Rank: #2 Horizon
20-13, 11-5, 2nd
players who started all 33 games are gone, but there are reasons
for Butler fans to be
hopeful. The bench should be deeper and a pair of transfers
will replace much of the production that is lost.
Brandon Polk will be the toughest to replace. The 6-6 forward
led the squad with 18.0 points and added on 4.7 rebounds and 1.5
blocks. Finding a replacement under the basket for him is the
biggest issue with Butler heading into the 2006-2007 season.
The backcourt duo of Avery Sheets and Bruce Horan have a few
players ready to replace them. Sheets averaged 9.6 points and a
team high 3.3 assists as a senior and Horan tacked on 10.9
points per contest.
and Pete Campbell step in for the absent Sheets and Horan.
Three years ago Green became the first player to start every
game at point guard for Towson. He didn’t miss much his second
year either, and averaged 11.9 points and 4.3 assists before
opting to transfer to Butler. Campbell, a transfer from IPFW,
is a tremendous shooter for a 6-7 forward. He won’t battle
inside too much, but Campbell has already proven he can score at
the Division I level. Eliott Englemann, a 6-7 forward, will add
some depth to the three and four spots. A trio of shooting
guards in Forrest Smallwood, Grant Leiendecker and Will Veasley
will add depth on the wings. Veasley is garnering the highest
expectations of the bunch and could develop into a spark off the
bench this season.
Who to Watch:
The backcourt is the strong point for most teams in the Horizon,
but the frontcourt still needs to do some dirty work. That will
fall on senior Brian Ligon. The 6-7 forward only averaged 2.3
points and 3.0 rebounds per game a year ago, but will be given
the opportunity to see a drastic increase in numbers with Polk
gone. Fellow senior Brandon Crone can do the work on the
glass. The 6-6 forward averaged a team high 5.0 rebounds per
game and tacked on 9.8 points. There won’t be much height, but
that duo is capable of holding down the frontcourt.
A.J. Graves is
the vibrant leader of the group. Graves averaged 13.4 points,
2.4 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals last year. He’s a
dynamic scorer who can do more than just hit the long ball.
When things go bad, Coach Lickliter will look to Graves and,
more times than not, Graves will get it done. The Horizon is
pretty well packed from top to bottom. The difference between 2nd
and 6th could be one game, and the difference in any
game could be one mistake. The two transfers have had a season
to adjust and practice with the team and Green won’t make many
of those mistakes while running the show. There is some depth,
especially with perennial sixth man Julian Betko returning.
Marcus Nellems and Drew Streicher won’t put up great numbers,
but they do have experience.
Junior, Guard, DNP last season
Junior, Guard, 13.4 points per game
Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season
Senior, Forward, 9.8 points per game
Senior, Forward, 2.3 points per game