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Brad Stevens leaving; the effect on Butler


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#1 Chris B

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 11:51 AM

Not sure why the other Stevens thread was locked but I did want to respond to Birds of Bmore's post about how this affects the Butler Bulldogs. He asked:
 

"So where does Butler go from here? And more importantly, can they remain relevant? I'm sure it had to be on their mind that they probably wouldn't keep Stevens forever, but it has to be a gut-punch to have to replace him right before they join the Big East."

 

First off, let's look at who is up for the running for the open position. 4 months ago, it would have been a slam-dunk choice to promote Matthew Graves to head coach at Butler. However, he took the position at South Alabama. Right now, Butler is choosing between another assistant Brandon Miller and Michigan assistant (and former Butler player/assisant) Lavall Jordan. The new coach will come from the Butler family and I'd expect a pretty quick decision.

 

Now for Butler as a program going forward. Call me the pessimist (or the fan of a rival school) but this really hurts Butler. IMO, Butler was Brad Stevens. This is a team that still has players on it that were recruited at a Horizon League level. They were in on a lot of 4/5 star guys for 2014 and 2015, but I'd expect those recruits will begin to look elsewhere with Stevens gone. The thing about Butler is that they were a good team prior to Stevens; they made the NCAAs 6 out of 18 years prior to Stevens becoming head coach (past head coaches were Collier, Matta, Lockliter). The problem is, Stevens made them into a GREAT team. Without those two championship appearances, I'm not sure if the Big East adds Butler. I definitely think the A10 still would have added the Bulldogs. Going forward, I would expect Butler to suffer in the first few years of the new Big East era. (I personally had them predicted 6th in the conference this year, but I may have to drop them a spot or 2 with Stevens gone.) As I said earlier, they still ahve guys that were playing in the Horizon League. Can they match-up and play with the Big East teams? Time will tell. I think that Butler will be a team that can rise to the top of the conference every few years but, for the most part, will be middle of the pack.

 

This is absolutely a gut punch for the university. For the Big East Conference, it's disappointing as Stevens was absolutely important due to his fame and name recognition. It would have helped market the new conference to the basketball world. As a fan of another Big East school (who considers Butler our biggest conference rival), I'm enjoying this wholeheartedly, even mustering up a sly, evil laugh when I heard the news.



#2 BSLMikeLowe

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:46 PM

This is absolutely a gut punch for the university. For the Big East Conference, it's disappointing as Stevens was absolutely important due to his fame and name recognition. It would have helped market the new conference to the basketball world. As a fan of another Big East school (who considers Butler our biggest conference rival), I'm enjoying this wholeheartedly, even mustering up a sly, evil laugh when I heard the news.

Don't want to get too off-topic, but I find it interesting that you view the Bulldogs as Xavier's #1 conference rival, despite the fact they've only played one season in the same conference up to now. Is that for geographical reasons?



#3 Chris B

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 12:57 PM

Don't want to get too off-topic, but I find it interesting that you view the Bulldogs as Xavier's #1 conference rival, despite the fact they've only played one season in the same conference up to now. Is that for geographical reasons?

 

Well, we've played them in the non-conference portion of the schedule the past 4 years. Things got really heated in 2009 when Butler's clock "malfunctioned" and they ended up winning when there was still 1.2 seconds left on the clock. (h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue0KjNXdDQs)

 

So there is some disdain for one another as we've played each other a lot lately. Also, like you said, geography does play a part. Xavier and Butler are pretty similar schools when you look at the demographics.

 

Selfishly, it was a pretty good week for Xavier. Joined the Big East, Cincinnati (main rival) leaves the Big East, we leave Dayton in the A10, and Butler loses Stevens.



#4 Chris B

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 04:11 PM

Butler hired Brandon Miller as their assistant.



#5 Oriole85

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 04:50 PM

Butler hired Brandon Miller as their assistant.

Any thoughts on the hire, since you're the closest on here I believe to the situation.


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#6 Chris B

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 04:58 PM

Butler hired Brandon Miller as their assistant.

Any thoughts on the hire, since you're the closest on here I believe to the situation.

Don't know much of him besides what's being reported. Just hired as an assistant by Stevens in April, last year he was an assistant with John Groce in Illinois. Miller was PG for the Bulldogs when he was in college.

I think it's smart they kept the job in the family.

#7 Oriole85

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:00 PM

Don't know much of him besides what's being reported. Just hired as an assistant by Stevens in April, last year he was an assistant with John Groce in Illinois. Miller was PG for the Bulldogs when he was in college.

I think it's smart they kept the job in the family.

When you win it's not so much a bad thing. When you hire an alum or someone with connections just for the sake of keeping tradition, I don't think it's such a good thing. I think you want to cast as wide of a net as possible, but in this case, I can see the obvious advantages after the most successful run in the history of Butler basketball.


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#8 Oriole85

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:01 PM

I posted this on another board before Miller was hired, here's my thoughts:

 

Butler has their work cut out for them but I don't think they are in as much trouble as people think. They've had success prior to Stevens becoming HC, although not to that extent. He's elevated the status of that program. And being in the Big East should be a help not hurt IMO.


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