Brian Butch profile - update
10/28: Butch is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Stay tuned to IC for the latest.
10/28: "He's got safe choices in Wisconsin and Marquette," Hartjes said. "And a little more of a wild-card in going to Carolina. He's got to decide if he's willing to take a risk and go to Carolina. He knows the kids at both Marquette and Wisconsin real well." ... (Decision time for Butch)
10/26: Butch is down to three schools, according to a source close to the situation. "There's no way he's going to Kansas," the source said. "I'm 100% sure of that." With the Jayhawks out of the running, that leaves North Carolina, Wisconsin and Marquette.
10/24: "I wouldn't say it's down to two schools, but two schools lead at the moment," AAU coach Ritche Davis told the Capital Times, most likely referring to Wisconsin and North Carolina. "He's going to decide when he's ready. It could be next Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. He might not even decide by Friday. His words to me were, 'Coach, when I'm ready to decide, I will let it out. When I make a decision, I'll let people know.'" (link)
10/22: Analyst Dave Telep spoke to Butch and compiled an interesting article. "I'd probably say it's two [schools] and then the other two," Butch told Telep of his final four schools. "[School] No. 3 is kind of in the middle. ... I'm not basing the decision on staying close. If that was the case I would have done it last week." A decision will likely come next week. (Telep: Butch Speaks On His Recruitment)
10/21: Inside Carolina presents an inside look at the recruitment of Brian Butch, with exclusive quotes from experts and insiders ... Brian Butch: An Inside Look
10/17: According to Butch's AAU coach, Ritchie Davis, Butch has moved his decision date back a week to Oct. 30 because a family member has fallen ill.
10/15: According to IC's Jeff Goodman, Arizona is out of the Butch sweepstakes, having chosen to take a commitment from forward Kirk Walters today.
10/14: CatTracks, an Arizona site on our network, spoke with Butch for an update. "When I'm ready I'll choose a school and it might be on the 23rd, who knows? It's just not set in stone," he told the site. "I'm ready for this to end." (CatTracks story on Butch)
10/9: "He wants to do it on the 23rd, but he also wants to sit down with his parents in the next few days to make sure he is ready to make a decision by then," said West coach Greg Hartjes. ... (Butch sets tentative announcement date)
10/7: "When he first walked in and came by the student section, they had a `We Want Brian` chant going," Ritchie Davis, Butch's AAU coach, said. "But the Wisconsin people were pretty good during the game and he didn't have people all over him." ... (Butch returns from UW, nears decision )
10/4: Butch departs for his final official visit this weekend -- to Wisconsin.
9/22: Butch returned from his official visit to Kansas tonight. "Every school has something that sticks out in my mind that I enjoyed," Butch told Jawyhawk Slant . "Like during my visit this weekend I enjoyed the football game and hanging with the players. It was good sitting down with Coach Williams and talking with him." (link)
9/17: Butch will get his in-home visit with Matt Doherty tomorrow. He'll then officially visit Kansas this weekend and will conclude his visits with an official trip to Wisconsin on Oct. 4-6.
9/16: "It was definitely a great visit," Butch said. "It was great to be able to hang out with the guys. That was the biggest thing for me." ... (Butch returns from Chapel Hill)
9/15: Butch wraps up his official visit to Chapel Hill today. After arriving on Friday with his family, and touring the campus on that day, the coveted post player from Wisconsin was at Kenan Stadium on Saturday night for the UNC-Texas game. As he walked to his seats, sporting a UNC hooded sweatshirt, he was greeted with chants of "We Want Butch" and a large sign that read "We want you!" and included a blue Carolina jersey with his name on it. Joining Butch this weekend were future Tar Heels Reyshawn Terry and JamesOn Curry, as well as UNC grads (and current NBA'ers) Brendan Haywood, Shammond Williams and Joseph Forte.
9/13: "At each school, I have been to classes - and I intend to do the same thing at Carolina," he said. "I think it allows me to get inside of the students." (Butch visits Chapel Hill)
9/10: Matt Doherty and assistant Doug Wojcik spent all of yesterday at Appleton West High School, Butch's coach Ritchie Davis told IC. "UNC will do the official [in-]home visit in very late September or early October," Davis said. "They will finalize that this weekend when Brian is in Chapel Hill [for his official visit]."
