MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Ball State men’s basketball team hosts Butler at 2 p.m. Saturday in a White Out game at Worthen Arena. Fans are encouraged to wear white to the game.
The Cardinals (2-1) are coming off back-to-back victories, while Butler (3-0) is unbeaten on the year. Both teams are playing under first-year head coaches with James Whitford leading Ball State and Brandon Miller guiding Butler.
Whitford’s up-tempo style has led to more scoring with Ball State averaging nearly 78 points per game and coming off an 87-point output Monday against Southeast Missouri. Butler is also playing faster this year, scoring better than 81 points per game.
Saturday’s meeting will be the 105th all-time between the in-state rivals.
Ball State vs. Butler
Saturday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m. -- Worthen Arena (Muncie, Ind.)
• Radio (Flagship): Ball State Radio Network (104.1 FM WLBC); Joel Godett (play-by-play); David Eha (Analyst)
• Radio (Student): Sports Link Radio (91.3 FM WCRD); Luke Martin (play-by-play), Sean Stewart (analyst) & Petar Hood (sidelines)
• Internet: Live video and audio available through the Ball State All Access package at ballstatesports.com; Live stats also available at ballstatesports.com.
What You Need to Know
• The Cardinals welcome rival Butler in the 105th meeting between the teams. Ball State has only played Indiana State and Western Michigan more often in school history.
• Ball State has won two games in a row and is coming off an 87-83 victory Monday over preseason Ohio Valley Conference West Division co-favorite Southeast Missouri.
• Senior forward Chris Bond scored a career-high 20 points against SEMO, while Zavier Turner and Jesse Berry added 19 points each.
• Turner is the first Ball State player in 40 years to record at least 17 points and at least four assists in the first three games of a season.
• Turner’s 17.7 points per game lead the Cardinals, while Berry is scoring 17.0 per game. Berry is 29 points away from joining Ball State’s 1,000-point club.
• Senior center Majok Majok logged his first double-double of the season and his 10th in 33 career games at Ball State with 11 points and 12 rebounds against SEMO.
• Majok, a third-team All-Mid-American Conference pick last year, was one of five players selected to the preseason All-MAC West Division Team.
• Ball State is playing its 93rd season of basketball and its first under head coach James Whitford.
• The Cardinals are seeking their first 3-1 start to a season since the 2008-09 campaign.
• Butler is unbeaten at 3-0 after posting an 85-77 overtime victory Tuesday over Vanderbilt at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
• The Bulldogs, which have played all three games at home, also own wins over Lamar (89-58) and Princeton (70-67).
• Butler is in its first season under head coach Brandon Miller and its first year as a member of the Big East Conference after tying for third place in its one season in the Atlantic 10.
• The Bulldogs return nine letterwinners but are missing their top three scorers from last year’s team that went 27-9 (11-5 Atlantic 10) and played in the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in seven years.
• Kellen Dunham, a sophomore guard from Pendleton, Ind., leads three Butler players averaging double-figure scoring at 18.3 points per game, while Kameron Woods leads the team on the glass with 8.7 rebounds per game.
The Series with Butler
• Ball State and Butler have met 104 times with 52 games in Muncie and 52 in Indianapolis.
• The Cardinals have only played two opponents more often in school history: Indiana State (128 meetings) and Western Michigan (118).
• Butler holds a 66-38 advantage in the all-time series, though Ball State owns a 29-23 edge at home against the Bulldogs.
• The Cardinals won the last meeting at Worthen Arena, 58-55, two seasons ago on Dec. 10, 2011 to snap a seven-game Butler winning streak in the series.
• The Bulldogs won last year’s meeting at Hinkle Fieldhouse, pulling away for a 67-53 victory after the game was tied at the half.
All-Time Versus The Big East
• Saturday’s 105th meeting between Ball State and Butler will be the first with the Bulldogs as a member of the Big East Conference.
• Ball State is 2-5 all-time against Big East opponents at the time they were in the league.
• The wins came against Pittsburgh, 68-64, in the first round of the 1989 NCAA Tournament and at DePaul, 79-77, in the 2010-11 season.
• The Cardinals are 42-75 all-time against current Big East members with the majority of those games coming against Butler.
• Butler is the first of two Big East opponents on this year’s schedule for Ball State, which will travel to play Dec. 17 at Marquette.
Turner’s Historic Numbers
• Freshman point guard Zavier Turner is leading the Cardinals with averages of 17.7 points and 4.7 assists per game, having recorded at least 17 points and at least four assists in all three contests.
• Turner is the first Cardinal with at least 17 points and at least four assists in the first three games of a season since Larry Bullington in 1973-74.
• No other Ball State player has reached those marks in the first three games since the Cardinals began completely tracking assists in 1973.
• Turner is the first Ball State freshman with at least 17 points in the first three games of a season since Jim Fields reached the mark in four straight games to start the 1975-76 season.
• Turner and Fields are the only two BSU rookies to accomplish the feat since freshmen became eligible for varsity competition in 1972.
• Zavier Turner has nailed 10 of his 14 attempts from 3-point range to lead the Mid-American Conference in 3-point percentage (.714).
• He also leads the MAC in made 3-pointers per game with an average of 3.3.
More Turner Rankings
• Zavier Turner also ranks among the top 10 in the MAC in assists per game (4.7, T-5th), points per game (17.7, T-6th), free throw percentage (.917, T-6th) and minutes per game (31.3, 8th).
Majok Majok’s Double-Doubles
• Senior center Majok Majok recorded his first double-double of the season Monday with 11 points and 12 boards against Southeast Missouri.
