Butler Bulldogs Progress Report (from highest grade to lowest grade):
G Kellen Dunham – A
The lone "A" grade given out on the squad for now, Dunham has certainly lived up to his reputation as a scoring guard so far this season. Through three games, Dunham is averaging 19 points per game, shooting 66.7 percent from behind the three-point arc. Dunham dropped 26 points against Chattanooga to help Butler pull away in the second half, and seems to be displaying an improved slashing game when attacking the lane. If this keeps up, Dunham will be one of the top names in the conversation for First Team All-Big East at the end of the year.
F Roosevelt Jones – B
Jones appears to still be shaking off a bit of the rust after missing all of last season with a wrist injury, but has enjoyed a strong start to the season thus far. The junior "point forward" is averaging 10.7 points and 7.3 assists per game, looking more comfortable as a passer and floor general with each game. He struggled from the floor against Chattanooga’s 2-3 zone defense and is still looking for consistency at the free throw line (54.5 percent through three games), but has compensated for his lack of a jump shot with better control while attacking from within ten feet.
F Kameron Woods – B
We rated Woods as the fourth-best power forward in the Big East prior to the season, and he has shown flashes as to why we ranked him there thus far. Woods has an impeccable nose for rebounds, feasting on the glass at both ends for an average of 9.3 rebounds per game this season. Woods is averaging nearly a double-double once you throw in his 9.3 points per game, but has been extremely inconsistent as a post scorer. The footwork and the fundamentals are all there, but he struggles with his touch near the basket. If Woods can improve his back-to-the-basket game, he’ll most definitely see his progress report grade reflect it.
F Andrew Chrabascz – B
Chrabascz is far and away the team’s most consistent back-to-the-basket threat, and his confidence in these scenarios gives off the look of a player much older than just a sophomore. Chrabascz is averaging 10.0 points per game so far, even after spending much of the Chattanooga game in foul trouble, but where he really excels is in the areas not shown on the stat sheet. He creates big problems for opponents as a rim protector, he’s an excellent passer and serves as a glue guy on both ends. He’s shown it so far this season.
G Kelan Martin – B
Martin had his coming-out party on Saturday against Loyola (MD), exploding off the bench for a career-high 23 points and seven rebounds. Martin’s biggest issue has been consistency, as he sandwiched a zero point performance against Chattanooga between Saturday’s performance and a 12-point outing in the season opener against Maine. Just a freshman, Martin most definitely appears comfortable looking for his own shot, and his dominance this weekend may be the kick-start he needs to start putting up consistent numbers. Through three games, the ceiling appears to very high for this kid.
G Alex Barlow – B
With Jones back in the lineup and Dunham and Martin handling big chunks of the scoring, Barlow has been able to focus on the things he does best: passing, three-point shooting and above all else, defense. The numbers for Barlow haven’t been flashy, but he’s averaging three assists per game while knocking down 37.5 percent of his attempts from behind the arc. He needs to cut down on his turnovers a bit, but so far, Barlow has played well while sticking to his role.
F Austin Etherington – B
Etherington, a transfer from Indiana, has enjoyed a nice start to the year off the bench for the Bulldogs. The forward is averaging 7.7 points per game and has been scoring with efficiency, shooting 75 percent from the floor and 60 percent from three-point range. He’s spent time at both forward spots for Butler this season, and has carved out a role as important option in the second unit.
F Tyler Wideman – C
Wideman, a freshman forward who also spends time at center, has yet to jump off the page for Butler this season. He’s been effective as a bench big man, grabbing three rebounds per game, but hasn’t had a statement game like Martin so far in the regular season. He dropped 17 points in the team’s final exhibition game against Franklin, so we know he has the potential to be a big post threat, but we haven’t seen it thus far. He’s been the first player off the bench for the Bulldogs in all three games this year, so he’ll most likely start seeing more results on the stat sheet as he gets more comfortable going forward.
G Jackson Aldridge – C
Aldridge, a pass-first point guard who displayed an improved three-point shot and ability to attack the basket in the preseason, injured his ankle in the team’s first game against Maine. Aldridge had appeared to have cracked the Butler rotation and had enjoyed a serviceable start to the year, but it is unclear at this time when he will return.
G Steven Bennett – C
G Trey Pettus – C
Bennett and Pettus, the team’s two walk-ons, have gotten in twice this season during the blowouts over Maine and Loyola (MD). Both have shown flashes in limited action, and Bennett is a dangerous three-point threat, but neither appears to be much of a factor in the Butler rotation in the early part of the year.
F Jackson Davis – D
Davis hasn’t seen the same success as his fellow freshmen counterparts, and looks to be buried behind Wideman on the team’s depth chart. He’s gotten in during garbage time against Maine and Loyola (MD), but has struggled to make much of an impact offensively while shooting just 25 percent from the floor. Athletically, he’s one of the most gifted prospects on the team, but he doesn’t figure to be a part of the Butler rotation once the competition increases.