9/4: Davis provided IC with an update on Butch's visit schedule. Butch is taking his official visit to Marquette today, and will return on Friday. "Arizona will also be in next week for an extensive home visit on Tuesday, Sept. 10," Davis said. "Wisconsin and Marquette have not scheduled in-home visits just yet ... Brian has known and seen them forever so they are leaving that up to him ... if he wants one, they will both certainly do it."
"UNC is finalizing their in-home when Brian is in Chapel Hill (The Kansas in-home) is moving to later in the process, early October I believe, but that is being worked out upon Brian's return from Marquette," Davis added.
Butch has three official visits left ...
North Carolina -- September 13-15
Kansas -- September 20-22
Wisconsin -- October 4-6
8/23: Davis told IC that Butch has finalized the dates for two more of his visits. With the UNC visit scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 14, he'll travel the following weekend (Sept. 21) to Kansas and his final official visit appears to be Wisconsin on the weekend of Oct. 5. He took an official to Arizona before the summer and is still working out the details of a trip to Marquette.
8/6: Butch's AAU coach, Ritchie Davis, told Michael Kruse ... "[Chapel Hill] will be a pretty big visit for him. If he gets down there to North Carolina and everything goes perfect, well, you never know – but, from what I understand, I think he'll be making his decision in late October or early November.
8/5: The 7-foot, 220-pound Butch cut Iowa, Stanford and Tennessee from the elite group - and kept Wisconsin, Arizona, North Carolina, Kansas and Marquette. ... (Butch trims list to five)
8/1: Butch held a workout on the final day of the evaluation period yesterday, according to his AAU coach. All schools sent a representative -- including UNC, as Matt Doherty was present in Appleton.
7/24: From Frank Burlison of FOXSports -- "Butch is very thin. If you're in a generous mood, call him 220 pounds. But he is a marvelously quick and fluid athlete and has an abundance of offensive skills. One recruiter involved with Butch said Monday that he thinks he could end up signing with Arizona or North Carolina in November." link
7/11: A back injury kept Butch out of the ABCD Camp.
7/7: Butch traveled with his AAU squad to the Mister Basketball Invitational in Nebraska. Butch averaged 17.0 points, earned all-tournament honors and led his Fox Valley Skillz to the tournament title.
6/30: Butch struggled with the altitude in Colorado Springs, but still managed to average 10.8 pts (42% FG) and 7.6 reb at the USA Youth Development Festival. Read daily reports on his performances - USA Festival Coverage
6/29: "I just love to play basketball," he said with a wide grin, "so I try to make the best of the opportunity that I have. The [altitude] is tough, but you get used to it and you've got to play through it. It's hard when the game is run-run-run, but you've got to roll with it. When it slows down, I try to get my positioning and get some shots." (USA: Brian Butch Spotlight)
6/21: Butch said he's in the process of narrowing his list down to five. Currently, it's comprised of Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas, UNC, Iowa, Tennessee, Stanford and Marquette. ... The original date for Butch to visit Chapel Hill was the weekend of Sept. 13, but he said that could change. ... (The latest on Brian Butch)
6/16: From the Post-Crescent --
Despite the amplified interest, Butch said he's not going to expand his list of schools — Arizona, Kansas, Iowa, Marquette, North Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee and the University of Wisconsin — all of which have officially tendered scholarship offers.
His play has also led to schools he previously said no to — such as Utah, Georgia Tech, Texas and Virginia — to take another run at him in the hope he changes his mind.
But no such luck, even for the persistent, such as Florida, which was told no by West coach Greg Hartjes, but eventually required two calls from Butch to Gators coach Billy Donovan before finally getting the message. (link)
5/30: "I spent a couple of hours there and they showed us around," Butch said of his unofficial visit to UNC this past weekend. "It was mostly a tour. We talked for about 20 minutes ... I'm really looking forward to going back in September and meeting with the players." ... (Butch reflects on visit, offer)
5/30: Butch will take his official visit to Chapel Hill on the weekend of Sept. 13, according to Dave Telep, of TheInsidersHoops.com.
