#45 Butler Bulldogs: College Basketball 111 in 111


butler bulldog cheerleaders

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The Butler Bulldogs pre-season began on a rough note with expected starting point guard Chrishawn Hopkins getting dismissed from the team.  Still, Brad Stevens has enough talent on the roster to bounce back from a less than stellar year in the Horizon League and be extremely successful in transitioning to the Atlantic 10 Conference.

BUTLER BULLDOGS
Last Season: T-3rd, 11-7 in Horizon, 22-15 overall
Predicted A-10 Finish: 4th

Projected Depth Chart
C: Andrew Smith (Sr)/Erik Fromm (Jr)
F: Khyle Marshall (Jr)/Kameron Woods (So)
G/F: Roosevelt Jones (So)/Kellen Dunham (Fr)/Andy Smeathers (So)
SG: Chase Stigall (Sr)/DeVontae Morgan (Fr)
PG: Rotnei Clarke (Sr)/Jackson Aldridge (So)/Chris Harrison-Docks (Fr)

Gone: G-Ronald Nored, F-Garrett Butcher, G-Chrishawn Hopkins (dismissed)

2012-2013 Outlook:
With Hopkins out of the picture, the point guard position becomes the biggest area of concern.  Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke likely takes over as floor general which is a new position for one of the top three-point shooters in the country who was primarily used off the ball during his time with the Razorbacks.  Sophomore Jackson Aldridge will resume his role as the back-up though he is more of a shooter than pure distributor just like Clarke.  Freshman Chris Harrison-Docks will try to earn minutes off the bench as well.

There is decent talent on the wing but Clarke’s presence really provides a needed perimeter scoring threat.  Chase Stigall has been used primarily in a reserve role but will likely move into the starting five.  Roosevelt Jones might be 6’4 but plays much bigger on the wing as he led the Bulldogs in rebounding last year as a freshman.  Freshman Kellen Durham is another sharpshooter who should be a dangerous weapon off the bench while Andy Smeathers and DeVontae Morgan add more depth on the wing.

Upfront, Butler returns a solid duo with true big man Andrew Smith and Khyle Marshall.  Smith led the team in scoring a year ago while Marshall adds some athleticism and energy at the four.  Kameron Woods is a lengthy, bouncy forward looking to build off a solid freshman campaign in which he made his biggest impact on the boards.  Erik Fromm is a stretch four who will have to play some five behind Smith.

The Bulldogs have played a tough non-conference slate for the past several postseasons and proven they can hang with anybody. The level of competition obviously gets taken up a notch for Butler as the join a very competitive A-10 this year, but don’t underestimate Brad Stevens’ ability to have the Bulldogs competing for the conference crown right away.

Player to Watch: Rotnei Clarke
The three point assassin was going to play a huge role for Butler this season but that definitely got amplified with Hopkins’ dismissal.  His ability to transition from a pure scorer to scorer/distributor will be a vital factor to how successful the Bulldogs will be this season.

Key Non-Conference Games:
11/13 at Xavier
11/19 vs. Marquette (Maui Invitational)
11/20 vs. North Carolina/Mississippi State (Maui Invitational)
11/21 vs. Texas/Chaminade/Illinois/USC (Maui Invitational)
12/8 at Northwestern
12/15 vs. Indiana (Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis)
12/29 at Vanderbilt
1/19 vs. Gonzaga

OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#46 Florida State Seminoles
#47 Drexel Dragons
#48 St. Louis Billikens
#49 West Virginia Mountaineers
#50 BYU Cougars
#51 Temple Owls
#52 Washington Huskies
#53 California Golden Bears
#54 Kansas State Wildcats
#55 Nevada Wolfpack
#56 Colorado Buffaloes
#57 Iowa State Cyclones
#58 Northern Iowa Panthers
#59 Colorado State Rams
#60 Iowa Hawkeyes
#61 South Florida Bulls
#62 Valparaiso Crusaders
#63 Illinois Fighting Illini
#64 Arkansas Razorbacks
#65 Wichita State Shockers
#66 George Mason Patriots
#67 Virginia Cavaliers
#68 Villanova Wildcats
#69 Maryland Terrapins
#70 Marshall Thundering Herd
#71 Iona Gaels
#72 Northwestern Wildcats
#73 Oklahoms State Cowboys
#74 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
#75 USC Trojans
#76 UConn Huskies
#77 Harvard Crimson
#78 Xavier Musketeers
#79 Ole Miss Rebels
#80 Clemson Tigers
#81 Oregon State Beavers
#82 Texas A&M Aggies
#83 Providence Friars
#84 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#85 Oklahoma Sooners
#86 Lehigh Mountain Hawks
#87 Washington State Cougars
#88 Long Beach State 49ers
#89 Belmont Bruins
#90 Vanderbilt Commodores
#91 Dayton Flyers
#92 Houston Cougars
#93 UCF Knights
#94 Old Dominion Monarchs
#95 Oregon Ducks
#96 LSU Tigers
#97 South Carolina Gamecocks
#98 Seton Hall Pirates
#99 Georgia Bulldogs
#100 DePaul Blue Demons
#101 Boston College Eagles
#102 Penn State Nittany Lions
#103 Arizona State Sun Devils
#104 Virginia Tech Hokies
#105 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#108 TCU Horned Frogs
#109 Mississippi State Bulldogs
#110 Utah Utes
#111 Nebraska Cornhuskers

David Kay is a senior feature NBA DraftNBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank.  He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities.  David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu.  He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft and the most accurate 2012 NBA Mock Draft on the internet (Yup, repeat champ… #humblebrag.)

You can follow him on Twitter at David_Kmiecik.

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