Brian Butch is one of our favorite recruits. He is level headed and explores the possibilities of both the athletic and academic side of college basketball. In other words, he has the smarts to use the game instead of letting the game use him.
At 7-0 and 217 pounds, this skilled center/power forward from Appleton West H.S. in Appleton, WI, could certainly just keep his thoughts on the narrow path of the NBA, unfortunately like so many big men on the high school level. But Butch is smart enough to realize that the path to the League is a hard one.
"I have got four years to work with when I get to college," Butch said. "There is plenty of time to work on my game. I try to work on my game on a day to day basis. I don't want to rush ahead and pretend I am ready for something I am not."
What Butch is ready for is his next official visit -- a trip to Wisconsin on October 4th. "The first four visits have been great," Butch said of this trips to Arizona, Marquette, Kansas, and North Carolina. "I really think all the coaches are great and the players I have met have been great."
Then how do you make a decision if the five schools are even? "With my gut," Butch said. "But I think it wouldn't be fair to say this school is the best until I finish all my visits. I want to give each school a fair chance. And I still have to visit Wisconsin."
When asked if his family would prefer him to stay close to home, Butch responded: "My family really wants me to be happy," Butch said. "And I have to be the one that's happy with the decision since I will be the one there for four years."
This past season, Butch averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocks per contest. Butch was the player of the year in the state of Wisconsin in 2001-2002. He also had a solid summer, which included competition with Ritchie Davis' Fox Valley Skillz Black at the Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas. Butch also competed at the USA Basketball's Fifth Annual Men's Youth Development Festival in Colorado Springs, CO.
Butch can spot up from just about anywhere on the perimeter. Making Butch even more effective is his willingness to battle for every loose ball. "I am always trying to work on my game every day," Butch said. "I think if you work hard enough each day it will turn out all right. I never thought when I was young I would have the schools recruiting me like they are now."
Butch has a 3.76 GPA and scored a 20 on the ACT, marks that would easily qualify him under current NCAA standards for freshman eligibility. He seems to be a perfect candidate for the McDonald's All American game. "It would be an honor to play in that game," Butch said.
The odds are that Butch will be honored with the chance to play in next Spring's high school all star game. "I am not counting on anything," Butch said. "I can think about that next year if it happens. I hope it does."