Rivals Ball State, Butler Meet Saturday in Indy
Ball State (2-3) dropped a 69-63 decision to Cleveland State in its most recent action Wednesday, while Butler (4-2) is coming off a 97-73 victory Tuesday over Hanover.
Saturday's contest will be televised in central Indiana as part of Butler's TV package on WNDY. It will also be available on various platforms in the Fort Wayne area (see specifics below).
• Television: WNDY; Play-by-play: Anthony Calhoun; Analyst: Nick Gardner
• Also televised in the Fort Wayne area on WANE-TV 15.2 and as part of Antenna TV programming on Frontier Cable 463 (Fort Wayne), Mediacom 106 (Fort Wayne) and Comcast channels 250 (Fort Wayne/Huntington), 906 (Portland/Redkey/Dunkirk) and 131 (Wabash)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Play-by-play: Joel Godett; Analyst: David Eha
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Play-by-play: Sean Stewart; Analyst: Donnie Kolakowski, Tyler Bradfield
• Internet: Live audio at ballstatesports.com; Live video (premium) and live stats at butlersports.com
A Quick Look at the Cardinals
• Ball State is looking to snap a three-game losing streak Saturday when it visits Butler for its second road game of the year. BSU, which won its first two games of the year, is now 2-3.
• The Cardinals are coming off a 69-63 loss Wednesday to Cleveland State in a game where Ball State held an eight-point second-half lead but saw it evaporate with a 20-4 run by the Vikings.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry scored a career-high 28 points in the game, and junior forward Chris Bond recorded season-highs with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.
• The Cardinals could not overcome 19 turnovers and Cleveland State's 17 offensive rebounds.
• Berry -- a preseason All-MAC West Division selection -- leads Ball State with 14.4 points per game, while junior forward Majok Majok is averaging 13.7 points and leading the Mid-American Conference with 8.8 rebounds per game.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife adds 10.6 points to give BSU three players averaging double figures.
• With 103 previous meetings, Ball State has played Butler more than any other opponent except Indiana State (127) and Western Michigan (116). The series dates back to Dec. 23, 1924.
• Butler owns a 65-38 lead in the all-time series, and the Bulldogs hold a 42-9 advantage in games played in Indianapolis. Ball State's last win over Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse came on Dec. 7, 1996.
• Ball State won last year's meeting, 58-55, in Muncie to snap a seven-game Butler winning streak in the series. Jarrod Jones led the Cardinals with 21 points and scored eight of the Cardinals' final 16, including the go-ahead basket with 47.2 seconds left.
• Butler enters the game at 4-2 and receiving votes in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls. The Bulldogs are coming off a 97-73 win Tuesday over Hanover.
• The Bulldogs played in the Maui Invitational earlier this month, posting wins over Marquette (72-71) and then-No. 9 North Carolina (82-71) before falling in the title game to Illinois (78-61).
• Senior Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke leads Butler with 18.5 points per game, shooting 44.6 percent from beyond the arc, while junior forward Khyle Marshall scores 13.7 points and leads the team with 6.3 rebounds per game.
• Freshman guard Kellen Dunham adds 11.0 points per game as the third Bulldog in double figures.
• Butler finished 22-15 last year and played in its seventh straight postseason with a bid to the CBI.
Majok Making His Presence Felt
• Majok Majok, a transfer from Midland College, has scored in double figures in four of Ball State's five games, including a career-high 18 points Nov. 25 against No. 1-ranked Indiana.
• The No. 18 junior college prospect in the country by JucoJunction.com coming out of Midland, Majok is nearly averaging a double-double with 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. His rebounding average leads the Mid-American Conference.
• Majok has recorded two double-doubles through five games. He scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Nov. 11 season opener against Grambling State and went for 15 points and 12 boards Nov. 20 against Indiana State.
• He became the first player with a double-double in his Ball State debut since Jarrod Jones in November 2008 (21 points, 13 rebounds vs. Eastern Illinois).
Berry Erupts for Career High
• After being held below double figures for two straight games, junior guard Jesse Berry erupted for a career-high 28 points Wednesday against Cleveland State.
• Berry hit his first four shots from the floor against the Vikings and finished with career-highs in field goals made (8) and attempted (16) and free throws made (8) and attempted (11).
• Berry has scored in double figures in nine of his past 12 contests dating back to last season.
• He earned the second MAC West Division Player of the Week award of his career after a 17-point performance in the season opener against Grambling State.
Living at the Line
• Majok Majok is getting to the free throw line an average of 8.8 times per game and has shot double-digit free throws in three of Ball State's five contests.
• Majok attempted double-digit free throws in three straight games -- Wofford (10), Indiana State (11) and Indiana (12) before attempting just four Wednesday against Cleveland State.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry, who got to the line 11 times against CSU, is attempting 6.8 free throws per game, while the Cardinals are getting to the line 28.8 times per game as a team.
High Volume Rebounding
• Through five games, junior forward Matt Kamieniecki is averaging one rebound every 2:23 of game action, having grabbed 26 rebounds in his 62 minutes on the court.
