Curt Miller looks ahead to Butler

There are perks to playing a team that just faced your former program.

Then again, the perks go both ways.

Indiana’s women’s basketball team will host Butler at Assembly Hall on Saturday, days after the Bulldogs lost their third close game in a row, a 61-57 decision to Bowling Green. It was a contest that allowed Butler to spend 40 minutes working through the same system they’ll see from Indiana this weekend.

“They still run our offenses that we did there because (BG coach Jennifer Roos) was my associate head coach for 11 years,” IU coach Curt Miller said. “Butler has the advantage in the trial run of guarding that, but we get the advantage on film of seeing how did Butler effectively guard it and where were they, so we can make some adjustments on where they guarded it. We both win in that situation. Butler’s had a 40-minute game against the same system that they’re going to play back to back. But we get the whole 40-minute game on tape to dissect what they did to try to guard them.”

Butler’s 1-3 record may be a bit deceiving, considering each of its three losses have come within five points, including two in overtime. The Bulldogs were picked to finish seventh in the Big East’s preseason coaches poll, while senior forward Daress McClung is considered one of the top players in the conference. She averages 14.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest.

“They come in as the clear-cut favorite,” Miller said. “Their lineup is not only a great lineup, but they have great depth and weapons at every position. It’s hard to concentrate on just one position because they have so many weapons. They play uptempo. They can really score the basketball because they have all those weapons. They do some sets that are really similar to us in terms of plays, but we have our distinctive differences, too.”

Saturday’s meeting with Butler will be Indiana’s third of four scheduled contests against in-state programs, not including Purdue. It will also be the last with the Bulldogs for at least one season. The current contract with Butler expires this year, but Miller said he’d like to add them back in the future. Indiana, which lost to Butler at Hinkle Fieldhouse last December, leads the all-time series, 4-1.

“We recruit a lot against Butler,” he said. “They’re continuing to raise their program as they enter the Big East, so it’s going to be a great series in the future. We look forward to continuing that matchup somewhere down the line. We’re close with them, we have great respect for them and their assistant coach (Tisha Hill) is one of the better players in school history, so there’s a lot of connections there.”

One comment

  1. Mike, first of all, I really appreciate your continual excellent coverage of IU women’s basketball. I hope that it continues. Being a person who is an IU women’s season ticket holder and having attended both road games, this is a team that is so much fun to watch and deserves your support. Please come out Saturday and root this team on. We now have a coach who can both coach and recruit and players who work hard and are successful. Don’t miss this exciting young team and be a part of their success. Go Hoosiers!!

Comments are closed.