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Roosevelt Jones expected to play

PITTSBURGH -- Butler forward Roosevelt Jones will play Saturday in the Bulldogs' round-of-32 game against Notre Dame despite spraining his left knee Thursday.

Jones was injured during the second half of Butler's game against Texas. He said he felt the knee hyperextend when he went up for a layup and then give out entirely on the next possession. The junior left briefly to the locker room but did re-enter the game, scoring as the Bulldogs stretched their lead against the Longhorns.

Coach Chris Holtmann said Jones will start as usual, and how Jones feels will determine how long he plays.

"I don't like getting tackled by 235-pound guys, and I think I would have if I said, 'Hey, you're sitting this one out,'" Holtmann said. "If he was really struggling, that might limit how much we play him. But we anticipate that he will be close to full strength."

Jones, who admitted he had some stiffness, was wearing a knee brace Friday and plans to do the same against the Irish. He spent most of Butler's off day with the athletic training staff, icing the injury and receiving other treatments.

"They checked me out when I went out after the game, and the doctors said I'd be able to play," Jones said. "There was no doubt in my mind I was playing."

The second-leading scorer for Butler, Jones averages 12.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

The Bulldogs don't go terribly deep. Their five starters each average nearly 30 minutes per game, so losing Jones would be a disadvantage.

"He makes a big difference because, in a lot of ways, he's the spirit of our team," Holtmann said. "His game is similar to our game. Not always pretty but effective, people say, and that's who we are a lot of times."

Jones missed all of last season after suffering a wrist injury.