On Friday night, the Butler Bulldogs made their long awaited return to the court. Although not an official game, it was a good opportunity to get a look at the 2013-2014 Bulldogs. Here is my player-by-player reaction:
The guard is entering his junior year with a much improved jumpshot. Barlow is expected to be the starting point guard on day one, and he will need to provide some sort of offense in that role. On Friday, he showed off his improved stroke by draining a catch and shoot three pointer. He was also pretty good handling the ball and played solid defense.
Stats: 5 points, 6 rebounds
The first noticeable improvement for Dunham: improved strength. It is evident he has worked in the weight room adding what I’d estimate to be about 10 pounds of muscle. Dunham played a solid scrimmage including hitting a couple deep threes. He played confidently on the floor although he shot just 4-12. Overall, a quiet but decent scrimmage for the sophomore.
Stats: 15 points, 4 rebounds
Offensively, Woods will be playing a different role than in the past with Roosevelt Jones injured. He seems to be an improved ball-handler, but he still has work to do to be able to play the wing position. Defensively, he is same old Kameron Woods: a good shot-blocker but lacks strength to guard big forwards.
Stats: 7 points, 8 rebounds
Marshall came out and played with energy and ended up with a very stellar performance. His jumpshot looked much improved, hitting a few mid range shots. The senior brought some energy into Hinkle Fieldhouse with a combination of dunks and blocks as well. He was certainly one of the top performers.
Stats: 18 points, 6 rebounds
“Quiet but effective.” These are the words that come to mind to describe the senior forward’s performance. Although missing some open shots, Fromm played well and with confidence. It is obvious that he is the leader of the team.
Stats: 13 points, 3 rebounds
Energy. Swagger. Scoring. Brown brought all three of these Friday night. He, in my opinon, was the best player on the floor. He has the ability to take over any game, at any moment. Brown is proving to be the real deal especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Stats: 19 points, 0 rebounds
Chrabascz started out a little timid, but his play got better as the scrimmage went on. He showed off impressive footwork and fundamentals including some very nice post moves. I came away impressed with his game.
Stats: 11 points, 4 rebounds
Many reports had been coming out saying Castro was “slow” and “not a point guard”. Well, I’d say he was the opposite. He was deceptively quick and ran the offense very well. He had a few great no-look passes to open players near the basket. He has greatly improved since stepping on campus.
Stats: 9 points, 2 rebounds
Berry was exactly what I expected: a forward who can stretch the floor but lacks in overall athletism. He has a lot of confidence in his jumpshot and also has a few good post moves. But, he really struggled defensively giving up quite a few buckets and picking up fouls. Overall, he is a very skilled offensive player but his defense needs to improve.
Stats: 15 points, 3 rebounds
The junior point guard has been underwhelming (to say the least) in the past, but he had a solid scrimmage. He ran the point well and under control. Aldridge also hit a three pointer and his shooting stroke appeared to be slightly changed. He is someone to watch in the exhibition games.
Stats: 5 points, 1 rebound
One thing stood out to me: improved confidence. He is very Shawn Vanzant-esque: a combo guard who’s strength is on the defensive side of the floor. He, too, is a player to watch in the exhibition games.
Stats: 6 points, 5 rebounds
Kampen is a good practice player but simply not good enough to play meaningful minutes. He was very quiet in the scrimmage.
Stats: 0 points, 1 rebound
It’s not common to have a first team all-state and Indiana all-star as a walk-on. He will quickly become a fan favorite due to his heart, leadership, and effort. He played well on Friday and was a good leader on the court.
Stats: 2 points, 1 rebound
Bennett hardly played and didn’t do really do much. During games, he will most likely sitting on the bench.
Stats: 0 points, 0 rebounds
Head Coach Brandon Miller felt like the scrimmage went very well. He said, “I thought it was a neat atmosphere. I thought it was great that the students came out on both ends, the Dawg Pound was terrific. Our guys played hard. They came out and competed. On the offensive end of the floor, I thought we did some very nice things and I thought we executed. Overall, I thought it was a good scrimmage for us.”
For the fans, it was good to finally get to see the 2013-2014 Butler Bulldogs on the court. After a long and tough off-season, the season can’t start soon enough.
Note: All statistics come from Zak Keefer’s Butler Insider blog. http://blogs.indystar.com/butler/2013/10/26/butler-basketball-impressions-from-fridays-scrimmage/