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Friday’s slate and what to watch

Before Saturday’s hoops onslaught begins, kick back Friday night with a killer Horizon League showdown: Butler vs. Detroit.

The Bulldogs (12-5) and Titans (10-7) are tied with Valpo and Wright State atop the league (all four are 4-1), but this one’s intriguing for a few reasons. Beyond the good basketball, that is.

Butler’s one conference loss this season was on the road. Life on the road ain’t easy. Also, they’ll follow this game with Wright State on Sunday. That’s the Bulldogs’ toughest weekend of the year.

As for Detroit, they’re one of the good stories for 2010-11 thanks to Ray McCallum and his son, Ray McCallum Jr. Dad (the coach) has watched as son (the team’s point guard and most heralded recruit in years) carried the team in terms of minutes played, offensive efficiency, assists and steals – no small thing for a freshman.

Can’t wait to watch. (9 p.m., ESPNU)

(All times ET)

Fairfield at Loyola, Md., 7 p.m.
Iona at Rider, 7 p.m.
Siena at Marist, 7:30 p.m.

Mercer at Stetson, 7 p.m.
Kennesaw St. at Florida Gulf Coast, 7:05 p.m.

Butler at Detroit, 9 p.m.
Valparaiso at Wright St., 7 p.m.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.