• The nation's rebounding leader, O.D. Anosike of Siena, is only grabbing one rebound every 2:39. Anosike is averaging 14.1 rebounds per game.
• Kamieniecki matched his career high with nine rebounds in just 16 minutes of action Nov. 25 at top-ranked Indiana.
Scaife's Career Numbers
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife, who is scoring 10.6 points per game this year, owns the most career points among the current Ball State players with 882.
• With four 3-pointers this year, Scaife has moved past former teammate Randy Davis (2008-12) and into sixth place on Ball State's career 3-pointers list with 137.
• Scaife needs five more 3-pointers to match his cousin and former Ball State star Bonzi Wells (1994-98) for fifth on the school's all-time list.
Bond, Scaife Stealing the Show
• Junior forward Chris Bond is tied for third in the Mid-American Conference in steals with an average of 2.4 per game, while senior guard Jauwan Scaife is tied for seventh at 2.0 per game.
• Bond had four steals in the opener against Grambling State and a career-high five Nov. 20 against Wofford. Scaife had three steals Nov. 25 at No. 1 Indiana. The pair has combined for 22 of Ball State's 38 steals as a team.
Posley Taking Care of the Basketball
• Despite a five-turnover, one-assist performance against Cleveland State, freshman guard Marcus Posley still ranks fifth in the Mid-American Conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2 to 1.
• Posley, who ranks 10th in the league with 3.2 assists per game, recorded six helpers without a turnover to go along with 12 points in the season-opening win over Grambling State.
• His six assists were the most by a Ball State freshman in his debut since Peyton Stovall dished out seven helpers against Xavier in the 2003-04 season opener.
• Posley had five assists against Indiana State and three assists against No. 1 Indiana.
Fields Gets Smaller to Play Bigger Role
• After four years in the Ball State program, fifth-year senior center Zach Fields made his first career start in the season opener against Grambling State and has started every game since.
• Fields made the most of the opportunity in the opener, logging career highs with 10 points and eight rebounds. His previous career bests were four points and four boards.
• The 6-foot-10 Fields, who has lost 30 pounds in an effort to make a greater impact, is averaging 5.0 rebounds per game. After never averaging more than 5.4 minutes per game in a season, Fields is logging 18.0 minutes per game this year.
One of the Best in the West
• Ball State has finished among the top three in the MAC West Division in each of the past four seasons, including first- or second-place finishes in three of those years.
• The Cardinals tied for the division crown in 2008-09 and finished second in both 2009-10 and 2010-11. Last year, Ball State tied for third in the West.
• While Ball State returns only six letterwinners from a season ago, those six players have now combined to play in 351 games with 168 starts for the Cardinals.
• Senior guard Jauwan Scaife is the most experienced Cardinal, having played in 95 career games. He has started 68 contests at Ball State.
• Junior guard Jesse Berry (67 games, 20 starts), junior forwards Chris Bond (63 games, 44 starts), Matt Kamieniecki (52 games, 11 starts) and Tyler Koch (27 games, 22 starts), and senior center Zach Fields (47 games, 5 starts) also have a wealth of experience in the Ball State program.
• Of the eight newcomers on Ball State's active roster, seven are true freshmen. Here is a breakdown of the freshman class by position ...
• Guard -- Marcus Posley (Rockford, Ill./Auburn HS), Michael Ramey (Indianapolis, Ind./Southport HS), Chase Brogna (Houston, Texas/St. Thomas HS) and George Cater (St. Peters, Mo./Fort Zumwalt South HS).
• Forward -- Bo Calhoun (South Bend, Ind./Washington HS) and Rocco Belcaster (Berwyn, Ill./Morton HS).
• Center -- Mading Thok (Boyden, Iowa/Western Christian HS).
• Ball State's only non-freshman newcomer is Majok Majok (Perth, Australia/Midland College).
Locking Down on Defense
• Ball State has ranked first or second in the Mid-American Conference for scoring defense in each of the past four seasons.
• Here are the Cardinals rankings by year: 2008-09 (59.7, 1st), 2009-10 (62.4, 1st), 2010-11 (64.0, 1st), 2011-12 (60.7, 2nd).
• Ball State also ranked second in the MAC in field goal percentage defense last year, holding opponents to 40.8 percent shooting from the floor.
• Ball State is playing without junior forward Tyler Koch, who suffered a hand injury during preseason practice.
• Koch, a former Wright State transfer, started 22 games last year in his first season at Ball State. He scored 6.6 points and grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game.
The Non-Conference Schedule
• Ball State will leave the state of Indiana just once during the non-conference schedule -- a Dec. 15 trip to South Dakota.
• The Cardinals will play eight of their 12 non-conference games at home and make three road trips to in-state opponents -- Indiana (Nov. 25), Butler (Dec. 1) and Purdue (Dec. 18).
• Two of Ball State's home games are against Indiana State (Nov. 20) and IUPUI (Dec. 23), giving the Cardinals five games against in-state Division I programs.
• Ball State has never before faced Big 10 opponents Indiana and Purdue in the same season.