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Jerald Butler brings exciting versatility to the Bulldogs

March 5, 2016: Marquette Golden Eagles guard Traci Carter (21) defends Butler Bulldogs guard Roosevelt Jones (21) during the NCAA Big East basketball game between the Butler Bulldogs and Marquette Golden Eagles at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)
(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire)

How fitting is it that Jerald Butler, three-star 2017 guard from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Calvary Christian Academy), committed to Butler?

It’s not just the names that match up, though that certainly is a coincidence, if not an irony, to point out. Butler, who boasted offers from 16 other schools, including Rutgers, TCU, Temple, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech among others, felt like he was at home with the Bulldogs, according to Matthew VanTryon of indystar.com:

“When I went to go see it with my own eyes, I loved everything about it – the campus, Indianapolis, I loved downtown, I loved the locker room and the players in the locker room,” he said. “They’re some great guys, guys I can see myself being with for four years.”

Of course, the name thing played a role as well.

“I started paying attention when they were in the Final Four and March Madness,” he said. “Playing for Butler was a dream come true. I just said it would be cool to play for a school that had my same last name. I never thought it would really happen.”

Butler’s commitment to the Bulldogs was their second, as he joins another point guard recruit in three-star Cooper Neese from Cloverdale, Ind. (Cloverdale). Though he is ranked as a point guard, according to the industry generated 247Sports Composite rankings –No. 51 overall nationally — the 6-foot-4, 210 athlete is considered a small forward by Scout.com and he did tell Evan Daniels that the Bulldogs can see him playing multiple positions. In fact, per Butler, the Bulldogs see him playing a Roosevelt Jones-like role:

“They want me to be able to do everything and play the one through the three like he did,” Butler said. “But since I can shoot, that’s what they love about me. They want me to bring the versatility to the court.”

Athleticism and versatility is increasingly becoming the name of the game in college basketball. We’re seeing guards who can post up and play in the paint and forwards who can play anywhere from the three to the five — and shoot the part as well.

For the most part, Butler seems to fit that mold — bringing a nice combination of size and athleticism to the table.

He’s a fluid athlete who does a nice job of attacking the rim. He shows off smooth handles and is comfortable finishing strong — much in thanks to his size and strength as a guard/small foward combo.

He’ll be comfortable in the transition game and seems to be at his best when he’s on the receiving end of passes on the fast break. He can get up and dunk the ball, though he appears to be most comfortable when driving into the lane and utilizing the athletic layup. With that said, don’t be surprised if you see a rim-rattling jam or two from Butler in a Bulldogs’ uniform.

Butler has a solid three-point shot and will force defenders to respect his range. He also does a nice job of setting up his drive off the shot, though, so look for him to utilize the head and shot fake to get easier looks at the college level.

He’s somewhat of an enigma, which is perfect for the college game in 2017 and beyond. Butler can operate as a guard but can play in the lane thanks to his size and athleticism.

He projects to be a versatile and exciting player for the Bulldogs.

 

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