Butler officially leaves Horizon League for Atlantic 10

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Butler University will join the Atlantic 10 Conference beginning with the 2013-2014 season, President James M. Danko announced today.

The move will cover all Butler athletic teams except football, which will remain in the Pioneer League, and woman’s golf. The Atlantic 10 adds a recently historically successful men’s basketball program in Butler to their conference. The only non big six conference to have 41 at-large NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament selections in the past 20 years, including three in 2012, the A-10 has boasted 62 postseason appearances in the last decade.

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Butler’s Shelvin Mack Testing NBA Draft Waters

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Butler’s Shelvin Mack has officially submitted the necessary paperwork to declare for this year’s National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft. He has not hired an agent and has followed all of the guidelines to retain his eligibility.

“I’m exploring my options and gathering information to see what opportunities might exist for me,” said Mack, who completed his third season with the Bulldogs.

“I’ve always had a dream to play in the NBA, and I want to make an informed decision on that possibility.” Mack sparked Butler’s run to a second consecutive national championship game. He averaged 20.3 points in Butler’s six NCAA tournament games, and he led or shared the team lead in scoring in five of the six tournament contests. The 6-3 guard had 30 points in Butler’s victory over top-seeded Pittsburgh, and he tallied 27 points in the Bulldogs’ win over second-seeded Florida.

He set a Butler NCAA tournament record with 122 points in this year’s Division I National Championship. “It’s really exciting any time you have a player and person of Shelvin Mack’s calibre who is in a position where we can do the research on what his NBA opportunities might be,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens. “We look forward to helping him through every step of this process and gathering information to help him with his decision.”

Mack, who started 37 of 38 Butler games this past season, was Butler’s second-leading scorer in 2010-11 with a 16.0 average. He led the Bulldogs in assists (131) and finished third on the team in rebounds (4.5). He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Southeast Regional, and he was picked to the All-Tournament Team at the Final Four for a second consecutive year.

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Don’t Underestimate Shelvin Mack and Butler Bulldogs

butler basketball

After dropping three of four in a two week span following Thanksgiving, the Butler Bulldogs fell out of the national rankings and were no longer on the minds of the national college basketball cognoscenti. Conventional wisdom believed that “The Butler Way” peaked last season, and the honeymoon period was now long over.

Sure, the Bulldogs had their struggles, but they’ve won 6 in a row since then, including four over power conference opponents (Utah, Florida St, Washington St, Stanford…Yes, I know it’s difficult to refer to the Pac-10 as a power conference these days).

And even though Gordon Hayward is now in the NBA, they still have another weapon possessing “league” potential in junior guard Shelvin Mack.

By Paul M. Banks

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