Road Report: Stitt's Back & So Is Butler

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If he looks like he's got more energy and a sharper focus than his peers, that's because he does. Anthony Stitt, Butler's talented sophomore guard is back playing after sitting out almost the entire season while his residency was investigated.

The mistake would be to judge Butler by its 15-12 record. On paper, Kurt Wessler's team is a mere three games above .500. On Monday night, West Meck found out that its opponent's record is very deceiving.

Four games ago, Butler gained the services of a potential season-changing guard. Sophomore Anthony Stitt, a 6-foot lead guard with speed and shot making ability, found his way back into the lineup. Stitt sat the better part of the season as his residency was investigated and eligibility at Butler came under scrutiny.

Now, Stitt's served his time and with three games under his belt, started a playoff game for the Bulldogs.

"I was so eager to get back the first game I couldn't even sleep the night before," Stitt said of his return. "Now I'm just trying to help my team in the playoffs.

"We're just trying to get to the next level. I've been around the team and we've been bonding. This year is different. We're together as a team, we believe in each other and we know we're going to step up. In school, we're always around each other."

Stitt's 10 points, three assists and two steals helped Butler stave off West Meck 64-60. His previous three games ended with 11, 21 and 28 points for the sophomore.

A peek into his game reveals good speed, a quick catch and shoot release behind the line and a feathery floater in the paint. An Allen Iverson fan, Stitt has a little Devan Downey mixed in with some Demontez Stitt in his bag of tricks. Stitt? That's right, he's a distant cousin with the Clemson point man. Previously thought to be unrelated to Demontez, Anthony found out this year that are indeed related.

Wessler, who also has the services of Jermaine White, a pogo stick junior power forward and Aerris Smith, a road grader inside, says Stitt is first rate off the court.

"If we weren't a public school, he's the kind of guy I'd leave the gym door open for at night."

Plenty of colleges are interested in possibly giving him a key to their gyms. Stitt's been to Virginia, Clemson, UNC-W (assistant Justin Furr attended Monday's game), Western Carolina and he'll trip to VCU this month. Wake Forest and Florida keep tabs on him.

So, Stitt's back and Butler's season continues. It's survive and advance time in the state playoffs and Butler's chances of staying alive improved with the addition of a little guy with a lot to prove and the energy and desire to keep playing.

"I've been ready to play since Day One and I've been ready to go. Now I just try to go out and give it to everybody."

Jermaine White goes 6-foot-5, which is undersized for a power forward. However, he chases rebounds above the rim like he's much taller and is an outstanding leaper/athlete. His boardwork was impressive. …

West Meck has a sophomore of its own that is a prospect. Terrence Williams, a 6-foot-4 wing, has a nice stroke, very good athleticism and a frame to carry more weight. …

The Class of 2011 in North Carolina is shaping up to be a banner group. Charlotte in particular is an area of strength in the state and there are plenty of rocks to look under for other players. …


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