October 21, 2009

Butler Lands Three On Preseason All-League Team

There is a distinct Butler flavor to the 2009-10 Horizon League Men’s Basketball Preseason All-League Team, chosen by league coaches, media and sports information directors.  Butler junior Matt Howard headlined the 10-man squad, which included his teammates Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack.

Howard, named league preseason Player of the Year, and Hayward were picked to the five-man first team.  Also chosen first team on the All-League squad were Vaughn Duggins and Todd Brown of Wright State and Norris Cole of Cleveland State.

Mack received a second team nod, along with four players from the league’s two Wisconsin schools.  Tone Boyle and James Eayrs of Milwaukee earned second team recognition, as did Rahmon Fletcher and Troy Cotton of Green Bay.

Howard led the 26-6 Bulldogs in scoring (14.8) and rebounding (6.8) last year, while being named Horizon League Player of the Year.  He was a first team All-Horizon League pick and was named a first team Mid-Major All-America pick by FoxSports.com.  He led the Horizon League in field goal shooting (.550) and finished second in the league in blocked shots (1.5).

Hayward earned first team All-Horizon League recognition and was named league Newcomer of the Year last season as a freshman.  He finished as Butler’s second-leading scorer (13.1) and rebounder (6.5), while leading the team in free throw shooting (.815), three-point field goal shooting (.448), three-point field goals (69), steals (48) and minutes played (1045).  He was the only player in the Horizon League to rank in the “Top 10” in ten different statistical categories.

Mack, a member of the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team last year, led the Bulldogs in assists, becoming just the third freshman in Butler basketball history to record 100 assists.  He was Butler’s third-leading scorer (11.9) and rebounder (4.4), and he finished second on the team in minutes played (982).  Mack ranked second in the Horizon League in assist/turnover ratio (1.6).

Butler, which captured its third consecutive Horizon League regular season championship last year, was picked as the league’s preseason favorite by the league coaches, media and sports information directors.  Wright State was tabbed second, while defending league tournament champ Cleveland State was picked third.

The Bulldogs play exhibition games against DePauw (Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.) and Taylor (Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.), before opening the regular season at home on Nov. 14 against Davidson.  That home-opener is slated for 2 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse.