Butler has filled out their twelfth and thirteenth scholarship spots with two guards, so in what could potentially be the last Butler update of the offseason, let’s not waste any time.
Davis, the UC Irvine transfer, was the first of the two guards to commit and he’s someone I’m very excited to see in Hinkle next season. Butler hasn’t had a shooter of Davis’s caliber since I’ve been on campus.
UC Irvine has been a very good mid-major program, consistently finishing atop their league. Russ Turner has done an excellent job there, and this past season should have been a rebuilding year for the Anteaters as their leader Collin Welp graduated. Instead, PG DJ Davis took on a much bigger role in the team and was able to maintain his efficiency numbers.
Davis shot even better from both the field and three last season, despite more attempts. Davis went from 38.6% from the field on just under 7 attempts per game and 40% from three on 3.8 attempts per game, to 40.1% from the field on 11.7 attempts per game and 40.2% from three on 6.4 attempts per game. Davis is a very high-level three-point shooter, which will translate to the Big East. He’s gotten better every year he’s been in school, and I don’t think that changes this season.
Against elite competition last season, Davis excelled. Davis had 24 points (8/17 from the field, 6/14 from three) in Irvine’s dominant early-season win over Oregon. Then, in a game against the National Runner-Ups in San Diego State, Davis had his best game of the season. In a close loss, Davis had 28 points (9/17 from the field, 4/6 from three). Davis is not afraid of the step up in competition and will be able to effectively score at this level.
Here's Coach Dutcher talking about how tough it was for his guys to guard Davis
He’s someone I’m very excited to watch, and someone I think is flying way under the radar because of the next acquisition Butler made.
I think if you’ve followed the Big East over the last few seasons, you know exactly who Posh Alexander is. He’s an excellent defender for a PG and will pressure you for as long as the game goes. One of only three players in the conference's history to win Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, only next to Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson. Some pretty good company.
Posh was brought in for his elite defense. He’s a physical defender, who embodies exactly what that Big East toughness represents. Nothing comes easy against Posh Alexander. In each of the last three seasons, Alexander has led the Big East in steals per game. He was Top ten in the country in steals in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. The dude is a pest on the ball and makes opposing guards' lives hell.
Coach Matta mentioned in his introductory press that he wanted the team to play faster and that showed early this season, before it was abandoned. A lot of their moves this offseason, headlined by the acquisition of Posh, show that they are going to play faster this season. They will be playing with much more pressure and intensity on the defensive end and should be looking to get out and run in the full court.
So with the (potentially) full roster, has my outlook on this team changed?
No, not particularly. I think there’s some potential here, but also I’ve seen the take out there from some pretty sharp people that this roster was thrown together a little too quickly without fit in mind, and I tend to agree.
If you’ve followed me on the Twittersphere or listened to either of the Butler Twitter spaces (s/o to Guru for putting those together, I definitely need to be more active in the space world, need to get some of those going ASAP), you’d know I wasn’t particularly high on the addition of Posh Alexander to this Butler team, from a fit perspective.
LMAO What IDIOT would say something like this???? What a goof!!!
No dig at Posh at all he’s a very talented kid and getting him as far away from Mike Anderson as possible will help his career and show how good he actually is. But, I think this team needed an excellent shooter and had a hole at the four spot, and they brought in Posh.
I’m very worried about this team's half-court offense. Posh can definitely work in a more organized offense, as Butler will need him to, but offensively he regressed last season. Brooks has tons of potential, but what if he’s not the offensive leader Butler expects/needs him to be? Telfort was effective in the CAA, but how much of that will translate to being effective in the Big East? He’s likely the starting PF on a Big East team, how will he be in that role?
I think we’ll know fairly early in the season how good this team can/will be, and if all these guys work together well they can be very competitive in the Big East. If teams have to guard them on the perimeter, this team can cause problems. They could surprise some people, this roster has talent.
But if even one guy isn’t able to effectively play his role or isn’t able to take that step up, I think we could be in for another rough season. I would so much rather be wrong than right here, don’t get that twisted, I’m just skeptical I am. We’ll know more the closer we get to the season. Still six months away.
Oh, also there’s this. I have no idea why they reached out despite having a full roster, I guess we’ll just wait and see.