The Butler Bulldogs needed this one. A good old-fashioned Dawg fight. A hard fought, defensive battle. A win to push the overall record back to .500 at 2-2.
At the risk of sounding redundant and saying the same things I've already said...(see what I did there? Yogi Berra anyone?)..I'll just jot a few notes down from the Bulldogs win over Savannah State on Monday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
-Butler needed a big bounce-back win after the Louisville loss and going into halftime down 20-17 to Savannah State had this Bulldog fan and alum on edge. But the fact is that Brad Stevens is still in charge of this team, and he's still one of the best coaches in the country.
-Savannah State scored 6 points on two 3-pointers in the first 14 minutes of the second half. If this Butler team can continue to play defense like that, ANYTHING, and I mean anything on offense will lead this team to another conference title.
-Andrew Smith is the team's best 3-point threat after 4 games. That's scary. But what's even more scary is the fact that 6-11 Smith plays like someone who's 5-11. The Bulldogs can't be successful with Smith having that mentality. Send it in big fella.
-Roosevelt Jones was a far better interior player than Smith tonight and was awarded by MyIndyTV as the player of the game. He had 10 points, six rebounds and two steals. Half of his boards came on the offensive end, to lead the team.
-Chrishawn Hopkins started this game, played only 9 minutes and missed both shoots he took from the field. Some people immediately will think he suffered an injury to warrant so much pine time. Those in Butler circles will say that was learning time. Hopkins had a break-out game against Evansville but fell off the side of the Earth in the last two games, Stevens was teaching everyone tonight.
-I really, really like Jackson Aldridge. The Australian guard played 26 minutes, had 10 points, two assists, two steals and MADE FREE THROWS!! Even when SVSU was pressing at the game, I trusted this true freshman with the rock. The point guard position will be in good hands after Ron Nored graduates. Aldridge's play tonight made the absence of Hopkins almost unnoticeable.
-Stevens said the team was much better in the second half, and that the team must get "a LOT better" in the future. I agree. He also said "We're waiting to put it all together." I also agree with that statement from Coach. It will be fun to see this team put a complete game together, who knows when that will be, however.
-Stevens also said "Tomorrow will be our best practice of the year." Meaning he already knows exactly what he needs to focus on...free throw shooting, especially. Butler was 20-36 (56%) from the line tonight and most of those makes were when the game was already over with. That's not Bulldog basketball.
-Gordon Hayward was on the broadcast for MyIndy tonight. And while most of the first half was more of a Q and A session than actual analysis, Hayward did have some interesting thoughts in the second half. Most importantly agreeing with my previous statement of Smith not playing like a near-seven-footer. Ralph Reiff did set Hayward up a couple of times, but they went on to discuss how Smith really needs to stop being cute around the tin and act like he wants to physically assault the rim, along with a few other things.
-Hayward also helped with the post-game wrap and did a cutie interview with Stevens that was a compliment fest. But it really was good seeing Hayward and Stevens together. What if....
That's it for tonight, thanks for stopping by. And remember, I will try my best to live tweet all games I watch or attend. So don't forget to give me a follow on Twitter by using the link to the right or finding me @BUDawgsBlawg.