The Butler Bulldogs enjoyed an abundance of wealth in the backcourt last season. They had a pure point guard in Tyler Lewis, who was playing in his first season with Butler after transferring from North Carolina State. The Bulldogs also had two senior ball handlers in Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones who both played incredibly for Butler their entire careers. Dunham was the sharpshooter of the team. He would come off numerous screens, catch the ball and just let it fly. Usually the biggest three-point threat on the floor, Dunham would often draw double teams, opening up matchups for his teammates to exploit. Jones was a jack of all trades for Butler. He was a fantastic rebounder, leading the team in rebounding last season, and he could also handle the ball and finish in the paint. That ability to play all around the court allowed Jones the flexibility to play multiple positions and be the primary ball handler for Butler come crunch time.
Butler will miss that this year. Both Dunham and Jones have graduated and that only leaves Lewis and fellow transfer from George Washington, Kethan Savage, left as the elder statesmen on the team. But Butler added some depth in the backcourt to help Lewis and Savage. That man is graduate transfer Avery Woodson. Since he is a graduate transfer, Woodson is automatically eligible to play. That will certainly benefit the Bulldogs, who need more guards in the backcourt.
Avery Woodson will wear #33 for the Bulldogs. RT to welcome @_CampaignAve to Butler from the University of Memphis pic.twitter.com/ceaw7bPDWz— Butler Basketball (@ButlerMBB) June 1, 2016
Woodson last played at Memphis, averaging almost 10 points for the Tigers. He enjoyed a fantastic 2015-16 season, with all of his scoring averages jumping up quite a bit. Woodson developed into a complete player last year. His three-point shooting jumped from 37.7% to 43% and his overall shooting percentage did as well. What was most impressive was that he did that while averaging around the same minutes per game in his two years at Memphis. Jumps like that sometimes involve an increase or decrease in usage. But for Woodson, it wasn't the case. Those numbers have to impress the Butler coaching staff, who will look to Woodson to provide some scoring. With Kelan Martin as the main man this year, Woodson could develop into a nice second option for the Bulldogs. Out of the three guards (Lewis, Savage, Woodson), Woodson is the best offensive player. If he can continue shooting the ball like he did with Memphis, perhaps he could replace Dunham's production.
At 6'2, Woodson will certainly be battling for minutes at the point guard spot with Lewis and possibly Savage. But the transfer of Woodson gives Chris Holtmann options at the spot. It also gives Butler a very reliant option when it comes to three-point shooting and with Dunham gone, the Bulldogs need that.