5/28: After his Fox Valley Skillz squad was eliminated on Saturday, Butch took his unofficial visit to UNC on Sunday. Following a tour of the campus and meeting with campus officials and the Carolina coaches at the basketball office, Butch was offered a scholarship to the University of North Carolina at about 1:30 p.m., according to Skillz head coach Ritchie Davis.
5/27: Two TOC reviews of Butch ...
"We didn't get to see the entire game but from what we caught, Butch was terrific. He probably had 30 points - give or take - and his effort, determination and skills were the reason why Fox Valley took down Southeast Pump and Run with Jackie Butler in an overtime tilt. Count this observer among Butch's growing fan club. This is a budding Top-10 player." -- Dave Telep, TheInsidersHoops.com
"Here's a big guy who didn't damage his national stock. Despite lacking big-time athleticism and sporting a thin frame, Butch is a premier scorer from the Class of 2003. He shoots with a high release and makes a high percentage of his face-up shots. He has range to 18 feet and knows how to "feel" his defender. Brian doesn't rebound as well as some or block a ton of shots, but he moves well without the ball and is very fundamentally sound, qualities that help him deal with more athletic competition. He runs the floor OK at all times and has another, faster gear he uses when running on the break." -- Rob Harrington, PrepStars.com
5/26: Butch had a big weekend at the Tournament of Champions. Here's IC's coverage of his performances ...
Facing a talented and physical opponent, Brian Butch battled under the boards and scored almost at will on Friday night at the Smith Center. ... TOC: Butch shines on Friday night
Brian Butch impressed with a big showing against elite opposition on Saturday morning and then battled through an injury for a solid afternoon performance. ... TOC: Saturday Butch Report
Butch had a great weekend overall. The smart and skilled big man put up huge point totals and he didn't do it against the Sisters of the Poor either -- he did it against some elite players at his position. ... TOC: Clint's Props and Knocks, Part I
5/19: Butch will be in the NC Triangle this coming weekend for the Tournament of Champions. He plays for the Fox Valley Skillz. While in town, and time permitting, Butch is expected to check out the Carolina campus on an unofficial visit.
5/9: "UNC had Butch on their radar but he was not one of their primary targets. We'll see if his performance last weekend changes that," writes TheInsidersHoops.com's Dave Telep, who thinks UNC would join Arizona and Kansas as the team's to beat should the Heels and the Jayhawks step up their recruitment." ... (Butch emerging as elite prospect)
5/4: Butch shined at the Spiece Run 'n Slam tournament this weekend, earning all-tournament honors and rave reviews. Dave Telep, of TheInsidersHoops.com, noted one performance in particular -
"It was one of the best performances of the spring and definitely the best 8 a.m. performance I've seen in a long time. Butch hit up the L.A. Rockfish for 38 points on 14-for-15 from the field and 8-9 from the line. He was a perfect 2-2 from 3-point range. Butch did all of this while being matched up against 7-0 Robert Swift. He was, in a word, awesome. Did we mention he had 10 rebounds and 5 blocks? Did we also mention that he scored 38, 32 and 28 points in his first three games?" (link)
4/16: "I am planning to visit the campus of UNC on an unofficial visit in the spring," he said, referring to when he'll be in town for the Memorial Day Weekend Tournament of Champions on the Chapel Hill campus. The Tar Heels have expressed some interest in the sweet shooting center, as Doug Wojcik has already made at least one journey to Appleton to see Butch in action. ... (Brian Butch: gaining weight and big-time offers)
4/9: For an in-state look at Brian Butch, we asked Wisconsin-based analyst Jacey Zembal for his take --
"Brian Butch is an intriguing prospect because he is one of the few big men who knows how to score and can do it out to about 15-18 feet. Most big kids have defense ahead of their offense. Butch is the opposite. He's got a soft touch and his long arms and legit 6-foot-11 frame allow him to shoot over defenders.
