Villanova Basketball 2022-23 recreation preview: Butler Bulldogs | Techi Fowl


The problem of the Large East schedule continues because the Villanova Wildcats (8-9, 2-4 Large East) journey to Hinkle Fieldhouse and face the Butler Bulldogs (10-8, 2-5 Large East) on Friday evening at 7 :00pm ET on Fox Sports activities 1.

Head Coach Thad Matta is not off to an awesome begin in his return to Butler as they’ve misplaced their final two video games and sit at 2-5 in convention play. The Bulldogs loved a profitable non-conference slate of 8-3 and defeated (at present No. 11-ranked) Kansas State within the course of.

Alternatively, Kyle Neptune actually wants a win for the Cats. Tuesday’s loss in opposition to DePaul snapped a 22-game profitable streak in opposition to the Blue Demons and made it 4 losses of their final 5 video games.

With each groups trying to snap dropping streaks, tensions can be excessive on the well-known Hinkle Fieldhouse. Forward of Friday’s matchup, let’s bounce into some areas to be careful for.

Balanced Butler Assault

Butler’s offense on the high stage has comparable traits to Villanova’s – gradual tempo, balanced scoring choices, and normally not many assists. Nevertheless, the plain distinction is the three-point confidence, Butler has a rating of 259th within the nation due to their reliance on the deep ball whereas Villanova 6th.

The Bulldogs boast 5 gamers who common between 10-13 factors per recreation. The spotlight of this group is NC State switch Manny Bates who’s at present averaging 12.6 factors, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks. Eric Dixon can have his work minimize out for him, particularly on the defensive finish the place Bates is changing 63% of his pictures.

The remainder of Butler’s scoring quintet are all threats from three-point territory as they every shoot a minimum of 35%. Guards Jayden Taylor and Chuck Harris are probably the opposite high targets within the scouting report, however they should not low cost Simas Lukosius and Eric Hunter Jr.

By way of 18 video games, the Bulldogs have had six totally different main scorers with Bates, Taylor, and Harris accounting for 14 of them.

Some optimistic information for Villanova – this Butler crew is much less reliant on passing the ball when scoring, as their help proportion ranks 206th within the nation. The Cats have struggled in opposition to environment friendly ball motion of late, together with Xavier (2n.d help proportion), UConn, (10th), and Marquette (32n.d).

Hinkle Fieldhouse

Profitable on the street within the Large East isn’t any simple process. The stats again this up as house groups are 12-22 thus far this season within the convention. To make issues worse, Hinkle Fieldhouse has traditionally been a ache within the ass for Villanova. Personally, this area is one among my greatest fears no matter how effectively or poorly Villanova performs.

The Cats are 2-4 of their final six video games at Hinkle and Butler are 7-2 this 12 months at house, in comparison with 2-4 on the street. Plus, there isn’t any profit to a barely much less hostile setting due to winter. Butler’s spring semester started on Monday which suggests the sport in opposition to Villanova would be the first weekend with the coed physique again on campus. I might anticipate it to be as sturdy as normal, though there can be no probability to assault the court docket this time.

In the end, this recreation is a results of poor scheduling for the Large East. The mixture of back-to-back street video games for Villanova at DePaul and at Butler put a ton of additional mileage on the Cats’ legs in a brief period of time. It is potential it is a fluke, however I believe two of the additional distance video games separated by a couple of days just isn’t good.

Villanova’s Gameplan

As everyone knows, Villanova typically lives or dies from the deep ball. Perhaps they need to have a backup plan for Friday evening.

Butler has above common 3-point protection as they’ve solely allowed groups to transform 31% all season. One other fascinating stat – they pressure their opponents to keep away from the deep ball altogether. Solely 33% of their opponents’ pictures got here from exterior the arc. Alternatively, Villanova took almost half of their pictures from 3-point land.

Regardless of a robust perimeter protection, Seton Corridor and St. John’s was in a position to shoot greater than 40% in latest victories in opposition to Butler. Hopefully the employees will use that recreation tape in preparation for Friday.

One other space of ​​focus for Villanova includes the turnover battle. Tuesday evening featured an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers in opposition to DePaul. Butler will search for some steals and restrict Villanova’s possessions all through their roster. Every of their high contributors has the potential to trigger turnovers so the Cats must tighten issues up.

Alternatively, Villanova can restrict Butler’s second probability as a result of statistically they’re one of many worst offensive rebounding groups within the nation. As talked about above, Butler lacks ball motion. If the Cats isolation protection can stifle issues and pressure dangerous pictures, Butler’s offense may go chilly early. This was evident of their latest recreation in opposition to Seton Corridor the place they shot 27% from the ground.

Lastly, Butler not often fouls and normally operates with a brief bench. Solely 21% of the whole minutes are from their financial institution – the 8th least within the nation. If the Cats can get their tight finish rotation to broaden or play a bit extra conservatively, they’ve an awesome probability to finish the dropping skid.



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