With the graduation of Rotnei Clarke and the season-ending injury suffered by Roosevelt Jones before the season even began, the Butler Bulldogs found themselves with some serious adjustments to make in their first season as a member of the Big East. One player asked to step up under first-year head coach Brandon Miller has been sophomore guard Kellen Dunham, and he’s been up to the task thus far.
Dunham’s averaging 18.2 points per game for the Bulldogs, who are 7-2 on the season with a game against Purdue next on the schedule. Dunham worked hard during the offseason and he continues to do so, and he’s reaped the rewards thanks to his use of a rigorous late-night shooting routine.
It is a calculated routine — every cut, every screen, every shot designed to simulate looks he’ll soon see in a game. First, 3-pointers from around the arc. Then, jumpers from the elbow of the free throw line. Right side. Left side. Shot-fakes and jumpers. Right hand. Left hand. Curls off screens, catch-and-shoot. Then, curls off screens, catch, shot-fake, shoot.
Dunham, joined on this night by freshman teammate Steven Bennett, flies through the repetitions like it’s the last minute of a tie game. The sweat drips off his frame while his gaze alternates between the floor and the rim, one repetition after another after another. This is his toil, the labor he’s grown to love.
The full profile on Dunham, written by Zack Keefer of the Indianapolis Star, is an interesting read and it can be found here.
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 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.