"Sometime Next Week"
Brian Butch didn't have any idea when this process started just how important he would be to four teams. The recruiting fate of four programs – Kansas, North Carolina, Marquette and Wisconsin – remains in the balance. Only recently could Butch comprehend his impact. "I don't think that's something that really hit me until now. Now, it's hit me big time."
His decision will be a big time event. The four teams that remain in the hunt each seem to have an axe to grind with their rival. Marquette and Wisconsin certainly don't want to lose recruits to the other. Over in Lawrence, Roy Williams used to be Matt Doherty's boss and the protégé doesn't want to lose a second recruit this year to the teacher.
Butch said that he won't eliminate any of the schools prior to his decision unless Kansas receives a commitment. Center Josh Boone is announcing on Wednesday and a positive in that area for Kansas would be a negative to Butch. KU would be out of scholarships and essentially out of room.
"They'll have the two big guys (Boone and David Padgett) in my class and that just won't work. I've told them my time frame. If [the Boone commitment] happens it wasn't meant to be. If that was another chance for that guy to take that, then it was meant to be for me."
Last week, Butch's grandmother had surgery and there's been talk that the situation might influence his decision and lean him towards staying close to home. "I'm not basing the decision on staying close. If that was the case I would have done it last week.
"That would not have been the right way to do it. The date is not by any means specific; I'm just thinking next week sometime and hopefully nothing comes up like last week.
As he said, there is no longer a date set in stone for his announcement but he would like to do it at some point next week.
Butch acknowledges that there is pressure to stay home. "There's definitely pressure. But that happens with every kid at the level of program he's dealing with. I kind of laugh about it, it's kind of funny. I have to do what's best for me.
"If I do stay home, I wouldn't come home every week. I'm ready to be a college player. I want to be around the people."
Usually, at this stage in the process kids tend to have a rank order of schools in their minds. Butch is no different. "I'd probably say it's two [schools] and then the other two. [School] No. 3 is kind of in the middle." We didn't ask Butch for the order of his schools and he didn't offer it up. He's come way too far in the process to tip his cap like that.
Also like a number of kids, he's gone ahead and broken out a checklist. However, he's not using the checks and balances system to make this decision. "I kind of have a chart set up but it's still kind of a gut feeling with each of them." So, what's most important? "It's really the players and the atmosphere while you're there."
Having said that, making the calls to the programs that won't get his signature isn't going to be easy. "You've made great relationships with those guys. It's going to be tough but it'll be one of those things that they realize and it's going to be part of a business."
With all that happened in the last week personally, Butch had what we would call a "normal" high school diversion: homecoming. "I just tried to forget about everything. Homecoming was a good way to escape. It's an important decision but still not as important as having my grandmother around."
Well said, Brian.