In recent years, the Butler Bulldogs have become the prototypical underdog, stunning top team after top team, highlighted by the programs 2012 Final Four appearance. Fast-forward to 2015, and the No. 18 Bulldogs have been able to sustain this success on the court and will again be in the running for a top NCAA Tournament seed. Nonetheless, they will likely have to finish the remainder of the regular season without forward Andrew Chrabascz. Chrabascz broke his right hand during the second half of Saturday’s loss against the Villanova Wildcats, but was able to finish out the game.
The junior will miss two to four weeks depending on the success of Monday’s surgery. However, he should be available for the beginning of the Big East and NCAA Tournaments. Chrabascz is averaging 11.1 points per game, third on the team, and has started all 25 of the team’s contests. Losing Chrabascz for either of the tournaments could significantly impact where the NCAA seeding committee places the Bulldogs, putting them in danger of an early round exit. In Chrabascz’s absence, leading scorers Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones will be relied upon even more to carry the offensive burden, but look for reserve player Tyler Wideman to increase his minutes and step into Chrabascz’s void.
Butler will play their first game without Chrabascz in the lineup when the team squares off against the Creighton Blue Jays on Wednesday. The Bulldogs toughest remaining game is against the Georgetown Hoyas, and will not face another ranked opponent until the Big East Tournament. This should give the squad optimal time to restructure its offense and allow for bench players to feel more comfortable in their new roles.
*Section Photo credit to Elsa, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Bret Drinkut, Indy Star.