Butler Basketball returns their top 7 scorers as they look to reclaim their title as a top Big East team.
After a season with a losing record and no tourney appearance, Butler basketball took it personally by bringing back the majority of their scoring and depth. Experience matters in college basketball, and Butler will prove that this upcoming season.
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PG: Aaron Thompson (6-2, 190, Gr-Sr.)
2021 stats: 10.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.1 steals
Projected stats: 10.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.1 steals
SG: Chuck Harris (6-2, 190, Soph.)
2021 stats: 12.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals
Projected stats: 14.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 steals
SF: Jair Bolden (6-3, 215, Gr.-Sr.)
2021 stats: 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.7 steals
Projected stats: 9.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals
PF: Bryce Nze (6-7, 230, Gr-Sr.)
2021 stats: 11.4 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals
Projected stats: 12.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals
C: Bryce Golden (6-9, 240, Sr.)
2021 stats: 10.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.6 steals
Projected stats: 11.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals
6: Bo Hodges (6-5, 210, Sr.)
2021 stats: 8.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.9 steals
Projected stats: 9.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.3 steals
7: Myles Tate (6-0, 165, So.)
2021 stats: 6.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steal
Projected stats: 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.2 steals
8: Ty Groce (6-8, 215, Gr.-Sr.)
2021 stats: 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals
Projected stats: 8.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals
9: Christian David (6-6, 220, Sr.)
2021 stats: 1.8 points, 0.8 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.1 steals
Projected stats: 1.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 0.1 steals
10: Myles Wilmoth (6-9, 220, So.)
2021 stats: 1.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.4 steals
Projected stats: 2.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.3 assists, 0.5 steals
Team MVP: Chuck Harris
Chuck Harris' last four games of 20-21 for Butler: 19.5 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.5 APG, 53.4% FG, 45.8% 3-point FG. Has a chance to be one of the best guards in the Big East as a sophomore.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 13, 2021
It’s hard to really give one player MVP since they’re such a balanced team, but Harris is their go-to guy and will only improve this upcoming season. Harris is one of the most exciting players to watch in the Big East, with the potential to drop 20+ points on any given night. He’s a great three-point shooter as well, knocking down 40.3% of them. Harris should find himself on an All-Big East team and will be the leader in Butler basketball’s push to make the NCAA tournament.
Make-or-Break Player: Aaron Thompson
Thompson had a career year last year, finishing in double digits in points for the first time in his career. He was also nominated as one of the top 10 defensive players in the country in the 2020 season. The only issue is injuries held him back a lot last year, and Butler was forced to go with younger players to replace him. If Thompson can stay healthy and still be an elite defender, the backcourt of him and Chuck Harris will be deadly.
Bench Rating: 8.5/10
— Butler Basketball (@ButlerMBB) August 12, 2021
Butler basketball has a lot of great options off the bench, starting with Bo Hodges. Hodges can probably start on most Big East teams and will be a great spark off the bench with his scoring and defending.
Myles Tate is another great option and was actually the starting point guard at the end of the season. Now with a year of experience, we should see development from Tate and become a nice option as a backup guard.
Lastly, Butler brought in Ty Groce an incredible scorer and all-around player from Eastern Michigan. He won’t put up the numbers from last season, but can definitely hold his own and potentially find his way into the starting lineup.
Analytic to Know: Tempo
Last year, Butler was 326th in tempo according to KenPom. Butler will look to find their shot, and play at their own pace. This didn’t favor them last year, so perhaps we will see them improve their tempo this year. With Thompson back, they can play at the tempo they want, whether they stay towards the bottom of the country or move it up a little.
— Barry Collier (@BUADCollier) June 30, 2021
Butler will use the balance to their advantage, with eight different guys who can put up at least ten points on any given night. Defensively, they need to improve if they want to be able to contain the Big East talent and finish on top.
The Big East is always a tough conference, but this year 2-8 are wide open in the conference, with Villanova being the clear favorite. This team probably won’t be the most exciting to watch on TV, but they’ll get the job done on any night.