2003 Spotlight: Brian Butch

One of the underrated elements in recruiting is improvement. Plenty of kids have big reputations early in their high school careers but fail to improve. That's not the case with Appleton (WI) West center Brian Butch, a high-major priority in the Class of 2003.

Majors Coming Hard At Butch

Brian Butch doesn't have the reputation many of his classmates have. He hasn't played at a major camp or done extensive summer traveling. He's been to Nike's underclassmen camp and played at the Spiece Run ‘n Slam, but aside from those events, he's just a little-known kid from Wisconsin.

"It's a little awkward story," Butch said. "I'm not from one of those schools that produces state champions." Maybe not, but his team is doing better than it has in over a decade. "We haven't been on top of our conference now for about 11 or 12 years. We want to take care of business."

Taking care of business means he hasn't had much time to think about the colleges that are recruiting him. But, the big-timers are stopping by regularly.

So far this year, Arizona, Marquette, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kentucky, Stanford, Tennessee and Purdue have made trips to see him. "I might have missed a couple," Butch said.

Last year as a sophomore, Butch averaged a less-than-stellar 12 points and 6 rebounds. Fast forward to 2002 and he's averaging 23 points and 12 rebounds, a big-time improvement from last season.

"I'd have to say my weight and size and also my knowledge have improved," Butch said. "How to handle double-teams and the pressure of being at the varsity level are different. In my sophomore year, I didn't know how to handle it."

Well, that was then and this is now. His maturation both physically and mentally has led to his transformation as a skilled big man with plenty of upside. It should be an interesting summer for Butch. He hasn't decided on which camp he'll attend and that decision will be determined by which camp best suits the schedule of the Fox Valley Skillz, his AAU team.

Other kids might have bigger reps, but watch out for Butch. He's a prospect on the rise and could be one of the more intriguing big men in his class. In the meantime, West is 9-1 with its only loss coming to Kimberly.

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