beat: Previewing your college hoops weekend--Ballin' is a Habit



* 8:30 pm: Iowa State @ Iowa: Is there a major conference, in-state rivalry with as little fanfare on a national level as a battle of the Iowas?

* 4:00 pm: No. 4 Kansas State @ Loyola (IL): Jacob Pullen gets a home game back in Chicago. Also of note -- only one team in the country shoots free throws worse than Kansas State at 54%.
* 4:30 pm: Cleveland State @ Sam Houston State: Cleveland State is still undefeated.

The Moment: It all started with a tipped pass.--The Mid-Majority
Game 7-023: Butler at Xavier--The Mid-Majority
Set Your Tivo: 12.09.10--Rush The Court

Butler @ Xavier – 9 pm on ESPN2 (***)

The main reason to watch this game might be to see who wants it more. Both teams are in need of a quality win and while each is a bit down from where they’re accustomed to being, the name recognition of a win tonight could go a long way come March. Butler is just 3-3 against D1 competition after falling to #1 Duke on Saturday. The Bulldogs were upset by Evansville at home on November 27, putting them in a precarious position. They have just two more opportunities for decent non-conference wins, tonight and on December 18 against a Stanford team not expected to do much in the Pac 10. To say this game is critical for Butler would be an understatement. As for Xavier, the Musketeers sit at 5-2 but haven’t beaten anyone of note. Iowa and Seton Hall, their best wins, have both gotten off to rough starts so Xavier needs to make up some ground in a hurry. They didn’t help the cause by losing to Miami (OH) last week but they do have four more opportunities to pick up quality wins after tonight, a luxury Butler does not have. There are two key matchups to watch in this game tonight. The first is between Xavier’s Tu Holloway and Butler’s Ronald Nored. Holloway has been a one man wrecking crew for the X-men, averaging 24 points and shooting 48% in an average of 41 minutes per game. Holloway went 51 minutes in a triple overtime win over Wofford and has played at least 39 minutes in every game so far. Nored, who came back from a concussion on Saturday, has a reputation as a lock down defender. That will be his primary responsibility against Xavier because if he can contain Holloway, Butler has a very good chance to win this game. Also keep an eye up front as the Bulldogs’ Matt Howard (16/9) takes on Jamel McLean (11/10). The battle for rebounds will be very important. Xavier does a poor job on the offensive boards while Butler is ranked #21 in offensive rebounding percentage against. If Howard can stay out of foul trouble, expect Butler to hold the edge here. The key for Xavier is getting to the foul line where they rank ninth in free throws per field goals attempted and shoot 74% as a team. In fact, Xavier gets 28% of its points from the stripe, a statistic that has to scare Brad Stevens. Butler is ranked just #308 in opponents’ free throws per field goals and shoots only 69% as a team when they are able to get to the line. Putting Xavier on the line will result in a large deficit that the Bulldogs will have to overcome in other areas. Butler is not a very good shooting team inside the arc so you may see them attempt more three’s than usual with Shelvin Mack and Zach Hahn leading the way. Even Howard can step out and knock down a trey as he’s made 6-14 this year. The Cintas Center can get really loud and we expect the Xavier fans to be pumped up for this one. Coach Chris Mack urged the fans to come out for this one in a tweet last night knowing how important this game is. Expect a very close game between two solid clubs with free throw shooting, defense and rebounding having the most significant impact on the final result.

ATB: The Season’s First RTC?--Rush the Court

Butler’s In Trouble. Now with a 4-4 record after tonight’s close loss at Xavier, the Bulldogs are facing a serious uphill climb simply to make it back to the NCAA Tournament where they were the runner-up last season. Other than the Diamond Head Classic, they will not face another likely Tourney team the rest of the way, unless you want to count HL member Cleveland State (11-0) as a possibility. Butler has an RPI of #36 right now, but it will inevitably slip the farther into the Horizon League they get. You’d have to figure that in order to have a reasonable chance at an at-large bid in March (presuming they fail to win the HL again), they’re going to have to beat Stanford and Utah handily, perform well in the DHC and then rip through the Horizon with a 17-1 record or similar. The lack of a game-changing scorer like Gordon Hayward is really hurting them right now — Shelvin Mack had a tremendous summer, but he’s struggled with his shot and nobody else beyond the known commodity Matt Howard has stepped up.

