MBB Preview: SLU Hosts No. 9 Butler for #BillikenBlizzard
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 • 8 p.m. • St. Louis, Mo. (Chaifetz Arena)
TV: CBS Sports Network (Dave Ryan, Pete Gillen, Gary Parrish)
Radio: 101 ESPN/101.1 FM/101Sports.com (Bob Ramsey, Earl Austin Jr.)
SETTING THE SCENE
Saint Louis (14-5, 3-2 A-10) welcomes No. 9 (17-3, 4-1 A-10) Butler to Chaifetz Arena Thursday, Jan. 31, for the "Billiken Blizzard." Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT).
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Thursday's game will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network, with Dave Ryan, Pete Gillen and Gary Parrish (sidelines) on the call. A channel finder is available here. The radio broadcast will air on 101 ESPN (101.1 FM and 101sports.com). As always, Billiken Hall of Famer Bob Ramsey will provide the play-by-play, while St. Louis American Sports Editor Earl Austin Jr. handles the analysis.
ON THE WEB
Thursday's game vs. Butler WILL NOT be streamed on SLUBillikens.com due to contractual obligations with CBS Sports Network. Live stats are available at SLUBillikens.com. A new feature now allows you to follow live stats on your mobile device. Simply visit slustats.com and click the active game you would like to follow.
• Fans are encouraged to wear white to Thursday's game against Butler. Free T-shirts will be placed on the seats at Chaifetz Arena. Sizes will alternate between large and extra-large. Fans may exchange their shirts for small and medium shirts behind section 117. Those will come on a first-come, first-served basis, as there is only a limited supply.
• The annual "Billiken Blue Out" will take place Tuesday, Feb. 19, versus VCU. The Royal Banks of Missouri "Great Baby Race" is scheduled for Saturday, March 9, against La Salle.
• Chaifetz Arena offers special "happy hour" deals for fans arriving early to games. From the opening of doors (two hours before tip) until 30 minutes before game time, fans can take advantage of $2 nachos and $2 beers.
LAST TIME OUT
• Dwayne Evans scored a game-high 18 points and Cody Ellis chipped in 10 as Saint Louis led wire-to-wire in a 67-57 victory over St. Bonaventure Jan. 26.
• It was the Billikens' first-ever win in the Reilly Center, where they are 1-3 since joining the A-10 in 2005.
• The Billikens used a strong defensive effort to knock off the Bonnies. SBU shot just 2-of-16 from 3-point range, and the Billikens forced the St. Bona into 19 turnovers. SLU registered three steals in a 30 second span late in the contest to help put the game out of reach.
• On the offensive end, the Billikens shot 44.2 percent from the floor. Evans, who also collected eight rebounds, was 7-of-11 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the line. Grandy Glaze, Mike McCall Jr. and Jordair Jett all had nine points. Jake Barnett pulled down five rebounds.
• The Billikens have won two in a row after winning last week at Duquesne (73-64) and at St. Bonaventure (67-57).
• Thursday's game against Butler is the first of two straight at home. SLU has a quick turnaround - hosting Dayton Saturday, Feb. 2, in a 1 p.m. tip.
• Butler, ranked No. 9 in the AP Top 25, is the highest ranked foe to ever visit Chaifetz Arena. They are the highest ranked team SLU has faced at home since the Billikens hosted No. 2 North Carolina at Scottrade Center during the 2006-07 campaign.
• The Bills lead the A-10 in scoring defense, yielding 57.8 ppg. SLU allowed 46 or fewer points in four straight games recently, the best defensive streak by SLU since 1949-50.
• Saint Louis features a balanced scoring attack, with seven players averaging 7.0 points or more per game. Three Billikens average double figures in scoring.
• Senior forward Cody Ellis leads the team in scoring with 11.2 ppg. He is one of just three players in the country to lead his team in scoring despite having zero starts.
• Junior guard Mike McCall Jr. is second on the squad with 10.8 ppg. He tops the team and is second in the A-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.456, 31-68).
• Junior forward Dwayne Evans leads the team and is 11th in the A-10 in rebounding (6.6 rpg). He scores 10.7 ppg to rank fourth on the Bills.
• Senior guard Kwamain Mitchell recorded 29 points against Rhode Island to lift his scoring average to 9.8 ppg, which is fourth on the Billikens.
• Junior guard Jordair Jett averages 8.7 ppg and leads the team in assists and steals.
• Senior forward Cory Remekun shoots 61.3 percent from the floor and leads the team in blocks.
• Sophomore forward Grandy Glaze started the last two games, averaging 7.0 rpg in the two games.
• SLU shoots 44.3 percent (426-962) from the floor, 35.5 percent (118-332) from 3-point range and 71.6 percent (297-415) from the line.
• Butler University is ranked No. 9 in the AP Top 25 and No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs come to Chaifetz Arena sporting a 17-3 overall record and a 4-1 mark in conference play.
• Butler was riding a 13-game winning streak before dropping a 54-53 contest at La Salle Jan. 23. The Bulldogs responded with an 83-71 victory against Temple at Hinkle Fieldhouse last Saturday.
• Senior guard Rotnei Clarke leads the team and is fourth in the A-10 with 16.7 ppg. He is second in the A-10 with 62 3-pointers despite missing three games with an injury.
• In all, Butler features five players who score in double figures. Senior center Andrew Smith scores 11.7 ppg, while freshman guard Kellen Dunham averages 11.3 ppg. Junior forward Khyle Marshall pumps in 10.5 ppg, while sophomore forward Roosevelt Jones contributes 10.4 ppg and a team-best 5.5 rpg.
• Butler has three victories against top-10 opponents this season, the most in school history. BU topped No. 8 Gonzaga, No. 1 Indiana and No. 9 North Carolina.
• Head coach Brad Stevens is in his seventh season at Butler. Stevens has led the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in five of his six years at the helm, including back-to-back national runner-up finishes in 2011 and 2012. Stevens joined the Bulldog staff in 2000 as coordinator of basketball operations and has worked his way up to becoming one of the top head coaches in the NCAA.
Saint Louis leads the all-time series 16-11. The two squads played regularly in the 1980s and early 1990s as members of the Metro, MCC and Great Midwest Conference. Most recently, the teams played a home-and-home series in 2002 and 2003, with each squad winning on its home court.