The latest on Brian Butch

The date isn't quite a done deal just yet, but Brian Butch will definitely be taking an official visit to Chapel Hill in the fall.

The Appleton West High (Wis.) big man, who has quietly become one of the top players in the Class of 2003, will depart for the U.S. Olympic Festival on Wednesday in a somewhat light summer schedule.

"It's a tremendous honor to be picked to play in the Olympic festival," he said. "I'm very, very excited."

The 6-11, 215-pound Butch will then travel to Nebraska for the Mr. Basketball Invitational before going up against many of the nations best at the Adidas ABCD Camp in July and concluding his AAU season with the Big Time in Las Vegas.

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.

He's already taken an official visit to Tucson, Ariz., and admitted he'll likely visit Kansas and Wisconsin in addition to North Carolina. Then he'll likely pick one of the remaining four schools for his fifth and final visit.

The original date for Butch to visit Chapel Hill was the weekend of Sept. 13, but he said that could change.

"We're messing around with dates right now," he said of the UNC visit. "There's nothing set in stone quite yet."

Butch said he's looking forward to the rest of the summer, but he maintained that just because he's already been offered by all eight schools on his list, his mindset hasn't changed.

"To tell you the truth, from the beginning I didn't really think there was any pressure," said Butch, who has a 3.8 GPA and scored a 20 on his first crack at the ACT. "I just wanted to go out and play my best and the people can say whatever they want about me. I'm really not concerned about the rankings and the other stuff."

As for the rumors that have him staying close to home, Butch was adamant that he doesn't yet know where he'll end up.

"I'm going to pick a place where I'm happy and not because of the distance," Butch said. "I've heard a lot of people say that, but I haven't told anyone that I'm going to Wisconsin. That's the furthest thing from the truth right now. I still have a ways to go and I'm just looking at all my options.

"It's not about me staying close to my family or anything like that," he added. "It's only four years."

Butch, who plays for the Fox Valley Skillz, dominated at the Tournament of Champions and did it against some of the top big men in the country. Jackie Butler is talking about going straight to the NBA, Hassan Fofana has a scholarship offer on the table from NCAA champion Maryland and Darryl Watkins is being pursued by nearly every school in the Big East.

But Butch doesn't know – or care – about who he goes up against. He has somehow managed to keep a level head despite all of the recent attention surrounding him.

That's one of the reasons why immediate playing time isn't his focus in choosing a college.

"You play better if you're comfortable at a school," he said. "And when you're comfortable, you become a better person. Everything becomes better, so that's what I'm looking for in a college."


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