Butler promotes Brandon Miller to head coach

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The last three times that Butler has needed to hire a new head coach, they’ve promoted from within.

All three coaching decisions ended up quite successful, as Thad Matta, Todd Lickliter and Brad Stevens kept the Bulldog’s program growing. With Stevens making the decision to head to the NBA to take over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, the Bulldogs were once again forced to find a new head coach, and once again they hired from within.

On Saturday afternoon, Butler sent out a release naming assistant coach Brandon Miller Stevens’ replacement.

“I am confident that Brandon will carry on the Butler University basketball tradition of excellence, especially as we make the transition to the Big East Athletic Conference,” Butler AD Barry Collier said. “As a player, assistant coach, and person, Brandon has exemplified the Butler Way and brings a blend of energy, talent and integrity to this role. With Brandon’s leadership, Butler is well positioned to expand upon the success of the last few years.”

Miller was a starting point guard for Butler in the early 2000s, getting recruiting to the program by Collier, who was, at that time, the Butler head coach. Miller played for Matta and, after spending a couple of years on the Butler staff, took a job with Matta at Ohio State. He spent last season as a special assistant to Illinois head coach John Groce.

Miller is a 34 year old first-time head coach, and he couldn’t possibly walk into a situation with bigger shoes to fill. The coach he is replacing led Butler to back-to-back national title games, sparking a 15-month span where the Bulldogs went from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 and into the new Big East next season. That won’t be an easy job for Miller, who interviewed with Collier on Wednesday after Stevens announced that he would be leaving and was hired over former Butler assistant and current Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan, to take on.

But the trend for Butler over the last decade and a half is one of success and consistent tournament appearances.

Miller was a part of the growth of the program, so don’t be surprised to see continued success for the Bulldogs.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.