Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Endorsement: Brad Stevens and Butler

Yes, they shot terribly in the NCAA Championship game. And yes, at times they looked completely overmatched against UConn. But I still love the way Butler goes about its business. Here are some of the arguments/comments I heard against/about Butler throughout the tournament this year:

  • Who is going to be this year's "Butler?"
  • Looks like the underdog did it again.
  • Brad Stevens is amazing at making a second-tiered team look better than they really are.
  • Matt Howard just always seems to be in the right place at the right time.
  • I can't believe Butler keeps taking down these powerhouses.

Frustrating. I'm no basketball expert but here is what I've seen: Butler is a team comprised of top-level talent that were passed up by the Indiana's and the Michigan's of the world. Brad Stevens is an intelligent guy who appears to focus on fundamentals and hustle. Matt Howard was in the right place at the right time because he's a smarter player than most, and he works harder than pretty much everyone on the court. And Butler kept taking down the "powerhouses" because they played better basketball on that given day. They didn't play better than UConn on Monday night, so they got beat. That's how the game works.

If we quit trying to "assess" teams like Butler and start paying attention to how they play the game, we could all learn a lot - about basketball and otherwise. Learn about your game (whatever it is), play smarter than your opponent, work hard and hustle. Butler was this year's "Butler," and they will be again next year, regardless of their record.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE this blog post. The Bulldogs are always the underDAWG and this gives them the credit they deserve. Go, Dawgs!