After opening with back-to-back blowout victories, Butler looks to further take advantage of a favorable early schedule.
The Bulldogs aim to open 3-0 for the second time in three seasons when they host East Tennessee State on Monday night in Indianapolis, Ind.
Butler (2-0) shot 52.9 percent and scored 185 while beating Eastern Michigan and Southeast Missouri State by a combined 74 points to open the season.
The Bulldogs’ transfers have paced that early dominance with Pierre Brooks II (Michigan State) and Jahmyl Telfort (Northeastern) each totaling 30 points. Former St. John’s star Posh Alexander and ex-UC-Irvine standout DJ Davis have combined for 54 points.
However, even amid this relatively easy start, Butler is not getting ahead of itself.
“It’s possession by possession,” said 7-foot-1 Bucknell transfer Andre Screen, who has totaled 19 points and 13 rebounds in two games, via The Butler Collegian.
“(We have to focus on) our principles – our defensive principles, our offensive principles – and getting into our flow.”
The Bulldogs have a chance to accomplish that in this contest, which would appear to be another opportunity to flex their collective muscle and fine-tune some things before facing Michigan State later in the week.
Butler then plays 2023 Final Four participant Florida Atlantic in the ESPN Events International, beginning on Thanksgiving.
Though East Tennessee State (1-1) won at Georgia during the 2021-22 season and at LSU a few years prior, it looks to rebound following last week’s 79-76 loss at Elon.
Quimari Peterson had 31 points and Jaden Seymour scored 21 for the Buccaneers, who trailed by 11 at halftime, but scored 48 points in the second half to make things interesting before falling short.
ETSU allowed Elon to shoot nearly 51 percent overall and 9-of-19 from 3-point range.
The junior Peterson, from roughly three hours north of Indianapolis in Gary, Ind., has gone 20-of-37 from the field in the first two games.
“He’s a dude,” first-year ETSU coach Brooks Savage said of Peterson.
“He competes, and he always competes. Really pleased with his play. Fearless. Fearless competitor.”
This is the first meeting between these schools.