My Butler Bulldogs brought home some hardware this Thanksgiving break, winning the Las Vegas Invitational last night against the 8th ranked team in the nation, Arizona. The Dawgs were tested in this game, especially in the paint, having to deal with a few 7-footers on the Wildcat team. In the end, Tyler Wideman’s And-1 dunk from a beautiful Kelan Martin pass put the Dawgs up by 3 with about 30 seconds left, the Bulldogs then shutdown the Wildcats to close out a huge victory. This win will definitely put the Bulldogs in the top 25 AP rankings, where they will join fellow conference teams Villanova, Xavier, and Creighton.
Even though it is early in the season, the Dawgs are off to a strong start (6-0). Kelan Martin is leading the team in points per game, which was expected. On another note, I am very impressed with the performance of both Avery Woodson and Kamar Baldwin. Woodson is averaging 10 points per game and shooting 46% from long range to start the season! Baldwin is averaging 10 points a game off the bench as a freshmen, which is a great sign for the future of the program.
Ultimately, I am excited to watch this team grow all season, so far they have impressed me quite a bit, especially after last night. This team knows how to play together, even during big games. No one is selfish and the team continues to play lock down defense. Conference play will be very competitive this year which will look great for the Big East Conference. Everyone always overlooks the conference, which is kind of sad because the Big East produces a ton of talent and some great teams. College basketball needs the Big East!