Butler Begins Men's Basketball Practice Off-Campus

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler, less than seven months removed from an appearance in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship game, will begin regular season practice for the 2010-11 campaign on Friday, Oct. 15.  The Bulldogs will approach their first practice session in the same workman-like fashion that they’ve carried into each season, but this year they’ll do it in a new setting.

Butler will participate in a “Mini-Camp” off-campus for its first three practices.  The Bulldogs will travel to nearby Franklin College and practice once on Friday evening and twice on Saturday, before returning to Butler.

“We’re on fall break, and this was a good opportunity for us to spend time together and to get a good, focused start to the season,” said Butler head coach Brad Stevens.  “Our goal is to have three productive practices.”

 The Bulldogs return 11 letterwinners from last year’s 33-5 squad, which won the Horizon League championship with a perfect 18-0 record, captured the NCAA West Regional crown and came within inches of defeating Duke in the national title game.  Butler compiled a school-record, 25-game winning streak, and finished the season with a No. 2 ranking in the final ESPN/USA Today poll.

Three starters, 6-8 senior Matt Howard and juniors Shelvin Mack and Ronald Nored, return from that championship squad.  Howard, a first team All-League player and MVP of the 2010 Speedway Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship, was the team’s second-leading rebounder (5.2) and third-leading scorer (11.6) in 2009-10.  Mack, also a first team All-League performer, finished as the team’s second-leading scorer (14.1), while Nored, the Horizon League’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year,” led the Bulldogs in assists and steals.

Also back from a year ago are seniors Zach Hahn, Shawn Vanzant, Grant Leiendecker and Alex Anglin, junior Garrett Butcher and sophomores Andrew Smith, Emerson Kampen and Chase Stigall.  Hahn and Vanzant each saw action in all 38 games last season.

Joining the returnees are three newcomers, freshmen Khyle Marshall, Erik Fromm and Chrishawn Hopkins.  Marshall is a 6-7 forward from Davie, Fla. (Flanagan), Fromm is a 6-9 forward from Bloomington (South) and Hopkins is a 6-1 guard from Indianapolis (Manual).

“We’re looking forward to getting back to work with a brand new team,” added Stevens.  “We’re going to continue to strive to get better and get ready for another challenging schedule.”

The Bulldogs will get their first preseason test with an exhibition game at home against Florida Southern on Saturday, Oct. 30.  That game at Hinkle Fieldhouse will start at 7 p.m.

BULLDOG BITS:  Butler head coach Brad Stevens reflects on how things have changed since the Final Four in a One on One interview with Mark Montieth, which will air on 1070 the Fan on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 11 a.m. (ET) and on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m.