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Two teams searching for their newest go-to players will collide when Butler hosts Eastern Michigan on Monday night in Indianapolis in the season opener for both squads.

The Bulldogs welcomed six transfers throughout the offseason after the team lost over 90 percent of its scoring and minutes from last season, when they finished 14-18 overall and 6-14 in the Big East.

Newcomers DJ Davis and Posh Alexander headline a backcourt that will look to push the pace a season after the Bulldogs wound up last in the conference in average points per game (65.3).

"We're going to be a team that shoots a lot of 3-point shots," coach Thad Matta said during last week's Big East Media Day. "We want to play fast."

Davis' consistency and range should boost Butler's scoring -- the guard averaged 15 points per game and made 40.1 percent of his 3-pointers as a junior last season at UC Irvine. Meanwhile, Alexander has plenty of Big East experience. He averaged 11.7 points per game throughout three seasons at St. John's and led the conference in steals per game each year.

"It's an exciting time," Matta said. "We're ready to play somebody else just to see what we got."

Eastern Michigan guard Tyson Acuff is a strong candidate to carry the Eagles this season after former guard Emoni Bates, the team's top scorer and rebounder a year ago, was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in this year's NBA Draft.

Acuff, who was named to the second team in the Mid-American Conference preseason poll, led Eastern Michigan in assists per game (2.7), and his 14.3 points per game were second to Bates' 19.2 last season.

Regardless of who steps up for the Eagles following Bates' departure, coach Stan Heath expects his players to embrace a team-oriented approach, something last season's squad struggled to find in going 8-23 overall and 5-13 in the MAC.

"We all know in the sport of basketball, chemistry ... is the key ingredient," Heath said, per The Detroit News. "And we weren't always there. That's not on (Bates) or anybody; we were just young guys. ... Our team learned from that experience, and the new guys coming in have really kind of bought in and kind of galvanized themselves in the group, as well."

Monday's matchup will be the first all-time meeting between the schools.

--Field Level Media

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