5 Observations From Butler-Valparaiso
1. Sloppy Play: After jumping out to an early 20-13 lead, Butler had six straight possessions without attempting a field goal. Turnovers and offensive fouls allowed Valparaiso's second-team players to score 14 unanswered points. While Butler was able to overcome this against Valparaiso, poor play like this will kill the Bulldogs against more formidable opponents.
2. Making the Most of It: Matt Howard was limited to only 22 minutes as he got into early foul trouble and sat out most of the first half. When he was on the court, however, he was extremely efficient, shooting 4-4 from the field and 8-9 from the line to lead Butler with 16 points. His monster block of Howard Little at the start of the game is a video I will be searching for on youtube in the upcoming days.
3. Second Half Team: Just like the UAB game, Butler once again came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. The Bulldogs entered halftime tied 31-31, but pushed it to 44-33 within the first five minutes and never looked back from there.
4. Stat Stuffer: Gordon Hayward quietly put together a brilliant game, scoring 15 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out 4 assists. Add in his 50% shooting percentage from the field, two steals and a block and the freshman once again showed why he is one of the frontrunners for Horizon League Newcomer of the Year.
5. Mighty McPherson: Once again Valparaiso's Brandon McPherson played way above his normal game against Butler, scoring 22 points. In four career games against Butler he averages 15 points.
Tim Kemper--Butler UGroup Manager
Butler alumnus who loves to read and write about the Bulldogs. My greatest accomplishment is shooting a half-court shot during a Butler game...and missing.