• It was the 10th career double-double for Majok, a former junior college transfer.
• Majok ranked third in the MAC with nine double-doubles last year in his first season at Ball State and nearly averaged a double-double for the season at 10.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
Majok on the Glass
• Majok Majok leads Ball State and ranks second in the MAC in rebounding at 10.3 boards per game.
• He has two double-digit rebounding games this season, including a 16-rebound effort against Taylor that was one shy of his career high.
• He led the MAC last year and ranked 18th nationally at 9.8 rebounds per game.
Crashing the Boards
• Ball State leads the MAC this year with a +11.5 margin on the boards and ranks second in the league with 40.3 rebounds per game.
• The Cardinals, which were third in the league in rebounding margin last year, held a dominating 53-25 advantage on the boards Nov. 12 against Taylor.
• Ball State features two of the top three rebounders in the MAC in Majok Majok (10.3, 2nd) and freshman forward Franko House (8.3, 3rd).
Whitford Era Underway
• James Whitford, who was introduced April 10, 2013 as the 19th head coach in program history, earned his first career win in the Cardinals’ 73-53 victory Nov. 12 over Taylor. He added his second Monday against Southeast Missouri.
• Whitford came to Ball State after serving the previous eight years on the staff of Sean Miller at Xavier and Arizona, including the past two as the Wildcats’ associate head coach.
• He also has previous MAC experience with 11 years on the staff at Miami University under head coaches Herb Sendek and Charlie Coles.
• During his career as an assistant coach, Whitford’s teams posted an overall record of 400-208 and reached the postseason 13 times, including 10 NCAA tournament appearances.
Berry Closing in on 1,000
• Senior guard Jesse Berry is just 29 points away from reaching 1,000 for his career.
• Berry would become the 27th member of Ball State’s 1,000-point club. Former teammate Jauwan Scaife, now a graduate student manager for the Cardinals, became the 26th member last season.
• Berry went for 23 points in the season opener at Indiana State. He has now reached the 20-point mark in 10 games for his career, including seven times last year as a junior.
Kamieniecki to Miss Season, Redshirt
• Senior post player Matt Kamieniecki will sit out the season after undergoing wrist surgery. He will redshirt this season and return to the floor as a fifth-year senior in 2014-15.
• Kamieniecki has played in 74 games through his first three seasons at Ball State. He averaged 4.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as a junior, starting 11 of the final 16 games after being limited by injury in the first half of the season.
• At this point, Kamieniecki will be the only senior on next year’s Ball State roster.
Returning for the Cardinals
• The loss of Matt Kamieniecki leaves Ball State with six returning letterwinners from last year, four of which are seniors -- center Majok Majok, guard Jesse Berry and forwards Chris Bond and Tyler Koch.
• Majok led the MAC and ranked 18th nationally in rebounding last year. He averaged nearly a double-double at 10.7 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.
• Berry is the team’s top returning scorer. He ranked second on last year’s team at 12.8 points per game, trailing only departed senior Jauwan Scaife’s 16.6 points per game.
• Ball State’s two additional returning letterwinners are both sophomores in forward Bo Calhoun and guard Chase Brogna.
Majok Tabbed Preseason All-MAC
• Majok Majok was named to the preseason All-MAC West Division Team in a vote of media from around the league. He was joined in the West Division by Toledo’s Rian Pearson and Julius Brown, Western Michigan’s Shayne Whittington and Eastern Michigan’s Glenn Bryant.
• The preseason All-MAC East Team consisted of Buffalo’s Javon McCrea and Will Regan, Akron’s Demetrius Treadwell and Quincy Diggs, and Miami’s Will Felder.
Relying on Young Talent
• Ball State brought in a class of four scholarship freshmen, all of whom are averaging at least 14 minutes per game.
• Freshman Zavier Turner, an all-state point guard from Pike High School in Indianapolis, is being asked to shoulder much of the ball handling load for the Cardinals.
• The class of scholarship newcomers also includes guards Mark Alstork from Thurgood Marshall High School in Dayton and Quinten Payne from North High School in St. Charles, Ill., along with post player Franko House from Concord High School in Elkhart, Ind.
Berry from Downtown
• Jesse Berry returns as Ball State’s top outside shooting threat.
• Berry shot a career-best 37.5 percent from beyond the arc last season and raised his percentage to 41.2 during MAC play.
• In Monday’s game against Southeast Missouri, he moved into third place all-time at Ball State with 165 career 3-pointers, surpassing fellow Lafayette Jefferson High School alum Peyton Stovall.
• Former Ball State teammate Jauwan Scaife set the school record for 3-pointers last year, finishing his career with 203 treys.
• One of Ball State’s biggest challenges this season will be to replace the scoring punch of Jauwan Scaife, who completed his career last year 14th on Ball State’s all-time scoring list.
• An All-MAC Second Team selection, Scaife ranked second in the league during MAC play last year with 19.9 points per game.
• Also gone from last year’s team are center Zach Fields, who graduated after starting 21 games, and guard Marcus Posley, who transferred after averaging 6.5 points and 2.9 assists per game.
Last Year versus Butler
• Ball State led by three points early in the second half, but Butler took control with a 21-2 run on the way to a 67-53 win at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Dec. 1, 2012.
• Nine different Ball State players scored, led by Jesse Berry with 12 points, while Majok Majok added nine points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
• Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith led Butler in scoring with 15 and 12 points, respectively.
• Ball State held Butler to 17.4 percent (4-of-23) from the 3-point line, but the Cardinals managed only 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from deep.
• The Cardinals finished with 19 turnovers, while Butler turned it over just five times.