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View Full Version : Did Butler change it's recruiting landscape? No it will probably copy the Gonzaga way



Zagquette
04-06-2010, 06:56 AM
According to an official from Scout.com

Pretty good article about how high mid-majors successfully recruit.

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100406/SPORTS/4060313/1002

[QUOTE]Don't misunderstand. A national runner-up finish boosts the program immeasurably. But the Butler Way is the cornerstone of the program. Stevens targets players who are good fits academically and socially, as well as athletically. Players have to thrive in a team concept where collective good supersedes individual glory. They have to be comfortable playing in the Horizon League (where opponents include Wright State, Detroit and Cleveland State) and getting about 12 games on national TV (ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN2) as opposed to superpower conference squads that dominates national and regional TV.

Not every high-profile recruit buys into that.

“I think it will always be Butler recruiting,” says Telep, the national recruiting director for Scout.com, a national Internet recruiting service. “Just because they have a bigger profile doesn't mean that they'll skimp on their core values and recruit a bunch of different kids. You may see them going after a couple guys who are a little bit higher level, but for most part I can see Brad Stevens being true to his model.”

That model allowed the Bulldogs to draw a player from Florida (junior guard Shawn Vanzant), Kentucky (sophomore guard Shelvin Mack), Alabama (sophomore guard Ronald Nored), Illinois (senior forward Willie Veasley) and Georgia (senior forward Avery Jukes). The other 10 players are from Indiana.

“I believe the Butler way is what has gotten them to this point,” Telep says. “You might find that over the course of a few years they'll do what Gonzaga has done -- stick their nose in with some higher-profile guys, but I don't think Brad Stevens will trade talent for the proper fit for his program -- ever.”/QUOTE]

CDC84
04-06-2010, 07:56 AM
The problem that Butler is going to continue to have, recruiting wise, is their school location. They are surrounded by tons and tons of BCS schools. The final 4 run will no doubt help, but the one thing that Gonzaga had going for it that too few analysts recognize is that the school is located in an area where there is a paucity of D-1 schools but a huge amount of talent. I think that's the part of this that Telep is missing. Even if Stevens wanted to go after more highly ranked players, the competition he faces for those players is so much more intense.

HillBillyZag
04-06-2010, 08:36 AM
But the fact is like G.U. used to, he recruits kids that fit the system, this recent drive to recruit like the BCS Powers has not borne the fruit that was anticipated, nor will it, we are Gonzaga, not Duke, and not Butler, lets go after more ZAGS. It was obvious to HBZ that a Pendo to go with the stars would have added a lot.

Ezag
04-06-2010, 08:52 AM
The fact is he will try to keep things the same but the bar has been raised very high for Butler and the pressure will be on him even more than before to keep the program in the upper ranks and to continue to perform

Bogozags
04-06-2010, 08:53 AM
In the past ten years, there have been four Non-BCS schools to make the FF: Marquette, George Mason, Memphis and now Butler. Marquette jumped to the BEeast along with Cinncy and UL so not sure how there recruiting would have gone after playing in the FF. George Mason has not seen any significant recruiting advantage and Memphis seems to continue to flourish after being forced to forfeit those FF games. Am not sure if Butler will benefit because as a previous post states, they look for a specific type player, that truly believes in the concept of "TEAM!". My guess is the Five Star recruit will continue to go to big time programs and on occasion, Non-BCS schools like GU, X, BU will have some success in this area. I don't know what the draw is for Memphis as they continue to obtain top tier recruits for their program. Maybe it's that they have a football team???? or really good ribs and jazz clubs????

I really hope Coach Stevens forgoes the big bucks and lure of BCS programs to remain at Butler, where they truly appreciate his philosophy and where he can create a dynasty. I can see GU, X and BU consistently being top 15 programs.

surfmonkey89
04-06-2010, 09:19 AM
Yea, I can see how that would work against them.



Am not sure if Butler will benefit because as a previous post states, they look for a specific type player, that truly believes in the concept of "TEAM!".

CDC84
04-06-2010, 09:30 AM
In the past ten years, there have been four Non-BCS schools to make the FF: Marquette, George Mason, Memphis and now Butler. Marquette jumped to the BEeast along with Cinncy and UL so not sure how there recruiting would have gone after playing in the FF.

