Indianapolis (IN) - Butler and new head coach Brandon Miller hosted the annual Blue/White Scrimmage at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday. InsideTheDawgPound takes a look at a few things that stood out during the scrimmage.
Berry Shows His Range
When Nolan Berry committed to Butler University, the Bulldogs were a part of the Horizon League. Three seasons later Butler has found itself in the Big East and Nolan Berry finds himself on a bigger stage. He looks up to the challenge.
After a few seasons filled with unfortunate injuries as a junior and senior at St. Louis (MO) De Smet Jesuit, Berry finally looks healthy and ready to compete.
The 6-foot 10 center played well during the Blue/White Scrimmage and after a few three pointers has everyone chattering. Recruiting analysts knew about Berry's developing game around the basket and his ability to finish near the rim, but rarely mentioned his ability to stretch the floor.
Berry put that on full display during the scrimmage.
Berry dropped in 3-of-4 3-pointers en route to 15 points. He also grabbed 3 rebounds in an impressive opening performance for the Bulldogs.
If Berry can continue to develop and Brandon Miller can trust the true freshman on defense, Berry could find his way into big minutes for the Bulldogs. Berry is the biggest player on the Butler roster and his size and skills could be extremely important as the Bulldogs face bigger teams in Big East play, such as Georgetown or St. John's.
While size is important on the block, if Berry can stretch the defense, and pull the big men away from the basket, it opens up driving lanes for Kellen Dunham, Elijah Brown, and others to attack the basket.
Smeathers Out with Another Injury
After missing a lot of time during the past two season with various injuries and needing time to recover, junior forward Andrew Smeathers had another setback this week and was the only player on the roster to not record any minutes during the scrimmage.
The 6-foot 6 sharpshooter suffered a right quadricep injury during practice last week and is still recovering. He didn't see any minutes during the scrimmage, but head coach Brandon Miller expects Smeathers to return to practice soon, as early as this week.
Hopefully Smeathers is able to fully recover and doesn't rush back. With a young team, Smeathers could take advantage of playing time if he is able to stay healthy and prove he can play solid defense. No one will ever question his range and confidence on the offensive end.
Chrabascz Shows Promise
While fellow freshman Nolan Berry, Elijah Brown, and Rene Castro have gotten a lot of publicity during the summer with their play or speculation about playing time, Andrew Chrabascz has flown under the radar.
The 6-foot 7 freshman from Portsmouth (RI) and Cushing Academy (MA) didn't see a lot of minutes during the team trip to Australia earlier this summer. He played sparingly and his stat lines weren't impressive like Brown or Berry. However that all changed on Friday night during the Blue/White Scrimmage.
Chrabascz showed great footwork and a nose for the ball well beyond his years. He finished the scrimmage with 11 points and 4 rebounds, but also left everything out on the floor. His hustle and handwork down low will be needed during the regular season, especially if foul trouble plagues the other front court players such as Kameron Woods, Erik Fromm, and Khyle Marshall.