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5 Things to Know Before Penn State-Butler

Bryce Jordan Center | Photo by Penn State

Coach Micah Shrewsberry and Penn State men’s basketball will look to start 3-0 Monday night against Butler (1-0). Here are five things to know before the game.


Shrewsberry was on Butler’s coaching staff once upon a time. He assisted Brad Stevens from 2017-11 and helped the Bulldogs to two national championship game appearances. Since leaving Butler after the 2010-11 season, Shrewsberry has coached at another Indiana school, Purdue (2011-13, 2019-21) and the Boston Celtics (2013-19) before getting the Penn State job after the 2020-21 season. Shrewsberry is still in the process of making Penn State a winning program, and beating his old team would help his new team toward that goal.


This will be Thad Matta’s first time coaching at Penn State as Butler’s coach, but Matta has spent plenty of time in the Bryce Jordan Center. Matta, now in his second-stint as Butler’s boss, was Ohio State’s head coach from 2004-2017. His teams played Penn State 24 times in that span and won 22 of those games.

The only times Penn State beat Ohio State in the Matta era were in 2014, when Penn State swept the season series.

Matta never coached against Penn State in his first stint at Butler, which lasted just one season (2000-01) before Matta moved on to Xavier.


Penn State broke the program record for made 3-pointers in its season-opening win over Winthrop last Monday. It made 16 3s in Game 2 against Loyola (MD), which would have been the most in school history before the season started. Although Butler cruised to an 89-53 win over New Orleans in its season opener last Monday, New Orleans shot 6-16 from 3-point land. If Butler’s 3-point defense isn’t improved, Penn State could be in for another big night from downtown.


Penn State-Butler is part of the annual Gavitt Tipoff games, an early-season set of Big Ten-BIG EAST matchups. The series honors BIG EAST founder and Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt.

This is the seventh season of the Gavitt games.

The Big Ten has won the series twice, the Big East once and the conferences have tied 4-4 three times.

Penn State is 2-1 all-time with a win and loss to DePaul and, most recently, a win at Georgetown in 2019.

This will be the first year of the Gavitt Games since 2019.


Penn State and Butler are scheduled to tip-off at 8:30 on FS1. For those who won’t be at the Bryce Jordan Center, here’s more information.

TV Announcers: Aaron Goldsmith (PXP), Casey Jacobson (color)

Radio: Penn State basketball radio affiliates 

Radio Announcers: Steve Jones (PXP), Dick Jerardi (color) 

SiriusXM: Channel 385 (radio), 975 (app)


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