Marquette and Memphis recruit from a very different pool of players than GMU or Butler. Marquette plays in a 19,000 seat arena and might have the best practice facility in all of college basketball. Memphis has recruited at the McDonald's AA level before and after their national title appearance. Both teams have loads of basketball tradition.

I think Butler has some things going for it that GMU doesn't, but GMU's recruiting has not been helped one bit from their final 4 appearance. All the kids in their area still want to go to Syracuse, G'Town, Maryland, etc. Again, recruiting is tough for them because they are surrounded by BCS teams.

I disagree that Mark Few doesn't recruit for his system anymore because his system has changed since he first arrived at GU. You would be surprised at the amount of talented players he has not pursued because they wouldn't be a good fit. The solution isn't to go back and get less talented players because they'll play harder and thus be more Zag-like or whatever. It's taken 20 years for a team like Butler to reach the title game. I have no issues with Gonzaga getting the most talented players it can possibly get. It gives them their best chance at achieving long term success.

cjm720
04-06-2010, 09:35 AM
The problem that Butler is going to continue to have, recruiting wise, is their school location. They are surrounded by tons and tons of BCS schools. The final 4 run will no doubt help, but the one thing that Gonzaga had going for it that too few analysts recognize is that the school is located in an area where there is a paucity of D-1 schools but a huge amount of talent. I think that's the part of this that Telep is missing. Even if Stevens wanted to go after more highly ranked players, the competition he faces for those players is so much more intense.

I kind of look at it from an opposite perspective when compared to the Zags. Indiana and the midwest, and in part the east coast, has way more talent than in Washington or the PNW. Plus, eastern Washington or Spokane is not an ideal place to live for kids not from the area (it's no Pullman, but it's the boonies for a lot of these kids).

I see Butler as a much more viable recruriting ground than Gonzaga, and the national championship run will make it even more so.

Go Zags!!!

cjm720
04-06-2010, 09:40 AM
some of the Gonzaga Way. Partly by default because we get higher caliber athletes who have already been looking ahead to the NBA even in high school. We have to deal with that now. Those days of the entire team overachieving for our school are gone. Like 1999-2003. We have the same system where we took good athletes to an elite level but now we get Elite athletes who don't proportionately get better. I know there is a law of diminishing returns but the emotional and mental part of our team needs to go back to the 1999 roots. Few will the ante and demand more intensity, loyalty and killer instinct, now. Not later.

We will see a new breed of Zag next year. We will have a 30 win season next year. Some fans don't want to question or demand more because they are content and happy. Thank God Few will not follow that path anymore. The times are a changin' and the Don Daniels hire proves that this team is not going to rest on our WCC laurels any longer. St Marys was the wake up call our staff needed. We are second in the WCC right now.

The difference between this year or last year and 1999 is a few bounces, a lucky break or two. We have way more talent, we just need the cohesion, the trust in each player (and some lucky breaks).

I loved Stevens quote during the pre-game..."...be a good teammate and be accountable..."

Go Zags!!!

CDC84
04-06-2010, 11:12 AM
I kind of look at it from an opposite perspective when compared to the Zags. Indiana and the midwest, and in part the east coast, has way more talent than in Washington or the PNW. Plus, eastern Washington or Spokane is not an ideal place to live for kids not from the area (it's no Pullman, but it's the boonies for a lot of these kids).

I see Butler as a much more viable recruriting ground than Gonzaga, and the national championship run will make it even more so.

I think you underestimate: 1) how much talent is in the Pacific NW; 2) how few D-1 schools there are in relation to that talent; 3) how few BCS schools from the central and eastern part of the country are willing to travel all the way out here to recruit those Pacific NW players 4) how much of an advantage that Gonzaga has because of this. It's the perfect place for a non-BCS school to pick off high major talent without great competition. That's the number one reason why Gonzaga wasn't a one hit wonder and why they are where they are today: the geography of the place. Nowadays the Zags recruit nationally, but still, if Kyle Wiltjer played HS ball in Illinois, and if Gonzaga were located in Indianapolis, I doubt GU would have a chance to land him.

