Change of Face

Normally, Da'Sean Butler is a smiling and laughing presence on the basketball court. That wasn't the case, however, in the first half of West Virginia's 83-60 win over Loyola University of Maryland on Sunday.

Butler, along with his teammates, showed little energy and couldn't get shots to fall during the first half of the contest. Mired in a shooting slump and playing passive defense, the Mountaineers found themselves trailing by seven points following a Shane Walker dunk midway through the opening period. It was then that Butler's alter ego came out.

Following a blocked shot by Dan Jennings, Butler grabbed an offensive rebound, hit a stickback and was fouled, leading to a three-point play that changed the momentum of the game. As he scored and was fouled, Butler let out a roar and followed it up with some motivational words for his teammates, accompanied by a scowl that looked as out of place on his face as a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

Butler noted that his behavior was intentional, and that it came from the great disatisfaction he had with the way he and his teammates were playing. Terming it "disrespectful" to the fans and supporters of the team, Butler, was as intense in the post game as he was during that sequence.

"I just didn't like the way we were playing. We just gave a terrible showing in the beginning. Thank goodness we had Danny Jennings. He came in and made some plays, and I made some plays, and that got me going." he said of the outburst.

While Butler will likely have more smiles than scowls on the court this year, Mountaineer fans can expect to see a wider range of emotions from the senior, who takes his leadership job seriously.

"I just wanted to let my teammates know that we can't come out and play like this," he said.

Consider the tone set.

Listen as Butler discusses the team's first half performance, his motivation for more intense play, and his take on his role as a senior.

Da'Sean Butler - Windows Media

Da'Sean Butler - MP3

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