No. 24 Butler does in Florida

Butler forward Christian David (25) blocks the shot of Florida forward Keyontae Johnson (11) in the second half Saturday in Indianapolis. Butler defeated Florida 76-62. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS — Aaron Thompson believes unselfish play is a major part of Butler’s success.

Thompson and Sean McDermott each scored 16 points to lead No. 24 Butler to a 76-62 win over Florida on Saturday.

“Nobody cares who scores, we’re just trying to get the best shot on that possession,” Thompson said. “As long as we are getting good shots, everyone is happy.”

Thompson made 6 of 7 shots and delivered seven assists for Butler (9-0).

McDermott missed his first four 3-point shots and then four of his final five. He contributed a team-high seven rebounds.

“I don’t know if we have a harder working player than Sean McDermott,” Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. “He’s made more of an effort to become a more complete player. Obviously, his strength is shooting the basketball, but he’s able to defend better.”

Jordan Tucker added 13 points off the bench for the Bulldogs. Kamar Baldwin, who was averaging a team-high 17.5 points for Butler, scored 12 points.

Baldwin picked up two fouls in the first 3-plus minutes of the game and was limited to 11 minutes in the first half. The senior guard finished with three fouls.

“When Kamar got into foul trouble early, the next man was up and ready to go,” Jordan said.

Kerry Blackshear Jr. led Florida (6-3) with 17 points. Andrew Nembhard and Noah Locke each scored 11.

The Bulldogs shot 52% percent while holding the Gators to 44%. Butler made 9 of 20 3-pointers while Florida was 6 of 21. Each team had 10 turnovers.

The Gators, who trailed by nine at halftime, narrowed the deficit to six points twice before the Bulldogs pulled away. Butler’s largest lead was 19 points at 61-42 with 7:33 remaining.

Butler finished the first half with a 19-5 run to take a 35-26 lead at halftime. Trailing 21-16, the Bulldogs had an 11-0 run.

Florida coach Mike White said Butler was “more disciplined than us and that’s on me.”

The Gators start three sophomores, a freshman and Blackshear, a graduate transfer from Virginia Tech.


Butler owns the nation’s longest streak of consecutive non-conference home victories at 56 at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.


Florida: After a solid start on the road, the Gators’ four-game winning streak end with a thud. Entering the game with a 30% average from 3-point range, Florida shot 23%.

Butler: The Bulldogs won their third meeting with an SEC opponent in the last four games, previously beating Missouri 63-52 in the Hall of Fame Classic on Nov. 24 and host Mississippi 67-58 Tuesday.


Florida: Will play Providence at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational in Brooklyn, N.Y., on ESPN2.

Butler: Travels to No. 18 Baylor on Tuesday.

No. 24 BUTLER 76, FLORIDA 62

Johnson 3-7 3-4 9, Blackshear 5-10 6-7 17, Locke 4-10 0-0 11, Nembhard 4-9 2-2 11, Lewis 1-2 1-4 3, Payne 1-1 0-0 2, Bassett 0-0 0-2 0, Jitoboh 0-0 0-0 0, Glover 0-1 0-0 0, Mann 3-8 2-2 9. Totals 21-48 14-21 62.

BUTLER (9-0)

McDermott 4-9 5-5 16, Nze 2-3 2-2 6, Golden 4-6 0-0 8, Thompson 6-7 4-8 16, Baldwin 4-13 2-2 12, Tucker 3-8 4-5 13, David 1-1 0-0 3, Mulloy 0-0 0-0 0, Battle 0-0 0-0 0, Baddley 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-48 17-22 76.

Halftime_Butler 35-26. 3-Point Goals_Florida 6-26 (Locke 3-9, Nembhard 1-4, Mann 1-5, Blackshear 1-6, Johnson 0-2), Butler 9-20 (Tucker 3-6, McDermott 3-7, Baldwin 2-5, David 1-1, Thompson 0-1). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Florida 22 (Locke, Blackshear 5), Butler 26 (McDermott 7). Assists_Florida 12 (Nembhard 5), Butler 19 (Thompson 7). Total Fouls_Florida 18, Butler 18.




  1. ”Butler finished the first half with a 19-5 run to take a 35-26 lead at halftime.” And that 3 pointer at the 1st half buzzer gave Butler a 10 point lead going into the break. Florida never recovered. The offense is taking a long time to ”gel.” Offensive inconsistency for Florida appears to making the ”gel thing” a difficult task for this coaching staff. Go Gators!

  2. The way these guys play and shoot in a game is unacceptable with all that talent. 23% from 3 pt. land will NOT win anything. Yet they still keep shooting them. And I am now sick and tired of Nembs walking the ball upcourt while his team trails by 12. I am sick and tired of White’s offensive sets and rotation–and defense. Where is the pressure?
    I never thought I would say this about White but he is not coaching with the players he has. I do not know what he has against up-tempo, but he treats it like a communicable disease. He continues to run a half-court offense and scores 62 points.
    I have supported White for 4 years. Now he’s got the talent. Either turn this team into some sort of offensive machine or turn over the team to someone else. And I speak as an ex-college player and a guy who coached bball overseas for 20 years. White is NOt running a system that fits his players. In truth, I’m not sure what system he is using, but the only real offensive threats–Bleackshear and Johnson–are not enough shots. I am not in the locker room, but somebody needs to put some spark into these guys and develop a game plan that means scoring more than 62 points in a game. There. I’ve said it. If White can’t get to the sweet 16 with this talent, he needs to put his home up for sale. I will give him the rest of the season.

  3. In my opinion, we don’t have enough height on the court and it effects us on offense and defense. We don’t have any big wing players like in the past – Robinson, Leon, Barry, etc. so we need adjustments to get bigger I think. On offense, not enough rebounds and an inside/out game and also taller guys defending you outside so it’s harder to get off your shot. On defense, it hurts us too since a taller opposing wing player will have a smaller UF guy defending him and it’s easier to get off his shot – i.e. 3 pt. We are consistently being out shot on 3’s. It’s up to our coaches to figure this out and we have the talent and height now so …

    • Agree, Wadeless. I was excited in the preseason, because these guys were supposed to be very good 3-point shooters. Obviously, that hasn’t been the case. I hope Mann doesn’t end up like Francis.

      I understand the discontent with CMW. It seems like we’ve been three years without good 3-point shooting. While making the tournament and winning in the first round is nothing to sneeze at, there needs to be some improvement. On paper, this team looks like a special team, so if Coach can’t get them to the Sweet Sixteen, when will it happen?

      We need to be patient and see how the season plays out, but this is CMW’s fifth season, and there should be some improvement. If there isn’t… .