There were plenty of question marks about the Butler basketball team looking ahead to the 2013-14 season prior to Friday. Now what to expect from the Bulldogs is even more uncertain with the news that leading returning scorer and rebounder Roosevelt Jones will miss the season with a wrist injury.
Jones tore ligaments in his left wrist during the team's first game in Australia Aug. 6. Doctors examined the injury when the team returned from the trip and determined he will require surgery. He will redshirt and have two years of eligibility remaining in 2014-15 when he returns.
So now the Bulldogs will be looking for a new go-to- guy when the season starts in November on top of joining a new conference and beginning their first season under first-year coach Brandon Miller, who replaced Brad Stevens after he was hired by the Boston Celtics. Jones averaged 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds and led the team in assists.
“I feel for him,” Miller told the Indianapolis Star. “He’s worked extremely hard to put himself in the position he’s at. Obviously, when you lose your top returning scorer and rebounder, it hurts. A lot of the things he does don’t show up in the stat sheet. He’s just a winner.”
It will be a lot to adjust to and overcome in addition to losing the team's top two scorers Rotnei Clarke and Andrew Smith. Stevens left Miller a solid core of players, some of whom have played a part in Butler winning so many big games. But there is just so much new around the program, the Bulldogs will be a team to keep a close eye on early in the season.
Miller definitely can't afford any more bad news between now and the start of his first season leading the program.
Jones provided one of the most memorable moments of the entire college basketball season last season when he stole a pass in the waning moments and hit a game-winner to beat Gonzaga in a regular-season matchup of two of the best mid-majors of the past decade.
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