Tuesday, January 5, 2016

No. 18 Butler and DePaul look for their first win in BIG EAST play

With BIG EAST play in week number two, the No. 18 Butler Bulldogs and DePaul Blue Demons are in search of their first victory after dropping the first two games in the conference.

Something must give as either Butler and DePaul will win in conference play for the first time this season, Tuesday night at Allstate Arena.

Here are five players who could have an impact on the outcome:

1) Butler forward Roosevelt Jones:

When called upon, Roosevelt Jones has been there to give Butler consistency across the board with a team-leading 7.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game, to go along with 14.2 points.

In last week's losses to Providence and Xavier, the redshirt senior combined for 33 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

2) DePaul guard Billy Garrett Jr.:

If the Blue Demons are to snap their 10-game losing streak in BIG EAST play, Billy Garrett's production will have to be near-perfect.

Garrett's struggles with turnovers reared its ugly head against Georgetown on Dec. 30 with five, but bounced back by committing two and led the team with 20 points, in a 78-74 loss at Seton Hall on Jan. 2.

On the other end, if Garrett scores at least 14 points Tuesday night, he will become the 49th player in DePaul history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.

3) Butler guard Kellen Dunham:

In an effort to shake up Butler's starting lineup, coach Chris Holtmann decided to bring Kellen Dunham off the bench in Saturday's 88-69 loss at Xavier.

Despite the loss, the move worked for Dunham as he snapped a streak of 23 straight misses from three-point range with a 3-of-5 effort in Saturday's game.

Dunham comes into the game as Butler's leading scorer with 14.9 points per game and perhaps, a game against a prone DePaul team could be what the doctor ordered for, but only time will tell.

4) Butler forward Kelan Martin:

As the Bulldogs' second-leading scorer with 14.2 per game, Martin has grown into one of the reliable options.

The sophomore will look to make it five straight games with double figures in points.

Martin also produced two double-doubles this season (13 points and 10 rebounds vs The Citadel and 25 points and 11 rebounds).

5) DePaul forward Myke Henry:

After going without a field goal make in the Georgetown game, Henry bounced back with a 15-point, nine-rebound performance at Seton Hall.

Henry comes into Tuesday's game against Butler as the team's  second leading scorer with 13.1 PPG and will need to be productive  on both ends in order for DePaul to win back-to-back games at home against ranked opponents.

Game Planner:

No. 18 Butler at DePaul

Time: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

TV/Online: Fox Sports Networks/Fox Sports Go

Line: Butler (-9)

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.