INDIANAPOLIS - It was like old times for about 30 seconds in the home tunnel of Hinkle Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon.
Walking underneath the stands side-by-side Brad Stevens and Todd Lickliter were engaged in conversation as they made their way onto the court.
It was a common scene from 2001 to 2007 at Butler basketball games, with head coach Lickliter and assistant Stevens plotting strategy for upcoming games. It worked often, as the pair together helped the Bulldogs reach two NCAA Sweet 16's.
Nearly five years later, the discussion between the coaches ended once they reached the scorers table. Lickliter going to his right to talk with his Marian players as Stevens heading towards the Bulldogs' bench.
Yet Butler went out of its way to make Lickliter-who is also an alumni of the school-to feel like he is still part of the family.
Before the Bulldogs' exhibition game with the Knights on Saturday, Lickliter was honored by Stevens and Athletic Director Barry Collier with a pregame ceremony. There Lickliter was presented with a basketball and a plaque in tribute to his time as a player and coach with the school.
A standing ovation from the 5,541 followed for the coach, who acknowledged the crowd before heading back to coach his Marian team.
The first-year Knights coach kept things interesting in the exhibition for a half but eventually it was the student who had the upper hand as Butler beat Marian 62-40.
Khyle Marshall and Kellen Dunham each scored 12 points for the Bulldogs, who outscored the Knights 37-20 in the second half.
Jason Riley had 16 points while Dwight Cliff chipped in 12 for Marian, who held the lead at times in the first half and trailed by just five at the break.
Butler will face Indianapolis in another exhibition game on November 3rd before opening the season on the 10th at home against Elon. Marian will open their season against Great Lakes Christian College at the Bethel College Classic on November 9th.
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