Butler Bulldogs vs. DePaul Blue Demons Pick & Prediction JANUARY 20th 2024

Butler and DePaul occupy two of the bottom three spots in the Big East standings, so Saturday’s meeting between the host Bulldogs and Blue Demons gives one school a chance at much-needed forward momentum.

Given the way Butler (11-7, 2-5 Big East) and DePaul (3-14, 0-6) have struggled to maintain a rhythm, the game in Indianapolis figures to see its share of ebbs and flows.

“That’s what we’re lacking right now,” Bulldogs coach Thad Matta said, “consistency throughout the game.”

Butler enters Saturday with losses in five of its past six games, the latest an 85-71 setback against visiting Xavier on Tuesday.

As with recent losses to Providence, Connecticut and Seton Hall, the Bulldogs held a second-half lead against the Musketeers but were unable to hold on.

Strong backcourt play from Pierre Brooks II (22 points) and Posh Alexander (21) kept Butler afloat before fading down the stretch, a problem the team hopes to correct against DePaul.

“We’ve been struggling with that this year, of making those plays when we need them,” Matta said. “We’ve been in those situations a lot. I’ve got to figure out what we’re missing and see what we can get out of them.”

DePaul knows all too well about struggles in and out of clutch situations. The Blue Demons have lost 18 straight conference games dating to January 2023 after falling 100-62 to Providence on Wednesday.

The past three league losses have come by a combined 89 points.

“What we’ve got to do is get five guys out there on that floor that are going to compete and play together,” Blue Demons coach Tony Stubblefield said.

Elijah Fisher led DePaul with 19 points against Providence and believes reaching that competitive point starts with the basics.

“Effort. Just play with effort,” Fisher said. “You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want it for the full 40 minutes. It can’t be 10 minutes and then we stop playing for five and then we pick it back up for another five. It’s got to be for the full 40. So you’ve got to fight and keep it together.”

–Field Level Media

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