April 14, 2008

Bulldogs Complete Record-Setting Season

April 14, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

VICTORY MARK: For the second straight year, Butler ended a record-setting season in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship. And for the second consecutive season, the Bulldogs left the national tournament with a school single season record for victories. Butler defeated South Alabama, 81-61, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, before falling in overtime to #5/6 Tennessee, 76-71, in the second round. The win over South Alabama gave Butler 30 wins for the first time in school history and broke the previous school mark for victories (29), set last year. The two games in Birmingham, Ala., also capped off a season that saw the Bulldogs win the Great Alaska Shootout, capture a second consecutive Wooden Tradition Trophy, wrap up a second straight Horizon League regular season championship and claim the Horizon League Tournament title. The Bulldogs final 30-4 ledger established a Butler and Horizon League record for best 34-game mark.

Butler became the first team in Horizon League history to win 30 games.

POST-SEASON SUCCESS: Butler's berth in this year's NCAA Tournament was the 10th post-season tournament bid for the Bulldogs in the last 12 years. Since 1997, the Bulldogs have earned seven bids to the NCAA Tournament (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2008), and three berths in the National Invitation Tournament (1999, 2002 and 2006). Butler improved its post-season record over that stretch to 10-10 (6-7 NCAA, 4-3 NIT), while winning a first round game for the fourth time in its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.

TWENTY PLUS: Butler posted its third consecutive 20-win season and its 10th 20-win campaign in the past 12 years. The Bulldogs also won more than 20 regular season games for the fourth time in school history. Butler had 16 victories away from Hinkle Fieldhouse this season, matching the school record set in 2006-07.

Butler set a school record with 27 regular season wins in 2007-08.

VICTORY LEDGER: Butler was one of just nine NCAA Division I teams to record 30 wins in 2007-08. Memphis set a Division I record with 38 victories, while national champ Kansas finished with 37 wins. North Carolina had 36 victories, followed by UCLA (35), Wisconsin (31), Tennessee (31), Texas (31), Butler (30) and Xavier (30).

TWO-YEAR RECORD: The Bulldogs established Butler and Horizon League records for best two-year win total with their 59 victories in 2006-07 (29) and 2007-08 (30). The previous record of 53 wins was set by Butler from 2001-03 (26 in 2001-02 and 27 in 2002-03). Only five NCAA Division I teams (Memphis 71-6, Kansas 70-8, North Carolina 68-10, UCLA 65-10, and Wisconsin 61-11) posted more wins than the Bulldogs over the past two years.

POLLING DATA: Butler ended the 2007-08 campaign with a "Top 15" national ranking in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today national polls for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs finished in the No. 11 spot in the A. P. national poll and with a No. 14 ranking in ESPN/USA Today poll. Butler was ranked in the "Top 25" of both national polls for 19 straight weeks, reaching as high as No. 8 in both polls on February 18.

Butler was ranked in the "Top 10" for a school-record five weeks in 2007-08.

CAREER START: Head coach Brad Stevens became the first coach in Butler men's basketball history to own an 30-4 career record. Stevens' former boss, Todd Lickliter (2001-02), legendary coach Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle (1926-28), and Harlan O. "Pat" Page (1920-22) each posted a 28-6 record through their first 34 games. Stevens became the first men's basketball coach in Butler history to lead the Bulldogs to 30 wins in a season.

Brad Stevens already ranks seventh on Butler's all-time list for coaching victories.

YOUTH GROUP: Butler coach Brad Stevens, 31, became the third-youngest NCAA Division I coach to guide his team to 30 wins and the youngest in more than half a century! Bradley's Forddy Anderson won his 30th game the day before his 31st birthday in 1950, and North Carolina's Ben Carnevale was 30 when he led the Tar Heels to 30 wins in 1946. Only 11 Division I coaches in their 30's have posted 30-win seasons.

Only three coaches in NCAA Division I history - Bill Guthridge, North Carolina (34), Bill Hodges, Indiana State (33) and Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh (31) - won more games in their first season than Butler's Brad Stevens.

ALL-AMERICA: Butler senior guard Mike Green earned honorable mention on both the Associated Press All-America Basketball Team and the CollegeHoops.net All-America squad. He further was named first team Mid-Major All-America by CollgeInsider.com and CollegeHoops.net. Senior guard A. J. Graves earned first team Mid-Major All-America honor by CollegeInsider.com and fourth team recognition by CollegeHoops.net. Graves also was named second team on the Lowe's Senior Class All-Senior All-America team.

