Temple must limit Butler's balanced attack

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Butler guard Rotnei Clarke brings the ball upcourt against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Clarke led his team with 22 points as Butler won 68-49. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

INDIANAPOLIS – Butler, like most solid basketball teams, is built around a balanced attack. That means Temple could have a tough time Saturday evening at Hinkle Fieldhouse, especially if the Owls (13-5, 2-2) bring the same defense they displayed the last two games.

Temple (13-5, 2-2) had a tough time defending the perimeter against St. Bonaventure and Penn.  As a result, the Owls turned role players into superstars.

In the ninth-ranked Bulldogs (16-3, 3-1), Temple will face a quality shooting team with five double-digit scorers.

Senior guard Rotnei Clarke, who had missed the previous three games with a neck injury, is averaging a team-leading 16.3 points.

Center Andrew Smith (11.9 points), forwards Roosevelt Jones (10.5) and Kyle Marshall (10.1) and reserve guard Kellen Dunham (10.9) are the other double-figure scores.

Temple’s Khalif Wyatt has averaged 28.5 points during the last two games. But he’ll definitely need some scoring help for the Owls to have any chance to win.

Here’s a look at the probable starters, coaches’ records and series information:

PROBABLE STARTERS

TEMPLE (13-5, 2-2 Atlantic Ten)

22 Jake O’Brien F 6-9 Gr. 8.1 ppg. 2.6 rpg.
3   Anthony Lee F 6-9 Soph. 11.8 ppg. 7.4 rpg.
33 Scootie Randall G/F 6-6 Sr. 11 ppg 6.9 rpg.
1   Khalif Wyatt G 6-4 Sr. 17.5 ppg. 3.9 apg.
2   Will Cummings G 6-2 Soph. 5.7 ppg. 1.9 spg.

BUTLER (16-3, 3-1)
21 Roosevelt Jones F 6-4 Soph. 10.5 ppg. 5.6 rpg.
23 Kyle Marshall F 6-6 Jr. 10.1 ppg. 5.2 rpg
44 Andrew Smith C 6-11 Sr. 11.9 ppg. 5.4 rpg.
15 Rotnei Clarke G 6-3 Sr. 16.3 ppg. 2.7 rpg.
3   Alex Barlow G 5-11 Soph. 2.7 ppg. 2.2 apg.

Coaches

TEMPLE
Fran Dunphy (457-233 career record)

BUTLER
Brad Stevens (155-43)

SERIES
This is the teams first meeting.

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