"Yes, he is still skinny and will get out-muscled in the post and maybe the boards. He'll need to be paired with a bruising type inside. But in a way that's a plus, as for whatever college lands him, it means he won't be an early entry candidate to the NBA draft. But body-wise, he'll probably remind some UNC fans of Brian Bersticker, who never really developed, or Minnesota's Rick Rickert. I think Butch could be what UNC coaches hoped Bersticker could have been."
The other nice thing is that he has put on about 40 pounds in the last two years and keeps improving as a player. When I saw him in Sept. '00 for the first time, he was woefully thin. And he hasn't been coddled in the AAU system so he doesn't have a big ego. Nice kid, great student and might be one of those kids who in six years, you wonder why everyone didn't have him ranked much higher."
4/7: According to the Journal Sentinel, Butch has a list of nine schools right now: Arizona, North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Stanford, Marquette and Wisconsin. He has received offers from Arizona, Tennessee, Marquette and Wisconsin -- and his coach thinks he's got a 50/50 shot of staying in-state.
Butch began his in-homes last week, with Tennessee and Arizona, and will meet with Iowa and Stanford in the next week. Official visits will start in April: Arizona in April and Tennessee in the Fall -- and said he will unofficially check out Chapel Hill and meet the Carolina staff while in town for the Tournament of Champions during Memorial Day Weekend.
The Post-Crescent notes today that North Carolina will make Butch's cut when he reduces his list to seven at the end of the month -- a number that will allow the permitted five official visits, since Marquette and Wisconsin are so well known they don't require such a trip.
4/5: The Associated Press tabbed Butch Wisconsin's Player of the Year.
3/20: Butch finished his junior season averaging 21.7 points and 11.8 rebounds.
3/15: Butch's 29 points and 15 boards were not enough as Appleton (21-3) West's season came to an end in the state quarterfinals yesterday.
2/22: "Standing 7 feet tall, Butch alters a lot of shots," IC's Clint Jackson said. "He also sports a nice touch on his shot, and has range out to about 15-16 feet. He battles for rebounds and runs the floor very well and has solid hands. He'll need to continue to get stronger and learn to move a bit better without the ball. He challenges shots in the lane and can see the floor pretty well when the double team comes -- which will make for a lot of assists. Definitely a kid who could develop into a nice collegiate center with additional strength and maturation."
1/30: From the Post-Crescent --
Butch had 27 points, and of his 13 field goals he had three wide-open dunks and a number of easy layups off fantastic assists. Butch did his share of distributing, too, and his teammates typically finished with baskets when he passed out of double and triple teams.
In one sequence in the first quarter, Butch threw down a two-handed dunk on an assist from Dan Raddatz, then in transition following a steal, Butch threw an outlet pass and got the ball back from David Buchanan for another two-handed slam. (link)
11/18: From the Post-Crescent --
When you're 6-11, someone will always take a gander. But he didn't carry a lot of weight with a lot of schools because, well, he didn't carry a lot of weight. He had the Manute Bol look, weighing just 185 pounds. So, the first thing his high school coach, Greg Hartjes, did was chat up some dieticians and locate a program that would add pounds to complement his player's potential.
Brian's dad, Peter, cooked. Brian ate. Five squares a day. "It was just healthy foods," said Brian, acknow-ledging that's why his dad did the cooking. "No powder shakes. None of that stuff." Exercising his jaw and exercising in the weight room resulted in a net gain of 30 pounds. That helped him become more of a force on the summer circuit and, as a result, he quickly became a hot commodity.
11/1: From PrepSpotlight -- "I had a chance to watch Butch up close this spring at the Nike Hoop Jamboree, which is an event for the Nations top underclassmen. Butch showed great potential then, and I knew it would only be a matter of time before he became a dominant high school player. It appears as if the time has come already." (link)
11/1: From TheInsidersHoops -- "While playing with the Fox Valley Skillz, Butch made an impression. He challenged shots, displayed a nice touch with range and was really good around the basket. Toss in a big-time GPA and you have a cinch high-major kid." (link)