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Balanced Butler chasing complete effort vs The Citadel


Considering Butler shot 70.4 percent from the field while blowing out St. Francis (Pa.) by 28 points Thursday night, you’d think Bulldogs boss Thad Matta would have been somewhat satisfied.

You’d be wrong.

That’s why Matta is a millionaire coach – because the state of satisfaction never happens. As Butler (2-1) prepares for The Citadel’s visit to Hinkle Fieldhouse Saturday night, he has set new goals.

“These last couple of games we’ve had some really good segments of basketball,” Matta said after the lopsided win. “But we’ve also had some segments where we haven’t been as sharp as we needed to be. We’ve got to get to where we’re solid all the way through. Consistency over greatness. I want a consistent 40 minutes as opposed to six great minutes and two bad minutes.”

Matta has a point. St. Francis led for most of the first 13 minutes. Then, after the Bulldogs went on a 46-21 blitz to seize a 20-point lead with 12:40 minutes to go, they allowed an 11-0 run to give St. Francis another chance.

After Matta called timeout to refocus his guys, they went on a 17-3 spree over the next four minutes to wrap up the rout.

Perhaps the best news for the Bulldogs during the St. Francis win? They canned 8 of 15 3-pointers after hitting just 9 of 47 in their first two games.

While Butler’s lineup features five starters who average double figures – led by Chuck Harris’ 16.7 points per game – The Citadel (2-1) relies heavily on senior forward Stephen Clark (20.0 ppg) and Iowa grad transfer Austin Ash (18.7 ppg). That’s particularly true on the perimeter, where Ash has cashed 14 of 35 3-point attempts while the rest of the team has hit 16 of 47.

Ed Conroy, who’s starting his second stint as The Citadel’s head coach, watched his team set a school record with 69 rebounds Tuesday night during a 109-66 victory over winless NAIA neighbor Morris College.

“We wanted to concentrate on ourselves tonight,” Conroy told The Post and Courier. “What does it take for us to play good basketball?”

–Field Level Media









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