Don’t look now, but the Butler Bulldogs have won four of their last seven games.
By no means is that normally something to brag about for Butler. However, this year it is. Anyone at Hinkle Fieldhouse, whether that’s a player, coach, administrator, broadcaster or fan will tell you that the last two years of Bulldog Basketball has been far from ideal.
LaVall Jordan faces more pressure now from fans than ever before, as the last Bulldog NCAA Tournament run came all the way back in 2018. To be fair, Butler would have made The Big Dance in 2019-20 as well, but you know, COVID had other ideas.
Since that point, it’s been a whole lot of ugly.
Last season saw the Bulldogs barely able to beat teams like Western Michigan without an extra push needed in the second half. Home losses to the likes of Southern Illinois derailed any momentum that Butler could have had. Then came the off the court issues; Players getting kicked off the team, transferring, not being able to stay on the floor, the whole nine yards.
This year, however, has been a mixed back. Some good, some bad. Here’s what has been positive though. A freshman from Lithuania that enrolled on campus at the last minute to play at Hinkle.
He’s a bad man, and his name is Simas Lukosius. (SEE-mas Lu-KOH-sish)
Don’t forget, in my days co-hosting the final few episodes of The Fan Morning Show with Kevin Bowen, I told you guys about this kid. Living on campus again, and being a season ticket holder, Simas stood out to me very early on with one key comparison.
He’s the European version of ‘White Chocolate’ Jason Williams. This kid hoops.
Euro steps, floaters, three point bombs, behind the back passes. You name it, this guy has got it in his rolodex.
It’s nothing but impressive that he has entered a league like the Big East and to this point has flourished. Now, was that shot against DePaul pretty lucky? Probably. But he already has two ‘Big East Freshman of the Week’ honors under his belt. Plus, he’s starting to gain national attention.
What can this year’s version of the Butler Bulldogs be? That’s to be determined. If they want any shot to sniff some game action in March, they need to go on a stretch hotter than the sun and pick up Quad-1 wins over Villanova and Providence.
It’s a daunting task, I know.
Regardless of what happens in the Dawg Pound to end this year, Simas Lukosius is a name you need to remember.