Great Read On The Athletic

Discussion in 'Butler Basketball' started by CarmelDawg23, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. CarmelDawg23

    CarmelDawg23 Well-Known Member

    indienapolis likes this.
  2. ChiDawg3

    ChiDawg3 Active Member

    There is a paywall, but it looks like a great start to the article. Thanks for posting.
  3. estar20dawg

    estar20dawg Well-Known Member

    Those damn paywalls, I like when they give you like 5 articles to read free first to check it out...
  4. CarmelDawg23

    CarmelDawg23 Well-Known Member

    Willing to post the entire article in this thread, but if anyone/Jared is against that in a sense that we are taking away from The Athletic, I don't want to upset or offend anyone.
    MadDawg2020 and ChiDawg3 like this.
  5. indienapolis

    indienapolis Active Member

    May not be worth subscribing for the Butler coverage alone, but Dustin does good work. Don’t take his lunch

    Sent from my iPhone using Butler Hoops mobile app
  6. Alcohol101

    Alcohol101 Active Member

    I love the Athletic. It is probably not worth it just for Butler coverage, but if you follow multiple teams and/or sports it is a great value imo.
    NCJon, Staxawax, Shimmy and 2 others like this.
  7. CarmelDawg23

    CarmelDawg23 Well-Known Member

    I mainly subscribed because a lot of my favorite baseball and pro basketball writers had moved to The Athletic, so the Butler content is just gravy for me.
    indienapolis likes this.
  8. Albick

    Albick Well-Known Member VIP Member

    Interesting breakdown on Tucker and a very succinct statement of why it makes sense for him to stay.

    For those who don't subscribe to The Athletic:

    ". . . NBA-like body with NBA shooting range. But what he most likely will find out from NBA talent evaluators is that his play still leaves a lot to be desired and he won't get a better opportunity to work on his flaws than what Butler will provide next season."

    Cites that Tucker "struggles to handle the ball in traffic and finish at the rim" and sets out three amazing career stats: just 35% on 2-point shots, 40 assists to 76 turnovers, and just 39% at the rim. (My observation: These are not surprising for anyone's who's watched Butler play much, but the % at the rim seems particularly troubling for a 6-7 player.)

    Would be the starting 3 but would play some 2, "which would give him more playmaking opportunities. He has a chance to be an All-Big East player if it all comes together, and that could at least get his name on the NBA's radar for the 2021 draft."
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
    #60, godogs91 and 2xDawg like this.
  9. CarmelDawg23

    CarmelDawg23 Well-Known Member

    Since a lot of sites do tend to give a few free articles to read as a "sample", I will share this read with everyone. I will say that I truly love The Athletic and all of their content, so even in these tough times, you definitely get your money's worth if you have some spare bread laying around. Also, they have poached the best writers from what are some otherwise pretty terrible competitive sports sites over the past couple of years, so there are a lot of great writers to support. Now that my podcast-like ad read is done (don't forget about Manscape, Harry's Razors, Sherri's Berries, and Omaha Steaks), here you go:

    "INDIANAPOLIS — Butler found its strength in 2019-20 through its experience. The Bulldogs were driven by seniors who had seen what winning looked like as freshmen and sophomores, then were angered by a frustrating junior season that ended in the first round of the NIT. They spent the offseason determined not to have that feeling again, and that paid off with a 22-win season that was special even though it ended before the Bulldogs could play a Big East tournament game.

    But now that senior class is gone. Without it, Butler will rebuild and move on as a much different basketball team.

    Thanks to the weekend addition of South Carolina graduate transfer Jair Bolden, the Bulldogs have their new roster close to set for 2020-21. The one outstanding question is whether wing Jordan Tucker will return after testing the NBA Draft waters, but he’s a long shot to be drafted. Butler is still recruiting transfers in case Tucker moves on, but if he stays, the Bulldogs are set with their 13 scholarship players.

    Butler returns three starters and can put together a starting lineup of upperclassmen. But at least six of the scholarship players will be in their first year with the program, including five true freshmen. Here’s a look at each of the 13 and how they might fit into the Bulldogs’ plans.

    Jair Bolden
    2019-20: Redshirt junior at South Carolina — 8.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg

    Bolden has proven he can shoot from deep and he wants to prove he can be a better creator off the dribble. One of the big reasons he left South Carolina is he wanted more opportunities to handle the ball and be used in the pick-and-roll, much the same way Kamar Baldwin was.

