New Orleans Privateers vs. Butler Bulldogs Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 7th 2022

Stadium: Hinkle Fieldhouse Indianapolis
Logo New Orleans Privateers
VS
Logo Butler Bulldogs
148.5
OPENER
-15.5

146.5o -110
CURRENT
-18.5 -110

+1596
MONEYLINE
-7937

53
SCORE
89

For the first time since Feb. 17, 2001, Thad Matta will be prowling the Hinkle Fieldhouse sideline as Butler's head coach when the Bulldogs open the season Monday night vs. New Orleans.

Matta, who hasn't coached since he and Ohio State parted ways in May 2017, has raised expectations at Butler since returning to his alma mater in April. He succeeded LaVall Jordan, his former shooting guard who led the Bulldogs to just one NCAA Tournament in five seasons.

"I love what this place stands for," Matta said at the Big East media day, "and I look at this place as a great opportunity to come in and try to rebuild something that Butler deserves."

In the wake of Butler's 14-19 season, Matta boosted the team's roster with some serious shopping in the transfer portal: North Carolina State center Manny Bates, Purdue point guard Eric Hunter Jr., Akron wing Ali Ali and Georgia State power forward Jalen Thomas. Nonetheless, the Big East coaches pegged the Bulldogs to finish eighth in the 11-team conference.

Butler won its exhibition game against Division II Tiffin by just 10 points, but Matta didn't have the services of Ali and Thomas. Ali, who averaged a team-high 13.9 points last year for Akron's NCAA Tournament squad, has missed time due to a concussion and a broken nose.

New Orleans posted an 18-14 record last year but lost its pair of high-scoring, all-conference guards to graduation -- Derek St. Hilaire (20.1 points per game) and Troy Green (16.6 ppg). But 12th-year coach Mark Slessinger and the Privateers have enough back to earn the No. 3 spot in the Southland Conference's preseason poll.

Junior forward Tyson Jackson (8.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and senior forward Simeon Kirkland (8.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) received second-team preseason all-league honors. They join senior guard Daniel Sackey (6.6 ppg, 2.8 apg) as New Orleans' returning starters.

"It is an incredible honor to open up the season at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse against Butler on national TV," Slessinger said. "We have a very deep and talented team, and I'm excited to see them compete on Monday."

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
New Orleans Privateers
62
80
Butler Bulldogs
PREDICTION
New Orleans Privateers
62
80
Butler Bulldogs

New Orleans Privateers vs. Butler Bulldogs

Bryce Nze had 18 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games as the host Butler Bulldogs beat the New Orleans Privateers 79-53 for their 51st straight nonconference home victory Saturday in Indianapolis.

Aaron Thompson had a double-double with 12 points and 10 assists for the Bulldogs, who never trailed. Jordan Tucker had 16 points and four 3-pointers, while Sean McDermott had 13 points with three makes from behind the arc. He also had eight rebounds.

Damion Rosser had 13 points, Troy Green had 12 points and Bryson Robinson 10 points for the Privateers (1-1), who were picked to win the Southland Conference in the coaches' preseason poll.

Tucker played his first game after missing the season opener while serving an NCAA suspension for participating in an NCAA-certified league event that was outside the allowable mileage radius. Nze, a 6-foot-7 transfer, followed coach LaVall Jordan from Milwaukee to Butler before sitting out last year.

Butler (2-0) had 18 assists on its 29 field goals after posting 21 assists on 35 field goals in an 79-47 victory over IUPUI in its season opener Wednesday.

Butler had a big rebounding edge, 38-25, and committed only six turnovers. The Privateers had 16 turnovers and shot 42.9 percent.

Nze had seven points and Tucker hit two 3-pointers when the Bulldogs rushed to a 23-5 lead before the Privateers made their only run of the game, closing to 25-16 when Rosser scored six points, Green made a layup and Robinson hit a 3-pointer.

The Bulldogs gradually pulled away from there. Thompson had 10 points in the final 10 minutes of the first half, and Henry Baddley and McDermott made late 3-pointers for a 45-29 halftime lead.

Only No. 4 Duke has a longer home nonconference winning streak (148) in Division I than the Bulldogs. Butler hosts Minnesota as part of the Big East-Big Ten preseason challenge on Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

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