TOP HONOR: Senior Mike Green became the third Butler player in seven years to be named Horizon League Player of the Year. The Butler guard received 42 of 46 votes from league coaches, media and sports information directors for the league's top individual honor. Green, who transferred to Butler from Towson, was named Horizon League Newcomer of the Year in 2006-07. He follows Rylan Hainje (2002) and Brandon Polk (2006) as recent Butler players named league Player of the Year.

ALL-TOURNAMENT: Mike Green was named the Most Outstanding Player at the 2008 Horizon League Championship, and he was joined on the All-Tournament team by teammates Matt Howard and Drew Streicher. The trio helped lead Butler to it's fifth Horizon League Tournament championship.

FRESH LOOK: Freshman forward Matt Howard became the second Butler player in as many years to be named Horizon League Newcomer of the Year. Howard, who followed teammate Mike Green as league Newcomer of the Year, became the first true freshman to earn the league honor since T. J. Lux of Northern Illinois received the award in 1995-96. Howard also was named to the CollegeInsider.com Freshman All-America Team.

ALL-LEAGUE: For the first time in school history, Butler had three players earn first or second team All-Horizon League recognition. Senior guards Mike Green and A. J. Graves both were named first team all-league, while freshman forward Matt Howard was picked to the second team on the honor squad chosen by league coaches, media and sports information directors. Green and Graves both earned all-league recognition for the second consecutive season. In 2006-07, Graves was a first team pick, while Green was named to the second team. The only other time Butler had two first team all-league players was in 2002, when forward Rylan Hainje and guard Thomas Jackson both received the league honor.

DEFENSE DEPT: League coaches tabbed Butler seniors Mike Green and Drew Streicher as two of five players on the Horizon League All-Defensive Team. The two became the first Butler players to earn Horizon League All-Defensive recognition since 2003.

ALL-DISTRICT: Butler seniors Mike Green and A. J. Graves were among 10 players named to the All-District 10 team by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Green was named first team All-District 10, while Graves earned second team recognition. Green also was named to the All-District V Team by the U. S. Basketball Writers Association.

HANDLE WITH CARE: Butler wound up leading the Horizon League and ranking among the top five teams in the NCAA Division I in fewest turnovers per game for the seventh consecutive season. The Bulldogs, who led the nation in fewest turnovers in 2006-07, ranked fourth in Division I (10.4) this season. Butler had a season-low five turnovers in a victory at home over Milwaukee.

FIRST DEFENSE: The Bulldogs led the Horizon League and ranked seventh in the NCAA Division I in team scoring defense (58.4). It was the third straight year that Butler topped the Horizon League in scoring defense. The Bulldogs also topped the league in three-point field goal percentage defense (.318). The Bulldogs held 16 opponents below 60 points in 2007-08.

BULLDOG BITS:

•Butler finished the 2007-08 season ranked No. 2 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25.

•The Bulldogs wound up leading the Horizon League in scoring margin (+10.4), turnover margin (+3.65), assist/turnover ratio (1.26) and three-point field goals (9.38). Butler finished second in free throw shooting (.737) and tied for second in steals (6.50).

•Senior Mike Green was one of just eight NCAA Division I players to lead his team in scoring, rebounding and assists in 2007-08. He was the first Butler player to accomplish the feat since 1988-89, when Darren Fowlkes led the Bulldogs in all three categories.

•Mike Green led the Horizon League in assists (5.06). He set a Butler single season record for assists with 172, breaking the previous mark of 168 set by Tim Bowen in 1990-91. Green finished his two-year career with the Bulldogs in a tie for sixth place on Butler's all-time assist chart with 316 assists.

•Mike Green scored 1,637 points during his collegiate career (641 at Towson and 996 at Butler).

•Mike Green finished seventh on Butler's all-time list for free throws made (378). He had the first- (196, 2006-07) and fourth-highest (182, 2007-08) single season free throw totals in Butler history.

•Mike Green wound up seventh in the Horizon League in scoring (14.6) and eighth in rebounding (6.5). He finished third in assist/turnover ratio (1.72), fourth in defensive rebounds (5.26), sixth in steals (1.29), and 11th in free throw shooting (.758). Green topped the league in free throws made (182).

•Mike Green started 70 consecutive games for the Bulldogs, every game of his Butler career.

•A. J. Graves finished his career in third place on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,807 career points. He ended up 17th on the Horizon League's all-time list.

•A. J. Graves wound up in second place on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals with 303. He finished third on the Horizon League's all-time list for three-pointers.