Thursday's Pregame Beat: Georgetown-Temple and Butler-Xavier highlight a slow night--Ballin' is a Habit
Friday's Shootaround: A-10 bounces back--Ballin' is a Habit

Xavier 51, Butler 49: I wrote about Ronald Nored's horrid night over at Beyond the Arc last night, but one more note I wanted to throw in here was that neither of these teams looked very good last night. There is something to be said for a team that can win a defensive battle, but this game was less of a defensive battle or more of a mess on the offensive end of the floor. It was sloppy, there were unforced and unnecessary turnovers. Bad shots were taken and open shots were missed. Both of these teams are really struggling to replace their NBA Draft Pick.

Rough night for Nored and the Butler Bulldogs--Beyond the Arc
Utah Jazz: Rookie Gordon Hayward to start tonight in place of injured Raja Bell--Deseret News
College Basketball: Butler Falls Again--SB Nation
RPI WATCH: 12/10/2010--Bring on the Cats

And Xavier avenged two consecutive losses to Butler and extended the nation's second-longest home court winning streak (trailing only you-know-who) by canning two free throws with three seconds left in an ugly 51-49 game.

Call me a prick, but how fitting was it to watch Butler lose on a desperation heave that bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded — again? Chortle.

Butler's formula doesn't equal win over Xavier--The Indy Star
Butler makes offer to Florida guard--Indy Star Butler Insider
Fine line separates victory from defeat--Indy Star Butler Insider
Brad Stevens is Butler’s Cocky Locky--Victory Firelight
Xavier Edges Butler,
Bulldogs Host Mississippi Valley

Bulldogs Travel To Ball State

Cleveland State off to perfect start--The NWI Times

Oakland County athletes collide as Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne hosts Detroit Mercy in women's basketball--The Oakland Press
Wake Up To Titan Hoops As Women's Basketball Travels To IPFW For 11:00 AM

Matchup: Illinois-Chicago at Illinois State--The Chicago Tribune
Scouting: UIC @ Illinois State--Daily Herald

Loyola vs. Kansas State and the rest of the weekend
Matchup: Kansas State at Loyola--The Chicago Tribune

Loyola Takes On Chicago State in Saturday

Game 9: UWGB women vs. Semo--UWGB Basketball
Green Bay Aims for Road Win at Buffalo

Panthers Head To South Dakota State For Battle With 7-1

Panthers Head To Madison To Face Off With

Crusader Women Set to Host Pitt

Stardate 32-20101209: The Journey or The Conversation--The Mid-Majority

Red Line Upsets

at Wright State 76, Air Force 61 -- The Raiders were up by nine at the end of the first quarter, and put on a ferocious burst out of the break to take a 53-28 lead. All this despite 61 percent shooting by Air Force, a team undone by 19 turnovers in a slow-paced game. Wright is 4-5 in Billy Donlon's first season as head coach, will likely break Brad Brownell's string of four straight seasons with 20-plus wins, and the Raiders are still not really considered to be much of a threat in the packed Horizon. But an RLU is an RLU.

Vest brothers return to Nutter Center floor--Dayton Daily News
Preview: Wright State vs. Tusculum--Dayton Daily News
In Tusculum, WSU faces a coach with all-level experience--Wright State University Sports
A man worth saluting at the Wright State-Air Force game--Through the Arch
Men Roll to a 76-61 Win Over Air

WSU women's Boyd focusing on defense--Dayton Daily News
Women Win at

Women's Basketball Travels to Western Michigan for Sunday

Men's Basketball Visits Robert Morris Saturday to Close Out Finals

Horizon League women's basketball sees all 10 teams in action--Horizon League Network

10 Non-Conference Tilts Dot Saturday Slate--Horizon League Network

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