The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

December 14, 2009

Butler getting it done

Senior forward is unquestionably leader of team

MORGANTOWN — Da’Sean Butler is the clear-cut leader of West Virginia’s No. 6 nationally ranked men’s basketball team.

The 6-foot-7, 230-pound senior forward from Newark, N.J., is averaging a team-best 16.8 points per game this season. He also has pulled down 39 rebounds and dished out 26 assists for the first seven games, all victories.

“There’s no question that Da’Sean Butler is our best all-around player,” coach Bob Huggins said. “He’s been terrific. I think he’s played everywhere (at different positions) since I got here.

“He keeps getting better and better. I think he is as versatile as anybody I’ve ever had.”

Butler commented, “That’s a nice compliment. I try to play every game honestly. I do what I’m told to do to the best of my ability.

“Yes, I consider myself as the team’s leader. But I can still get better. I want to do as much as I can for this team.”

Butler ranks high among Big East Conference leaders with his 16.8-ppg pace. But he said that he needs to become more consistent in all phases of his performances.

He’s on course to be more productive this season as he completes his four-year collegiate career. But that’s not really surprising.

Butler has shown improvement in each of the past three seasons. He came off the bench as a freshman and averaged 10.1 points per contest. Then he scored at a 12.9 clip as a sophomore and 17.1 last year as a junior.

Most of his career highs came in a 92-73 victory over Villanova here on Feb. 13. Those include 43 points, 12 field goals made, 23 attempts, 6 of 13 from three-point range, and 13 free throws made in 15 attempts.

While certainly content playing for coach John Beilein as a rookie in 2006-07, Butler likes the system installed by Huggins when he succeeded Beilein as head coach in 2007-08.

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