New Butler head coach Brandon Miller got his first taste of regular season play as a head coach on Saturday evening, and the game against Lamar at Hinkle Fieldhouse didn’t get off to the start that he had hoped for. The Bulldogs had some issues defensively, which allowed the Cardinals to hang around and essentially go toe to toe with Butler for the first 12 minutes of the game.
Butler got things going in a big way however, as a 9-2 run to close the half served as the catalyst the Bulldogs needed. Butler dominated the second half, shooting 58.3% from the field while limiting Lamar to 37.5% shooting on their way to the 89-58 win. Overall Butler shot 50.6%, with Khyle Marshall accounting for 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way.
Marshall was one of four Bulldogs to score in double figures, with Butler making up for an off night from deep (4-for-17 3PT) by finding quality looks inside of the arc (64.2% 2PT). Butler also enjoyed a good night on the glass, as they managed to rebound 37.8% of their missed shots, and the Bulldogs finished the game with just five turnovers.
With Rotnei Clarke having graduated and Roosevelt Jones out for the year (wrist injury), the job ahead of Miller is a tough one with the Bulldogs also making the move from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East. But while Butler soared to its greatest heights on the hardwood under Brad Stevens, it should be noted that the program enjoyed success even before Stevens took over as head coach.
The road ahead of Miller won’t be an easy one to navigate, but if Butler can build on its second half performance they may prove to be better than many expected them to be during the preseason.