'Experience' is the name of the game
This experience-heavy version of Butler is one of the many highly-touted teams from the Big East Conference going into this 2015 season. Dunham and Jones are two of the biggest reasons why, and the former is a big believer that their experience gives them quite an advantage.
"I think that it's a big edge," Dunham said after being asked if he views the team's experience giving them an edge. "In a lot of ways just from my experiences in college basketball, the amount of focus and preparation that goes into a game. We kind of understand that now. We've seen the wins and losses throughout my three years so far. I think that's a huge advantage just from the preparation and focus standpoint."
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'Selfless' is, too
Dunham and Jones are the only pair of teams to be named to the 2015 Preseason All-Big East First Team. But after speaking to Big East Coast Bias on Wednesday, it seems clear that only one thing's on their mind:
Kellen and Roosevelt both opened up about their experiences at BU, as well as their perspectives, and it appears clear that the word 'selfless' is the apt word to describe these two.
"I think that moving forward into this year it's a lot more understanding of how I can build my teammates up with preparation," Dunham said. "With the young guys and transfers, as much as I can provide leadership to them and also try to expand my game, finishing around the basket, play better defensively."
"I don't really look into it that much for my expectations," Jones added. "I just try to do whatever I can to help my teammates whether that's scoring, rebounding, or assisting. Stats really don't matter to me about that."
"The roughest time I ever had in my life"
Not too long ago, the 6-foot-4, 227-pound O'Fallon, Illinois native Jones was not sure if he'd ever be the same after suffering a debilitating wrist injury in the summer of 2013. And according to Jones, the road back was a struggle.
"The road to recovery, that was probably the roughest time I ever had in my life," Jones recanted. "That was... I didn't think my wrist was going to be healthy again. I had my doubts... but like, my parents stood with me."
When did Jones start to get back to 100 percent? It took a little while to say the least.
"When I started back in the season, exhibition games, I didn't quite feel 100 percent still. So, as the season kept going, I started picking my pace up. I started getting in a rhythm. So, during mid-season, end of the season I started playing my best basketball."
Tempering expectations? Not so fast
It's no secret that the Butler Bulldogs are walking into 2015 off the heels of an extremely successful 2014. They flew under the radar last season and surprised many by winning 23 games, going 12-6 in conference play and lost by just three points in overtime to eventual Elite Eight-bound Notre Dame in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
And the Bulldogs? They know they were that good last year and according to Jones, they're quite confident in themselves this season, too.
"We felt like we should have made it farther in the Big East last year but we were just short a couple of threads. But, this year our expectations are even higher," Jones said. And that confidence simmered some more.
"We feel like we've still got a good team We've got more offensive weapons. This will be a really good season this year."
We're continuing our Big East Media Day recap. Keep it tuned to BECB, there's plenty more to come.