Butch visits Chapel Hill

Brian Butch departs Wisconsin this morning, along with his parents and sister, for one of the most important trips of his life.

The 7-foot, 220-pound Appleton (Wis.) West senior will board a private jet bound for Chapel Hill.

"I'm very excited," Butch said on Thursday night. "I just want to try and get the atmosphere of the school and see what the people are like."

"It'll be exciting just to experience something that I'll never get to experience again," Butch said of the chance to fly in a private jet. "I've never even flown first-class before."

Butch has already been to the campus, just after finishing up at the Tournament of Champions this past summer. But he still wants to see more of Chapel Hill before making a decision.

"I got a peek at it last time, but it wasn't really enough," Butch said.

Butch's AAU coach, Ritchie Davis, said, "It's fair to say he's really looking forward to this visit to Chapel Hil. He liked the time he spent there when he was down for the TOC and really enjoyed spending time with Coach Doherty. Obviously, he said it was a beautiful campus and it's going to be a big weekend for him."

For those hoping for a commitment this weekend, don't count on it. In fact, Butch guaranteed that it won't happen.

He took an official trip to Arizona back in the spring, went to Marquette last weekend and has one scheduled to Kansas for next weekend and Wisconsin for Oct. 4-6. He also hosted Arizona earlier this week, will likely speak to Matt Doherty on Sept. 18 (although that could be changed to early October) and tentatively has an in-home scheduled with Kansas for Sept. 26.

"There's no way I'm going to commit on any of my visits," he said. "That's not me. I want to take all my visits, then sit down and take in everything."

Butch, and fellow star center David Padgett (whose parents will be in Chapel Hill this weekend), share several of the same schools on their final list -- which one might think would create some pressure to speed up the decision process.

"I don't think he really cares or feels any pressure," Davis said. "They might both share Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, but most - if not all of them - told me they'd take both of them if they have the chance. I don't think Brian is concerned with what David's doing at all."

Butch said each program has its advantages. He mentioned Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson and the winning tradition at Arizona, the same traits applied at Kansas while the home-state factors were prevalent with both Wisconsin and Marquette.

"North Carolina has the tradition and a chance, not to say rebuilding, but to re-establish themselves among the elite," he added.

Butch beats to a different drum than most of his peers, who would rather check out the party scene while on campus for an official visit.

"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."

Davis said, "When Brian shows up for official visits, he doesn't expect to be wined and dined. None of that stuff is needed. I don't think Brian could care less. He doesn't need to be glorified."

As for a timetable for his decision?

"I'm not sure right now," Butch said. "I'm looking for somewhere that has the whole package. I'm going to try and take a month to sit down after all the visits are over and just think about these things."


Inside Carolina Top Stories