Butler v Marquette

Butler’s Jones shows leadership following season-ending injury

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We hear that term “The Butler Way” thrown around a lot. The term stems from a mission statement written by current Butler AD Barry Collier, a man who also played and coached for his alma mater.

Writer David Woods shared Collier’s vision for Butler athletics in his book, also titled The Butler Way.

The Butler Way demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality yet seeks improvement while putting the team above self.

We can see all of that on the court when the team plays. But it’s interesting to see how those virtues shine through in the story of Roosevelt Jones, the junior who’s serving a redshirt season after tearing ligaments in his non-shooting hand during the team’s exhibition tour of Australia. A recent story by Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star reveals that Jones embodies all of the traits the Butler Way holds dear, even when he can’t be on the floor.

After leaving the doctor’s office he called each of his teammates to let them know the news. The crux of his message: Don’t feel sorry for meWe’re going to need other guys to step up and be leaders, but just because I’m out doesn’t mean we’re going to have a terrible season.

“That showed a lot of maturity in terms of what was said,” Butler head coach Brandon Miller said later. “He took the attention right off himself and put it back on the team. He immediately went into leadership mode.”

To me, the mental toughness required to accept reality – a key precept of the Butler Way – immediately after the injury was diagnosed, is a telltale sign. This is why Butler players overachieve, and end up as head coaches and leaders after their playing days are over. It’s why the school has promoted from within from the time Collier was head coach of the program, with such great success. Everyone buys in from day one.

Jones will struggle with his enforced year off, but I’m betting he’ll be stronger for it when he comes back, with two years left to play in the Big East.

If you’ve got a strong stomach, check out Jones’ tweet showing his hand full of surgical staples:

That’s one tough kid.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.


VIDEOS: Bill Self makes two skits, Bragg plays piano

Bill Self
AP Photo
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Kansas head coach Bill Self is known for being unique for the annual Late Night at the Phog and this season, he went with some parody videos centered around the recent DirecTV ads. In the two skits, Self plays himself — which acknowledges his many accolades — while playing alongside “short shorts Bill Self” and “graduate assistant Bill Self”.

Hard to say if these videos top Self showing up in a suit like Andrew Wiggins last year, but there do have good promotional value for the program and Self.

Kansas players also had their chance to shine, with both men’s and women’s teams doing dances. Perry Ellis and Jamari Traylor also attempted to lip sync to Michael Jackson. Freshman forward Carlton Bragg showed some solid ability on the piano, which got the crowd going. Bragg was also one of the strong points in a scrimmage.

Of course, the highlight of the night is Bill Self losing $10,000 on a halfcourt shot, but here’s everything else notable from Late Night at the Phog.