Welcome to Day 2 of the 2011 college basketball preview
- Day 1 – North Carolina 2011-12 outlook
The NCAA college basketball season tips off on November 7 and lodeplus.com has you covered. With Examiners all over the nation covering every team from the Big Ten to the Missouri Valley Conference, Examiner has every top team covered. In 2011, lodeplus.com had a reporter covering the Final Four in Houston live and we will continue to provide the best coverage for the upcoming season as well.
Over the week, Examiners from all over the nation will tackle some of the tough questions heading into the latest college basketball season and it will all culminate with the official lodeplus.com Top 25 preseason poll on Sunday, November 6.
Butler has made a national championship appearance two years in a row. How will Butler fare in 2011-12 without Matt Howard, Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack?
Steve Flinn, Pittsburgh Panthers Examiner – NIT – They had their open window of opportunity, but it’s now slammed shut.
Ari Bluestein, Drexel Dragons Examiner – It will certainly be tough to get back to the National Title game three years in a row for Butler – especially with teams like North Carolina and Ohio State returning great players like Harrison Barnes and Jared Sullinger, respectively. Howard was the centerpiece of the great Butler defense the last two season and Hayward and Mack provided most of the offense for the Bulldogs in both of their great NCAA Tournament runs. Guard, and great defender, Ronald Nored remains from those great teams as does 6’11” center Andrew Smith. So I still think Butler is the team to beat in the Horizon, but don’t expect anything more than a Sweet 16 trip from them this season.
Joe Book, Missouri Valley Basketball Examiner – Butler will struggle to make the NCAA Tournament this season. With a Detroit team returning all five starters, and Cleveland State fielding an experienced team, the Bulldogs won’t coast to the Horizon title. Khyle Marshall is a stud and Ronald Nored is the senior leader, but there isn’t much else to talk about. Freshman Roosevelt Jones could see many minutes from the onset, and could already be Butler’s best defensive player.
Mike Lee, Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore Basketball Examiner – The clock is approaching midnight for the “Cinderella” team of the last two season. The Butler Bulldogs will be without Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard, two key figures in leading the team to back-to-back championship game appearances. Butler will be helped by playing in the Horizon League, which should mean another NCAA Tournament appearance for the team under the leadership of head coach, Brad Stevens. With the experience gained over the last two seasons, Butler will be a tough matchup for any team in the field, but canot be counted on to make a deep run into this year’s tournament.
Rich Kurtzman, CSU Rams Examiner – Butler won’t be making to the national championship game this year, but look for them to still compete and possibly upset a team or two in the NCAA Tournament in March.
Kevin Kline, Big Ten Examiner – It will be hard for Butler to get anywhere close to what they have done the last two seasons. They don’t return anybody who averaged more than 10 points a game last year. I don’t think they will win their conference this season and won’t get a bid to the NCAA tournament. As long as Brad Stevens is their coach they will be a competitive team. But they are not a team that can “reload” they will need to rebuild before having a shot at making a NCAA tournament run again.
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