In a year with a new head coach, a six player freshmen class, and a loss of two key starters, a summer trip to acquire game experience can do wonders for this season’s Butler team. On Saturday, that trip began.
NCAA rules occasionally allow teams to take international trips in the off-season and Butler has taken advantage of that. The last time the program elected to tour Italy and came back to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history.
This time, the team will get its first chance to become acquainted to a new coach and a new coaching style, though Brandon Miller is on record in saying that he does not feel his style will be too different from that of Brad Stevens.
“The fundamental aspect of how we do things will stay the same,” said Miller in an interview on Thursday. “Each coach has put their own personality into the team and I think I’ll do the exact same thing.”
Even still, each of these players on the roster this season committed to play basketball for not only Butler, but for Brad Stevens. Seeing someone else on the sidelines is an adjustment that will take some getting used to.
Another storyline to watch, however, is how the freshmen will mesh into what will be a pretty young team. With the losses of Andrew Smith and Rotnei Clarke in the starting line-up, there is a lack of depth both at the guard position and on the inside this season. That, if they continue to grow and learn how to put themselves into the system, will give a lot of these freshmen a chance at playing time.
“[The freshmen] have been very good in terms of the transition from high school to college,” said Miller while also calling them a very mature group both on and off of the court.
Overall, as Brandon Miler and the new freshmen integrate themselves into the Butler program during this trip, the main goal and purpose of the trip is to be a better team when they return to Hinkle Fieldhouse.
This is going to be a very important season for Butler basketball as the program moves into a spot in the Big East, playing against some of the best competition in the country. So, moving forward, every day, every practice, and every drill will go a long way in making this team better and improving the prospects for success in the program moving forward.