Butler is known for its varsity men’s basketball success, but it may also be home to one of the best men’s club basketball teams in the Midwest.
After posting an 11-6 record last year in its inaugural season, this year’s club team has taken things to the next level.
The Butler club team has chalked up a 22-1 record, with notable wins over Indiana, Ohio State and defending national champion Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The club’s president, senior Carl Miller, credits the team’s success to it similarities with Butler’s varsity team.
“We’ve all watched (coach)Brad (Stevens) do what he does, and that’s one of the things that we saw,” Miller said. “It doesn’t matter who you put on the floor. All of those guys can play together, and that’s what we’ve tried to establish on the club team.”
In addition to playing cohesively, the team is loaded with talent. Senior Brian Joe, one of the team’s two coaches, said the squad is filled with guys capable of playing at the collegiate varsity level.
“I think that we definitely have some kids that could at least play Division III or Division II basketball,” Joe said, “and a couple that are good enough to have gotten looks at Division I schools and probably could have played there.”
Both Joe and senior Josh Koch, the other coach, played on the team last year. However, both felt that coaching this year would help the club long term.
“I decided that I would step down from playing and give my position to a couple of the younger kids,” Koch said. “We’re hoping that the younger guys can catch on and continue to build the program.”
Next up for the team is a regional tournament this weekend in Oakland, Mich. If Butler wins this tournament it will go on to nationals, which take place in early April at North Carolina State.
Before nationals, a regional tournament at Ohio State is in the works. Joe said the club is also looking to host a tournament at Butler.