•A. J. Graves finished second on both the Butler and Horizon League all-time lists for free throw shooting (.900). He wound up ninth on Butler's all-time list for free throws made (362).

•A. J. Graves tied teammate Mike Green for sixth place on Butler's all-time assist chart with 316 career assists.

•A. J. Graves set Butler records for games played (130) and games started (124). He started his final 52 games with the Bulldogs.

•A. J. Graves finished second in the Horizon League in free throw shooting (.889) and minutes played (35.12), fourth in the league in three-point field goals (2.79) and steals (1.59) and 10th in scoring (13.6).

•Pete Campbell led the Horizon League in 3-point field goals (3.29) and finished fourth in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (.457). He wound up 10th in the NCAA Division I in three-point field goal percentage.

•Pete Campbell became just the fourth Butler player to hit more than 100 three-pointers in a season. His 102 three-pointers place him fourth on Butler's single season list and tied for sixth on the Horizon League season list.

•Pete Campbell finished in sixth place on Butler's all-time list for 3-point field goals (183), one shy of Avery Sheets, 2002-06, in fifth place.

•Pete Campbell broke Butler's all-time record for three-point field goal shooting with a .483 career mark. He ended in second place on the Horizon League's career three-point percentage chart.

•Julian Betko ranked 13th in the Horizon League in three-point field goal percentage (.386). He made a career-best 44 of 114 three-pointers in 2007-08.

•Matt Howard posted the second-highest single season scoring total (417 pts) ever by a Butler freshman. He became only the second Butler freshman to score more than 400 points in a season. He became the first Butler freshman to score 400 points and grab 175 rebounds.

•Matt Howard finished second in the Horizon League in offensive rebounds (2.44), third in field goal shooting (.583), fourth in blocked shots (1.09), eighth in free throw shooting (.780), 13th in rebounding (5.5) and 16th in scoring (12.3).

•Matt Howard led all freshmen in the Horizon League in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots, field goal shooting and free throw shooting. He was the only player, regardless of class, to rank in the league's top 16 in all five categories.

Maybe You Missed This:

•Butler had the most wins of any Division I team in Indiana for the third straight year. The Hoosier state boasted six teams with 20 or more wins in 2007-08.

•The Bulldogs were the only Division I team in Indiana to capture a league championship in 2007-08. Butler won both the regular season and tournament crowns in the Horizon League.

•Senior Mike Green became the second Butler player to receive the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award, presented to a NCAA Division I player for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership, integrity, humility, sportsmanship and talent. The award was presented in San Antonio at the Final Four. Current assistant coach Brandon Miller became the first Butler player to win the prestigious award in 2003.

•Mike Green was awarded the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, which is presented annually to the nation's outstanding senior player, six feet and under, who has excelled in both athletics and academics. Green, who stands 6-0 without shoes, became the 40th player to win the national award, first presented to Purdue's Billy Keller in 1969.

•Mike Green was one of 16 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, presented annually to the nation's top collegiate point-guard, and one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Trophy, given to the nation's outstanding collegiate player. D. J. Augustin of Texas won the Cousy Award, while Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina claimed the Naismith Trophy.

•Senior guard A. J. Graves was one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, a tribute to college seniors based on classroom, community, character and competition. The award was won by Shan Foster of Vanderbilt.

•Butler guards A. J. Graves and Mike Green both were active at the Final Four in San Antonio. Graves participated in the 3-Point Championship with seven other seniors. He was eliminated on the final shot of the first round. Green competed in the College All-Star Game at the Alamodome. He had nine points, four rebounds and five assists in 25 minutes, but his American team lost to the National team, 106-100.

•Butler head coach Brad Stevens was one of ten finalists for both the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award and the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.

•Butler senior guards Mike Green and A. J. Graves both participated in the Portsmouth Invitational after the 2007-08 season. Green averaged 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists in three games, while Graves averaged 7.7 points and 1.7 assists in three outings. In the head-to-head meeting between their two teams, Green's squad defeated Graves' team, 82-81, for third place in the tournament.

•Nine members of the Butler men's basketball team earned recognition as a 2007 Josten's Scholar Student-Athlete. To qualify, athletes must have attained a 3.25 grade point average in either the spring or fall semester or have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher. The nine players were Alex Anglin, Julian Betko, A. J. Graves, Zach Hahn, Matt Howard, Grant Leiendecker, Nick Rodgers, Ben Slaton and Drew Streicher. The Bulldogs had a team grade point average of 3.092 for the fall semester.