INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- The "Brandon Miller Era" of Butler basketball officially began when the Bulldogs' new head coach put the team through a full practice session on Sunday, July 21. The two-hour workout was the first of 10 practices for the Bulldogs in preparation for their upcoming trip to Australia.
"It didn't feel totally like practice No. 1, because you get two hours a week with the team and we've had 40-minute mini-workouts leading up to this day," said Miller of his first full practice as a head coach. "Our guys competed during the two hours, and I had a blast with our staff and with the guys."
Miller, who was named Butler's head coach on July 6, welcomed 16 players to the initial workout, including ten returnees from last year's 27-9 squad which advanced to the third round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. Included among the returnees were 2012-13 starters Roosevelt Jones, Khyle Marshall and Alex Barlow. Jones, the only Butler player to start all 36 games last season, led the Bulldogs in assists (3.5), finished second in rebounding (5.6) and wound up third in scoring (10.1). Marshall, who started 35 contests, was Butler's fourth-leading scorer (9.6), while Barlow, a starter in 23 games, finished third in assists (1.9).
Also on hand from last year's team were fifth-leading scorer Kellen Dunham (9.5), third-leading rebounder Kameron Woods (4.9), Erik Fromm, Andrew Smeathers, Jackson Aldridge, Devontae Morgan and Elliott Kampen. They were joined by incoming freshmen Nolan Berry, Elijah Brown, Rene Castro, Andrew Chrabascz, Michael Volovic and Steven Bennett.
"You come out for the first practice and our goal was to be unified and at the same after the two hours we practiced today, we're a better basketball team," noted Miller "We took the key points of what we wanted to get accomplished in terms of our offense and defense, and we walked away and learned something from that. The next day we'll come back and have that same goal of getting better."
The Bulldogs will continue practicing until August 2, before departing for Sydney, Australia on Saturday, August 3. Butler's first game in Australia is slated for Tuesday, August 6, against Norths Bears Invitational Team at the North Sydney Indoor Sports Center.
Butler's Competition Schedule in Australia
Tuesday, August 6 - Norths Bears Invitational Team, Sydney Australia, 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 8 - Sydney Kings, Sydney Australia, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 10 - Australian Boomers, Canberra, Australia*
Sunday, August 11 - Cairns Taipans, Cairns, Australia, 6:30 p.m.
*--Not open to the public.