    Bolden won’t be able to do everything Baldwin could do. He doesn’t have nearly the track record as a finisher at the rim, hitting just 4 of 12 shots there this season according to He’s not on Baldwin’s level as a rebounder or a defender either. His mid-range jumper is good, but Baldwin’s was excellent. However, he is a skilled passer, and he will probably be more reliable from long range. He probably won’t create the same magic Baldwin did, but with him gone and Khalif Battle transferring to Temple, Bolden will at least assure that the Bulldogs have some scoring punch at shooting guard.

    Bryce Nze
    2019-20: Redshirt junior — 9.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg

    Nze became eligible in 2019-20 after transferring from Milwaukee and immediately transformed the defense. The 6-7, 235-pounder gave the Bulldogs exactly what they’d been missing — an athlete with enough muscle to defend on the perimeter and the post who could handle the versatile forwards who gave them so much trouble in 2018-19. Handling duty at both the 4 and the 5, he led the Bulldogs in rebounding (6.6 per game) and blocks (20) and also showed excellent touch around the rim, making 62.9 percent of his field-goal attempts.

    In his senior year, Butler will expect more of the same. He’ll continue to be an anchor on defense, and the Bulldogs might expect more from him on the offensive end with Baldwin and wing Sean McDermott gone. Nze and center Bryce Golden appeared to make a connection, and he has always been an excellent passer for his size. He averaged 1.4 assists per game this season, and he might get more opportunities to make decisions with the ball in his hand.

    Christian David
    2019-20: Junior — 2.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg

    Before tearing his ACL in January, David was one of the most critical components to the defense, and it clearly suffered when he went down. The Bulldogs ranked in the top 20 nationally in defensive efficiency but faded to 42nd by the end of the season. Solidly built at 6-6, 210 pounds, he could handle athletic power forwards on the perimeter and in the post when Nze was off the floor or playing center, and that gave the Bulldogs versatility in their ability to match up and switch.

    David seemed to be making good progress with his rehab and said it wasn’t nearly as serious as the knee injury he suffered in high school, but all the same, an ACL tear is an ACL tear and he might not be ready by November. However, anything the Bulldogs can get from David would help on a roster so young.

    Aaron Thompson
    2019-20: Junior — 7.2 ppg, 4.7 apg

    Thompson has operated like a leader since he arrived as a freshman, and coach LaVall Jordan most likely will lean on him even more with Baldwin and McDermott gone. He already has the freedom to call plays and upbraid teammates when necessary, and he’ll probably be asked to be more forceful as other upperclassmen work on becoming more vocal.

    He has his limits. He’s 13-of-58 from beyond the 3-point arc in his career and he was 1-of-13 in 2019-20. However, 64.5 percent of his 155 field goal attempts this season came at the rim, the highest figure of any of Butler’s perimeter players. He made 56 percent of those shots, he has a dangerous midrange floater and he’s as good a facilitator as there is in the Big East. He’s also as good of an on-ball defender as there is in the conference.

    Jordan Tucker
    2019-20: Junior — 8.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg

    The 6-7, 220-pound Tucker has an NBA-like body with NBA shooting range. But what he most likely will find out from NBA talent evaluators is that his play still leaves a lot to be desired and he won’t get a better opportunity to work on his flaws than what Butler will provide next season.

    Tucker hit 55 3-pointers in 2019-20, and his range is legit. But he struggles to handle the ball in traffic and finish at the rim, which is why he has shot just 34.8 percent (47-of-135) from 2-point range in his career and has just 40 career assists to 76 turnovers. In two seasons, he has made just 26 of 66 shots at the rim (39.3 percent).

    Returning to Butler would mean he wouldn’t have to share minutes and the ball with Baldwin and McDermott. He would start at the three but also would get time at the two, which would give him more playmaking opportunities. He has a chance to be an All-Big East player if it all comes together, and that could at least get his name on the NBA’s radar for the 2021 draft.

    Bryce Golden
    2019-20: Sophomore — 7.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg

    Golden gave the Bulldogs a sturdy five man on both ends in 2019-20. He showed touch around the rim, making 67.6 percent of his shots there, and averaged 1.4 assists per game His confidence grew as the season progressed, and his best performances in conference play were against Villanova (18 points) and Seton Hall (17).

