Thursday, October 8, 2015
Elev8's Butts Earning High-Major Interest Since URI de-commitment
In a matter of days, 6-foot-7 combo forward Leroy Butts' Division-I profile has skyrocketed. Since de-committing from Rhode Island, the Elev8 Prep post-grad is entertaining interest from Louisville, Memphis, Boston College, Ole Miss, and a plethora of other high-majors.
"Louisville, Memphis, I would say those are the main schools I've heard the most from right now," said Elev8 head coach Chad Myers, whose squad features high-end Division-I talent with Cal-signee Tyson Jolly and Ole Miss-bound guard Donte Fitzpatrick.
"I think he definitely is a high-major player. Being a fifth-year player, he's a little bit older. So he wants to go to the right fit where he's got a chance to contribute right away. We've had calls from all over. Big East, ACC, all down the board. I think right now it's just too early to tell."
Rick Pitino and Louisville assistant Mike Balado were in South Florida recently, recruiting Elev8's 6-foot-10 junior Kasper Christiansen. Both coaches walked away intrigued by Butts, a long and crafty lefty.
Butts' suddenly improved court sense, in-game awareness, playmaking acumen, and the development of a reliable 18-20 footer has rendered him an appealing commodity on the high-major market.
Last season, Butts scored primarily on hustle points and short-range jumpers, taking big interior bangers away from the rim.
This season, Butts has tuned up his shot selection and shot creation off the dribble. He's refined his stepback game and grinded away at creating space for his mid-range and shallow-water jumper.
Butts has twice re-opened his recruitment, having committed to both Rutgers and Rhode Island.
Now, with the NCAA brand name schools expressing interest, Butts is cognizant he must come out guns-a-blazing to spearhead this deep, Division-I prospect-laced squad defined by versatility and interchangeability.
"The coaches (at Elev8), they expect me to be a leader, they want me to be great," Butts said.
"They want me to bring the right effort and be way better than I was last year as a senior. The summer was about grinding, getting in shape. Doing extra things, chasing 50-50 balls and rebounding and working on my ball handling."
Though he may not possess freakish athleticism, Butts' multi-layered game and aforementioned IQ separates him from other players of his ilk.
The next eight weeks will likely be pivotal in determining Butts' decision. The phone is still ringing, as the D.C. native's list of potential suitors is akin to a 7-year-old's Christmas gift list in length.
"He's wide open right now," said Myers. "There's no real leader in sight."