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I wrote several weeks ago that Butler might end up in the Big east basketball conference.  Turns out I might be right, according to that little ol’ sports news agency ESPN:

Of course, it would mean opening up another round of conference raiding. Xavier, Dayton and Butler would be at the tops of the wish list, putting folks at the Atlantic 10 and Horizon League on high alert.

The Butler Insider Blog [David Woods] also speculates on this and cites the Big East:

[Butler AD Barry] Collier indicated Butler is monitoring events closely and isn’t sitting by idly. When asked whether Butler would leave the Horizon for the Big East, if asked, he  said he would not address “what-ifs” or speculation.

“We, like every school, have got to be following the news,” Collier said. “Because there are so many moving parts, there’s a certain amount of things that would have to happen to really create a situation we’d have to react to.”

Of course, no one would say a word until it was a done deal.  But I would think the Big East basketball schools might feel they must bolt and form their own conference and they need Butler for credibility.  (I must state for integrity’s sake that as much as I root for Butler, and Coach Stevens, I still am an alum of Wright State and it would help ol’ mama for Butler to go out of the Horizon!)

Of course the NCAA might pose a problem to a new conference getting an automatic bid:

Steve Mallonee, the NCAA’s managing director of academic and membership affairs, explained that to receive an automatic bid, a conference must meet several requirements: It must be composed of at least seven members that offer men’s and women’s basketball, and there must be continuity in membership, meaning that seven of the members must have played together for at least eight years.

Most important, the current NCAA model is designed to confine automatic qualifiers to existing membership conferences.

OOPS!  There they go again.  I can’t wait until there is a new organization governing college sports.  But, I digress…

The Bulldogs have been “accused” of not being able to get the top recruit.  (See this from the Indy Star’s Butler Insider Blog)  But that is not true, says Woods, in assembling an impressive number of past or present players and here’s the incoming freshmen class:

What about Butler’s incoming freshmen?

Roosevelt Jones was MVP of Illinois’ All-Star Game; Jackson Aldridge performed well for Australia in the under-19 World Championship; Andrew Smeathers scored 21 points to lead Indiana to victory in an Indiana/Kentucky All-Star Game; and Kameron Woods was on a No. 1-ranked team in Kentucky and rebounded effectively in that Indiana/Kentucky series.

Well, now Butler DID recruit a top 100 recruit:  Nolan Berry:

Berry, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound junior from DeSmet Jesuit High School in St. Louis, chose Butler after a weekend visit to campus. He was also offered scholarships by Purdue and Missouri.

Berry is ranked 60th nationally by ESPN, 91st by Rivals and 94th by As a sophomore last season, he averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds for a 23-6 team, shooting 66 percent from the field and 85 percent on free throws.

I suspected all along that top kids will want to play for rising powers like Butler and also there will be some who will admire Coach Stevens.  We’ll see what’s up but signing Berry within weeks of the transfer Rotnei Clarke committing to Butler in for 2012-13, the Bulldogs should be in good shape barring injury for a great season in 2012-13.  They could surprise this year, too.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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