Men's Basketball Prepares for Butler in First Road Contest of the Season

Stephan Van Treese met the media on Thursday afternoon and talked about returning to the lineup.

Stephan Van Treese met the media on Thursday afternoon and talked about returning to the lineup.

Nov. 17, 2011

Rick Pitino | Stephan Van Treese
Rick Pitino | Stephan Van Treese
Louisville vs. Butler Get Acrobat Reader

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - On Saturday, Nov. 19, the University of Louisville men's basketball team will face Butler, a team that has reached NCAA Tournament final each of the last two years but has since lost many of its key role players. The game, which is slated for a 2:02 p.m. start, will be shown on ESPN3, with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Mark Adams (color) calling the action.

Head coach Rick Pitino says that, even though this will be a good test for the Cardinals, he would have liked to play the game later in the season.

"I did not, to be honest with you, want it this early, even if we didn't have these injuries; I did not want to play a true road game the third game of the season," Pitino said of the date of the Butler game. "I would have liked it to be the fifth or sixth game, but they were nice enough to open our place, so we're at their call of when they want to play the game."

In a season that has started in an `addition by subtraction' kind of way, the No. 8/7-ranked Cardinals regain Stephan Van Treese, who began practicing this week, and according to Pitino, is expected to return and contribute to Louisville's frontcourt on Saturday. However, Louisville will be without the services of Mike Marra, who's done for the year after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the Lamar victory, and possibly starting point guard Peyton Siva, who sprained his left ankle during practice this week.

The Cardinals (2-0) are coming off consecutive victories at home to open the year, including a win over Tennessee-Martin that gave Pitino his 600th career victory. Most recently, Louisville cruised past Lamar, 68-48, on Nov. 13. Freshman Chane Behanan tallied the second double-double of his career in the win, recording 10 points and 13 boards. Redshirt junior Jared Swopshire came off the bench and led the Cardinals with 13 points in 24 minutes, while also grabbing eight boards and collecting one steal. The Cardinals out-rebounded Lamar, 36-23, and the Louisville defense stifled Lamar to just 23.1 percent (15-of-65) from the field.

Butler, meanwhile, has gotten off to a rocky 1-1 start, falling in its season-opener at Evansville, 80-77, and then rebounding for a 57-46 victory over Chattanooga on Nov. 19. Andrew Smith led the Bulldogs in the lone win, tallying 16 points and 10 boards, while Chrishawn Hopkins added 12 points and recorded five assists. Defensive specialist Ronald Nored had a game-high four steals.

Through two games, Smith leads the team in points (37) and rebounds (19). Hopkins is the team's leader in assists (10), and Nored has a team-best seven steals.

Under fourth-year coach Brad Stevens, Butler returns eight letterwinners, two of which were starters, from last year. Stevens has led the program to a 118-26 overall record. Butler was picked to win the Horizon League by the league's coaches, media and sports information directors, and Smith was selected to the all-league second team.

GAME FACTS - Louisville at Butler
Date: Saturday, Nov. 19
Time: 2:02 p.m. ET
Site: Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000), Indianapolis, Ind.
TV: ESPN3 will stream the game, with Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Mark Adams (color) calling the action.
Radio: WKRD (101.7 FM) will broadcast the game, with Jim Kelch (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano (color) calling the action.
Series History: Louisville and Butler are tied in the all-time series, 5-5 (3-2 in Louisville, 2-2 in Indianapolis). The Cardinals posted an 88-73 victory the last time the two faced each other on Nov. 16, 2010, in Louisville.
Officials: Jamie Luckie, Mike Eades, Mike Roberts
Next U of L Game: Nov. 22 vs. Arkansas State, KFC Yum! Center, Global Sports Invitational, 7:07 p.m. ET (WHAS-TV/Wazoo)



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