Butler has got Big East schools, Big 10 schools, ACC schools, SEC schools, etc., all within driving distance of their recruiting zone. Even if there are more talented players per square inch in that area of the country, it is much, much harder for Butler to get talented players than it is for Gonzaga. It's really a tribute to Brad Stevens and the coaches that proceeded him that they have been able to pull this off. I am interested to see where he takes the program from here, but I still think that he faces significant obstacles. I think Gonzaga, if they would've been in that title game last night, would probably see more recruiting benefits from it than Butler will.

cjm720
04-06-2010, 11:27 AM
Interesting CDC. Thx.

zag67
04-06-2010, 08:18 PM
I also think that GU is still recruiting "GU" like players. I have some concern that many of the people on this board are calling this years a failure. We had one of the youngest teams in the nation and yes then lost the 2nd game to the NUMBER 1 seeded team. It was said that GU needs to keep getting the PENDO type players, and I think that we have one in Manny and also probably Gibbs and KO. This was a group of freshmen that gave it their all and had a very good season. Yes, this team had flaws that teams would exploit. The coaches and players need to identify those flaws and work on them this summer and if possible bring in help for the future.

OZZY
04-06-2010, 08:33 PM
When one says PNW, you might as well include the neighbourhood to the north, as GU has a location advantage (and a different "feel" than say... California) in Western Canada as well.

azzagfan
04-06-2010, 08:42 PM
How are we doing on getting the top talent in the NW even with far lesser D1 schools? It seems to me outside of Gray, we haven't done very well the last few years (NW of the US and not SW of Canada, where we've obviously done a bit better).

Zag79
04-07-2010, 12:53 AM
It was obvious to HBZ that a Pendo to go with the stars would have added a lot.

a guy who duplicated sean mallons stats. really? a zag is a zag, but pendo was no better a zag then raivio. pargo, matt, and anyone else to play here. zzz...

HillBillyZag
04-07-2010, 07:20 AM
If you really think that all David contributed to the squad can be typed up in a stat sheet?, you have no real idea what being called a Zag is all about.

CDC84
04-07-2010, 07:21 AM
How are we doing on getting the top talent in the NW even with far lesser D1 schools? It seems to me outside of Gray, we haven't done very well the last few years (NW of the US and not SW of Canada, where we've obviously done a bit better).

There really hasn't been anybody the Zags have been interested in except for the Burger Boy kids like Gaddy, Hawes, etc., who have never chosen Gonzaga anyway. And the eastern part of the state still has not produced a player that Few and Co. have really been excited about since Pendo and Heytvelt. It's produced D-1 players, and in some cases, guys who have chosen ACC and Pac 10 schools, but not guys that the staff feel are a good fit for the program.

There is a lot of Pacific NW talent in the 2011 and 2012 classes. I am expecting to see the staff take advantage of it. Bell Jr. and Wiltjer for starters.

Zag79
04-09-2010, 01:21 AM
If you really think that all David contributed to the squad can be typed up in a stat sheet?, you have no real idea what being called a Zag is all about.

no? do tell! explain how he is diffrent from pargo, josh, matt, and so many great zags?

HillBillyZag
04-09-2010, 08:41 AM
You don't really want me to answer that, do you?

Butler Guy
04-09-2010, 09:30 AM
I don't mean any offense by this, but, in a given year, there'll be more D1 talent in Indianapolis itself than the entire Pacific NW. Indy is basketball ground zero, it's like football recruiting in Dallas.

Butler isn't going to have any problem because regardless of the schools within proximity, Butler's name carries cache now. In the 11 class, BU will get at least 2 or 3 top 150 guys now that Zeller (below) is looking solid.

http://www.wthitv.com/dpp/sports/college/zeller-basketball-butler

BlueVoodoo07
04-09-2010, 09:35 AM
I don't mean any offense by this, but, in a given year, there'll be more D1 talent in Indianapolis itself than the entire Pacific NW. Indy is basketball ground zero, it's like football recruiting in Dallas.

Butler isn't going to have any problem because regardless of the schools within proximity, Butler's name carries cache now. In the 11 class, BU will get at least 2 or 3 top 150 guys now that Zeller (below) is looking solid.

http://www.wthitv.com/dpp/sports/college/zeller-basketball-butler
So you think Indy has more talent than 3 states(PNW)?

229SintoZag
04-09-2010, 09:55 AM
The problem that Butler is going to continue to have, recruiting wise, is their school location. They are surrounded by tons and tons of BCS schools. The final 4 run will no doubt help, but the one thing that Gonzaga had going for it that too few analysts recognize is that the school is located in an area where there is a paucity of D-1 schools but a huge amount of talent. I think that's the part of this that Telep is missing. Even if Stevens wanted to go after more highly ranked players, the competition he faces for those players is so much more intense.