    Golden won’t face a real challenge for the starting job, so the Bulldogs could use a leap from him. Getting him the ball could become more central to the offense, so any improvement in his offensive efficiency would help. He showed range as a pick-and-pop option with 11 3-pointers in 2019-20, but he made just 24.4 percent of his attempts. Knock down a few more of those, and he could make himself an extremely tough matchup for Big East centers.

    Markeese Hastings
    2019-20: Redshirt freshman — 1.0 ppg, 1.1 rpg

    Injuries have sidelined Hastings for almost all of his first two seasons, and he played 19 minutes in seven appearances as a redshirt freshman. The 6-7, 200-pounder has some athleticism and scoring potential, though, averaging double-doubles in both his junior and senior year of high school in Michigan. If he gets his feet under him, he has an opportunity to get minutes at the three and four behind Tucker and Nze and would have a chance to play himself into a starting job in 2021-22.

    John-Michael Mulloy
    2019-20: Freshman — 0.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg

    Butler was planning to redshirt Mulloy, but a rash of injuries and illness forced the Bulldogs to play him 30 minutes in the season’s first two games. After that, he played 46 minutes the rest of the season.

    But Mulloy made gains in the weight room and he saw just enough of Big East play to know how important that will be in his development. With Derrik Smits gone, minutes are available behind Golden and Nze at the four and the five, and the 6-10, 225-pounder could use a little more muscle to handle it. Mulloy proved a tough and versatile big man at Carmel (Ind.) High School. If that translates in his sophomore year, he could be the Bulldogs’ first frontcourt option off the bench.

    Jakobe Coles
    2019-20: Senior at Guyer High School, Denton, Texas

    Coles, a Class 6A all-state pick, comes to Butler as the heir apparent to Nze at the four. He’s 6-7, 230 pounds with a wide frame built to battle in the paint, but he can also handle the ball on the perimeter. He’s an outstanding passer in both the halfcourt and in the open floor, averaging 3.5 assists along with 17.5 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior. He’ll have to prove he can also defend on the perimeter to get extensive minutes because the Bulldogs have Nze and David as options there, but he can still get minutes off the bench when the Bulldogs need offense.

    Chuck Harris
    2019-20: Senior at Gonzaga High School, Washington, D.C.

    Harris can handle point guard or shooting guard duties, and he’s a proven winner, having led Gonzaga to two Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles. That could make him the heir apparent to Thompson at the point. Thompson and Bolden might get most of the guard minutes in 2020-21, but Harris and fellow freshman Myles Tate will both have a chance to make a case for minutes and to form Butler’s backcourt of the future.

    Carlos “Scooby” Johnson
    2019-20: Senior at Benton Harbor (Mich.) High School

    Michigan’s Mr. Basketball has proven he can shoot from outside, post up, score off the bounce, pass and defend multiple positions, so the 6-6, 210-pounder should have a good chance of cracking the wing rotation. He has the frame to play any position from two to four, but the three would be his most natural spot. There are minutes available behind Tucker, and if he takes to the college game quickly and beats out Hastings, he could be the first wing off the bench.

    Myles Tate
    2019-20: Senior at Dorman (S.C.) High School

    Like Harris, Tate starred at a high school powerhouse and proved he could do just about everything a coach could ask a guard to do. Dorman won four Class 5A state titles in Tate’s four years, and he set a school record with 1,874 career points. He has more experience on the ball than off it, and he averaged 5.5 assists along with his 14.9 points per game as a senior, but he can also play off the ball and can score from 3, in the midrange and at the rim. Tate and Harris could handle the backcourt in a similar way to what Thompson and Baldwin have, and both have a chance to earn minutes behind Thompson and Bolden.

    Myles Wimoth
    2019-20: Senior at St. Andrew’s School, Barrington, R.I.

    Wilmoth is the freshman most in need of development, physical and otherwise. He’s skinny at 6-9, 205 pounds and a look at his 2019 EYBL stats with the New York outfit City Rocks shows a lot of inconsistency. He averaged a modest 8.8 points per game last summer, scoring in double figures in just six of 18 games. He has range out to the 3-point line but made just 7 of 36 attempts from deep. His raw athleticism could play well enough for him to get immediate minutes at the four and five, but if Mulloy can handle the reserve minutes at the latter, it might be in Wimoth’s best interest to redshirt and pack on pounds before getting in the mix in the Big East."
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