Pete Thamel wrote a terrific piece about Butler and the path that they are taking to try and rise from the middle of the Horizon League to make yet another tournament run this season.
There are a number of juicy nuggets in there. For example, Thamel cites a study that estimates Butler University will make $1 Billion off of their two title game appearances between TV appearance, increased applications, apparel deals and ticket sales. But even before that magical 2009-2010 season, the Bulldogs were chartering planes instead of flying commercial. By comparison, part of UNLV’s loss to TCU on Tuesday night can be pinned on the fact that their flight was delayed and they didn’t get into Dallas until 1:20 am, more than five hours late.
And who’s a mid-major?
My favorite part of the story, however, is about Ronald Nored, Butler’s senior point guard and one the toughest, most-well rounded players — and kids — you will ever come across. Here’s why:
The darkest moment of Butler’s stunning run to the national title game last season came in the parking lot of a CVS in Youngstown, Ohio.
The Bulldogs had just squandered a 10-point lead in the second half against the conference doormat Youngstown State, and a freak hand injury to point guard Ronald Nored added to the insult of their third consecutive defeat. Nored had ripped open his hand on a metal placard on the scorer’s table in the final seconds, and the Youngstown team doctor quickly stitched him up, without anesthetic, after the game. “He literally just started sewing,” Nored said.
Nored still needed an antibiotic, though, which was why the team bus idled for a half-hour while the trainer Ryan Galloy fetched Nored’s medication.
It just so happens that this story came out all of 10 days after Nored tripped and fell, faceplanting onto the court and doing this to his tooth. (WARNING: DO NOT click that link if you are at all squeamish.)
The mind of a coach and the heart of an MMA fighter.
And you wonder why so many fans and writers are enamored with this young man.