No. 13 Butler not overlooking Vermont (Dec 21, 2016)

Butler coach Chris Holtmann insisted his team didn’t linger on the upset victory over then-No. 9 Indiana University on Saturday.

“We pretty quickly turned the page and are moving on to a pretty good Vermont team,” Holtmann said. “This is one of the better teams we’ll play in the non-conference and we need to be ready. This is a really solid group. Our focus has been on improving and getting ready for Vermont.”

The No. 13 Bulldogs (10-1) host Vermont (8-4) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The two teams have never met before.

Holtmann said the Catamounts have a well-coached veteran crew.

“They’re skilled, they spread you out,” Holtmann said. “They really make you work. It’s going to be a challenge for us. I think our guys are aware of that.”

The Catamounts beat Eastern Michigan on Saturday without junior forward Payton Henson, who is sidelined with a lower-body injury. Henson, who averages a team-high 13 points per game, will miss the Butler game, too, Vermont coach John Becker said.

Anthony Lamb, a 6-6 freshman forward, scored a career-high 25 points in Henson’s absence. Lamb is second on the team with an 11.4 scoring average, followed by Ernie Duncan at 10.3 per game. Duncan is from Evansville, Indiana, and is one of four players from Indiana on the roster.

“So it’s a game their families can see,” said Becker, whose team played at Purdue last season.

Vermont returns the majority of its production from last season’s team.

“We’re a more experienced team,” Becker said. “Here at Vermont, we’ve had eight consecutive 20-win seasons and eight consecutive postseason tournaments. We’re picked to win the league again. We play a very, very competitive schedule. We lost at Providence. We lost to Houston by one point. We lost at (No. 22) South Carolina. We lost a heartbreaker to Northeastern, who beat Michigan State (Sunday). We’re toughening up playing these good teams.

“The 8-4 start is the best in my six years. We’re playing well and we hope we can hang around against a really good Butler team. They’re very well coached and play the right way. Kelan Martin can score the ball. They shoot the ball well. They make the right play and are unselfish.”

Becker said he has been watching Butler top scorers Martin (18.6 points per game) and Andrew Chrabascz (11.3 points per game) for a long time.

“We recruited Chrabascz before he became a high major player because he’s from New England,” Becker said. “I got to see Martin play (in AAU) a lot when we saw Ernie Duncan.”

Martin was named the Big East Player of the Week after scoring 28 points against Indiana.

Kamar Baldwin, a 6-foot guard, was named Big East Freshman of the Week after scoring 14 points against the Hoosiers.

“He’s got a high basketball IQ and that helps him,” Holtmann said of Baldwin. “He wants to be good. He’s kind of a natural scorer. What we’ve seen is he’s had some terrific moments and he’s had some moments where he looks like a freshman. I’ve had to say, ‘He is a freshman. He’s not a junior.’ He’ll continue to have those moments.”

Guard play has been solid for the Bulldogs in recent games.

“A lot of people have asked how we moved on after losing (departed seniors) Roosevelt Jones and Kellen Dunham,” Holtmann said. “Those guys have done a good job handling it by committee. We’ve had different guys step up.”