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New-look Georgetown, Butler clash in Big East opener

new-look-georgetown,-butler-clash-in-big-east-opener

Butler and Georgetown have shown marked improvement behind their respective casts of new players.

Both the Bulldogs (9-2) and Hoyas (7-4) have a better record through 11 games this season than they did at the same point a season ago.

Each team’s fresh talent will get their first dose of Big East action when Butler hosts Georgetown on Tuesday in Indianapolis.

The Bulldogs’ starting lineup has stayed the same all season and features four newcomers who are the team’s top four scorers.

Michigan State transfer Pierre Brooks II leads Butler with 16.8 points per game ahead of fellow transfers Jahmyl Telfort (15.6), DJ Davis (12.0) and Posh Alexander (10.9).

Alexander has three years of Big East experience playing at St. John’s.

Finley Bizjack and St. Francis transfer Landon Moore scored 17 and 10 points off the bench, respectively, in the Bulldogs’ 96-70 home win over Saginaw Valley State on Friday.

Butler leads the Big East with 22.7 bench points per game, and consistent production from reserves like Bizjack and Moore will be vital for the Bulldogs to improve on last year’s 6-14 conference record.

“It’s going to be a war every night for the next two, three months,” Moore said. “We’re excited and ready to go.”

The Hoyas’ starting five has fluctuated as first-year coach Ed Cooley continues to evaluate which combination of Georgetown’s new arrivals performs best.

Transfers Dontrez Styles (15.2 points per game) and Supreme Cook (10.7 points, 8.6 rebounds) have started every game, while returning guard Jay Heath (9.5 points) has made nine starts.

Freshman Rowan Brumbaugh (9.8 points) has started the Hoyas’ last two contests in place of Jayden Epps (illness), who leads the Big East with 18.9 points per game.

Brumbaugh paced Georgetown’s starters at Notre Dame on Saturday with 15 points, including his last-second shot that forced overtime. The Hoyas outlasted the Fighting Irish 72-68 to match Georgetown’s win total from last season, which included a Big East-worst 2-18 conference mark.

“I’m proud of our men for how resilient we were,” Cooley said on Saturday. “… We were able to finish a game.”

Butler and Georgetown split two meetings last season, with each squad winning on the other’s home court.

–Field Level Media

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