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.