This is the second in a four-part series to run this week on the future of Butler basketball.
Anyone who watched Butler’s most recent victory over Georgetown had to have felt positive regarding the future of the Bulldog men’s basketball program.
Sophomore center Nate Fowler played the best game of his career (11 points, four rebounds and solid defense in 19 very productive minutes), while freshman guard Kamar Baldwin had one of his, now fairly regular, “he may be Butler’s best player” games.
Baldwin played a team-high 41 minutes in the overtime victory and led the Bulldogs with 16 points and four steals, while also grabbing five rebounds.
The 12th-rated Bulldogs (14-2, 3-1 Big East) not only have those two players back in 2017-18, but also return six other players. In addition, Butler’s class of 2017 recruiting class is the highest rated in school history.
“We are obviously very excited about this incoming class,” third-year coach Chris Holtmann said upon signing four players in November. “To continue to compete in the Big East Conference, and at the highest level nationally, we must build our roster with consecutive quality recruiting classes that fit our program, and this group of young men fit that description.
“These are high-character individuals who appreciate Butler’s educational opportunities, our history, and our culture. On the court, this group is very versatile and skilled, and they value winning. The entire staff did an excellent job of evaluating and prioritizing this group.
“We’re excited for the impact they are going to have on our program in future years.”
The News-Sentinel will profile each of the four players in a series this week, and up next is Jerald Butler.
Name: Jerald Butler
School: Calvary Christian Academy, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The latest: Calvary Christian is 10-1 and the Eagles are ranked 8th in the state of Florida according to the latest CBS MaxPreps High School rankings. The latest statistics available show Butler to be the versatile player that Holtmann has professed him to be. He is averaging nearly 15 points per game, five rebounds, five assists and 2.4 steals per game. Calvary Christian is a talent-laden team that features a front line of athletes 6-foot-8, 6-foot-10 and 7-feet.
Holtmann on Butler: “Jerald is gregarious and fun-loving. You’re going to really enjoy talking to him. He’s got some real leadership abilities. He is very versatile. (Other Butler recruit) Kyle Young is versatile, as well, but Jerald is very versatile. He can definitely play the (small forward); he’s 6-4 and long. He’s got a big body. Right now, he’s probably about 230 (pounds), so he’s got to slim down. He can play the (small forward and point guard), kind of like (former Butler standout Roosevelt Jones). You could play him at (shooting guard) some, but (shooting) is not really what he does. He’s really a playmaker in a 3-man’s body. He’s really got to work on his fitness and if he does that I think he could be a lot better than even people think.”