I agree with respect to Butler, but somewhat disagree with respect to the geography argument with respect to Gonzaga.

Look at our current roster. It is not exactly populated with a bunch of kids from the Pacific Northwest. We have a pretty good "lock" on kids from Western Canada, I guess. But other than that it is Steven Gray and John Stockton's kid--a legacy project that may or may not work out several years down the road. Our geographic isolation from other D-1 schools arguably did very little to get us kids from Minnesota and Iowa, Colorado and Texas, or even California.

The flip side of this is that the Northwest (non-Canada) has developed a ton of talent, but almost without exception it has gone elsewhere if we are talking blue chip recruits. They went to UW, Texas, Louisville, UCLA, etc.

I hope this changes with Bell, Wiltjer, etc.

But I don't see any reason Butler couldn't recruit the athletes currently on Gonzaga's roster as effectively as Gonzaga did now that Butler has surpassed Gonzaga on the "success in the NCAA" metric.

Bogozags
04-09-2010, 10:36 AM
I really hope Coach Stevens forgoes the big bucks and lure of BCS programs to remain at Butler, where they truly appreciate his philosophy and where he can create a dynasty. I can see GU, X and BU consistently being top 15 programs.


With Stevens remaining at Butler and if Matt stays, they have the making of a great tradition. There recruiting will only get better, now that Stevens has decided to stay...a 12 year extension! He will continue to recruit those special type players just as Coach Few does...

zaggernaut
04-09-2010, 11:12 AM
I agree with respect to Butler, but somewhat disagree with respect to the geography argument with respect to Gonzaga.

Look at our current roster. It is not exactly populated with a bunch of kids from the Pacific Northwest. We have a pretty good "lock" on kids from Western Canada, I guess. But other than that it is Steven Gray and John Stockton's kid--a legacy project that may or may not work out several years down the road. Our geographic isolation from other D-1 schools arguably did very little to get us kids from Minnesota and Iowa, Colorado and Texas, or even California.

The flip side of this is that the Northwest (non-Canada) has developed a ton of talent, but almost without exception it has gone elsewhere if we are talking blue chip recruits. They went to UW, Texas, Louisville, UCLA, etc.

I hope this changes with Bell, Wiltjer, etc.

But I don't see any reason Butler couldn't recruit the athletes currently on Gonzaga's roster as effectively as Gonzaga did now that Butler has surpassed Gonzaga on the "success in the NCAA" metric.


I could be wrong but I think CDC was trying to explain why getting to a Final Four for Gonzaga would have a greater effect on its recruiting that it will for Butler. Not necessarily talking about the players we already have but more about the future. Just my interpretation.

CDC84
04-09-2010, 12:01 PM
That's pretty much my point Zaggernaut.

But I also think Gonzaga's geography - especially from 1995 until about the mid-2000's - made it easier for them to transcend into what is essentially a major program at this point. It allowed them to hide players to keep the success going. It's different now. The brand name recognition can get a 5 star player like Austin Daye from out of California, or a top 40 guy like Bouldin from out of Colorado. The brand name is that strong now, although I firmly believe that a final 4 run or two would allow them to pull in some McDonald's AA level talent from Seattle and other places.


I don't mean any offense by this, but, in a given year, there'll be more D1 talent in Indianapolis itself than the entire Pacific NW. Indy is basketball ground zero, it's like football recruiting in Dallas.

In the 2010 class, the states of Oregon and Washington have 11 players who are rated 3 star or better according to scout.com, with 2 of the players being 5 stars. The entire state of Indiana has 8 players who are rated 3 star or better, with one of the players being a 5 star.

If you go back to the 2002 class, you would be astonished by the high level of recruits that have come out of the states of Washington and Oregon considering how few D-1 schools there are. Especially the Seattle area. We did one study a few months ago which showed that the Seattle area itself completely blew away the state of Pennsylvania over the past 8 years in terms of the amount 4 and 5 star prospects it has produced.

There's a difference between producing D-1 talent, and producing high major talent (whether they chose BCS schools or not).

Zag79
04-12-2010, 12:42 AM
You don't really want me to answer that, do you?

yup. wouldnt say it if i didnt. :) go on...