Brandon Miller

Butler loses guard Elijah Brown to transfer and adds Indiana transfer Austin Etherington

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It was a busy Friday afternoon for the Butler Bulldogs as freshman guard Elijah Brown, the son of Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown, announced his intention to transfer while the Bulldogs rallied with a commitment from former Indiana wing and graduate transfer Austin Etherington.

The school announced the departure of Brown in a release while Etherington took to Twitter to announce his commitment to Butler on Friday afternoon.

The 6-foot-4 Brown averaged 6.8 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in his freshman season at Butler while shooting a team-leading 85 percent from the free throw line.

“I would like to thank my coaches, teammates and the Butler Community. I’m blessed to have been treated as well as I have been here at Butler by everyone involved in the basketball program,” Brown said in the release.

The California native is the fifth scholarship player to leave Butler since November and likely didn’t want to sit behind returning starters Kellen Durham and medical redshirt Roosevelt Jones.

“We appreciate Elijah and all of his efforts throughout his time here at Butler,” Butler head coach Brandon Miller said in the release. “(Elijah) and I have had discussions about his decision and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Replacing Brown’s spot could be Indiana transfer Etherington, who is graduating from Indiana in June and will be immediately eligible to play for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore will have two years of eligibility remaining for Butler and follows in the footsteps of his father Brett, who played for the Bulldogs from 1987 through 1991.

Etherington played a little over 10 minutes per game for Indiana last season and averaged two points and 1.5 rebounds while struggling to find his shot. The wing shot 32 percent from the field and 23 percent from the three-point line.

For all of the losses Butler has taken in the last six months, they return four starters from last season’s team as well as former starter Jones and the Bulldogs will have a chance to improve on their 14-17 record.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.