Win over Marquette seems like forever ago to Butler

Brad Stevens doesn’t let his teams linger on results for too long. He’s prone to move to the next game immediately after it occurs.

So when Rotnei Clarke was asked about his buzzer-beating three-pointer to beat Marquette back in November, he says it feels like that happened a while ago.

“We’ve moved past definitely just because it seemed so long ago we played in the Maui Invitational,” Clarke said. “It feels like forever. We’ve played in a lot of games since then.”

It was a long time ago, just over four months ago. A lot has changed since then for both Butler and Marquette.

While the specifics of their game against Marquette might not be fresh in their minds, the Bulldogs do remember what type of team they’ll be up against on Saturday night.

Both Clarke and center Andrew Smith emphasized the Golden Eagles’ tendency to play a physical game, noting they know the majority of Marquette’s points come from the paint.

“In our first game, they drove it a lot and they kind of pound it inside, and I think that they even started to do that more and that’s really their bread and butter,” Smith said. “They’re big and physical. We’re going to have to be good in the paint tomorrow.”

“They do a great job rebounding and they get a lot of points in the paint, too,” Clarke said. “(They) definitely improved since we played them, and like I said, both teams have. We have, and they’ve made big strides in their season.”

In the first game between the teams, Clarke had 20 points, but was just 7 of 21 from the field and 4 of 14 on three-point shots. Smith was in foul trouble the whole game, only playing 24 minutes.

The senior big man eventually fouled out, and struggled throughout the game as well. He was just 3 of 10 from the field, scoring 10 points and grabbing five rebounds. Smith remembers the difficulty of playing against Marquette’s interior duo of Chris Otule and Davante Gardner. He knows it will not be an easy game offensively or defensively against the Golden Eagles, especially for him.

“They’re big and they’re good and they’re tough and physical,” Smith said. “We’re going to have to play well, and it’s not just going to be me, it’s going to be a variety of guys in there guarding. I’m going to have to stay out of foul trouble. It’s tough with them. They’re just so big and good around the basket, and it will be a good challenge.”

Stevens admitted that Butler won on a shot that shouldn’t have gone in. Clarke’s miracle three-pointer is still one of the most memorable plays from this college basketball season.

After the loss to the Bulldogs, Marquette won two games against Mississippi State and USC very soundly.

Because of that, Stevens discovered a lot about his team’s opponents on Saturday. He was very impressed with the Golden Eagles’ ability to bounce back from a loss like the one they suffered to Butler.

“Marquette is a better basketball team after watching them on film, and they were a good basketball team then. I told Buzz at our coach’s meeting two days ago that I learned as much about Marquette in Maui as I did about Butler,” Stevens said. “To lose on a shot that should have never gone in and to respond with two blowout victories on back-to-back days is a remarkable achievement.”

Both teams tend to play close games. Marquette has played two in March alone where they have finished with a game-winning lay-up. Chances that Saturday’s game creates another memorable moment at the game’s end are pretty good.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: General News, Home, Previews


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: