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Butler Lands Two Transfers: Jamie Kaiser and Patrick McCaffery

Since our last update, the Butler Bulldogs have gone out and landed two impact pieces for next year's team. If you missed the last update and some of my thoughts, here it is, and let’s talk about these two players.


Patrick McCaffery:


Patrick McCaffery was the first commit to Butler. McCaffery’s recruitment was really quiet, and he gets a chance to show his skills under a coach who isn’t his dad.


McCaffery is a slash first wing. He is always looking to get to the rim and make a play for himself or others. He finishes well inside, using either hand to do so. A Versatile offensive piece, really effective inside the arc, and someone who you have to respect putting the ball on the floor.


His jumper needs some work, he will need it to be a little more consistent. McCaffery is a career 32.3% shooter from three who shot a career-best 34.7% from three in 2022-23. His jumper looks a little in front of his face, but good elevation and repeatability. He’s been able to play more than 20MPG on effective Big Ten teams for the last three seasons, something Butler is clearly emphasizing. 

Defensively, Iowa has never… well, to put it bluntly, been good since I've closely followed this sport. From 2017-now, the best Iowa defense ranks 75 on KenPom, with 5/8 seasons falling below 110th-ranked. For context, since Brad Stevens was hired as Head Coach here, Butler has only had one season below 100th in defensive efficiency, the 2018-19 season. McCaffery is a great slasher, proven offensively at the Big Ten Level.


Jamie Kaiser:


Jamie Kaiser transfers in from Maryland, with three years of eligibility remaining. Kaiser was a former Top-75 recruit, with offers (out of HS) from Maryland, UCLA, Indiana, Oregon, Illinois, Virginia and many more. Kaiser is a physical 6’6” Forward from Burke, VA who is only getting better.

Kaiser only averaged 4.4PPG and 2.0RPG in 19.6 minutes per game at Maryland. Kaiser, like McCaffery, has high-level experience but is very proven defensively. 

Kaiser was touted as a physical 3nD recruit when he committed to Maryland, and I think his jump shot is much better than the 26.5% that he showed at Maryland. He has a really good-looking jump shot, just over his right shoulder, it’s quick and doesn’t take much time to get it off. He can finish around the rim with either hand and is willing to body someone inside. He can put the ball on the floor, usually looking for a dribble pull-up. They usually aren’t the best looks, but Kaiser can hit some really tough shots. High arc on his jumper.


Kaiser played football in HS, which explains his really physical frame. Physicality on the wings is something Butler really emphasized after Thad’s first season, and that’s exactly what Kaiser brings. He’s physical, a force defensively who can guard multiple positions and thrive at Butler. 


His offensive game has room to grow, but he’s someone with tons of potential, who will bring defensive energy from Day One.


Some Quick Thoughts:


I think these two would be excellent pieces off the bench. McCaffery and Kaiser can combined play the 2/3/4 if need be, or move Pierre Brooks to the two, and slot in at the three or four. It gives Butler some much-needed versatility/lineup flexibility at the forward spots, and can even allow Brooks to go up against smaller guys, guys he can bully and score over. McCaffery provides real offense and versatility, and Kaiser gives Butler a much-needed defensive stalwart at the 2/3 positions.


Personally, Kaiser was the guy I wanted most that Butler was in contact with. It was a winnable list, and someone who was a Top-75 recruit after a tough freshman season is the exact type of transfer Butler can really bank on. He’s only getting better and has legit skills. He was effective in 20MPG at Maryland. Butler will run better actions for him too, because if you watched any Maryland games and watched that offense, you wish you forgot everything you saw. I think Butler can use Kaiser really effectively, and make him a huge piece to their success next season.  


For McCaffery, I want to see him defensively. Iowa has been an awful defensive team for years and outside of Tony Perkins who is objectively good on that end, it’s hard to tell if someone is good/bad there. Still, McCaffery is clearly a very high-character guy, a veteran who has been on winning teams and has skills that will translate to the Big East. I would be a little worried about him starting if Telfort goes pro (I'm really high on what Telfort could provide to Butler next season, think he's an All-Big East caliber player), but I think he would be a solid Big East starter and an excellent bench player who can easily log 20MPG in this league. The coaching staff knows what role they want him to play, and I think McCaffery is fully bought into that.


 

Butler now has three scholarship spots left. There is a hole at the SG spot, so I would expect Butler to target an SG and a Center to round out this roster. As of now, here’s what the roster looks like (with much more flexibility, obviously):


PG: Posh Alexander, Landon Moore

SG: __________, Evan Haywood

SF: Pierre Brooks, Jamie Kaiser

PF: Jahmyl Telfort, Patrick McCaffery, Augusto Cassia

C: ____________, Andre Screen, Boden Kapke


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