Ten most-read Collegian sports stories of the school year

Xan Korman / Collegian file photo.

JOSH MULLENIX | SPORTS EDITOR | jmulleni@butler.edu

CHRIS BROWN | SPORTS EDITOR | cbbrown@butler.edu

Since Aug. 28, the sports section has written 316 stories. Stories about every corner of Butler athletics and the outside sports world — features, recaps, columns and so much more. After 24 issues, these are the 10 most read sports stories of the school year.

 

1. ‘We’ve got nothing to lose’: Butler football embracing underdog mentality against North Dakota State

Instead of sizing up a weaker opponent in Week 1 of the season, Butler football headed to Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota to face a North Dakota State team with seven championships in the last eight seasons. Assistant sports editor Drew Sandifer sat down with the team to talk about their mentality ahead of facing the defending champs.

 

2. Brown: This is a different Butler basketball

It was clear from the start that a different Butler basketball team was taking the floor this season despite a mostly unaltered roster. Sports editor Chris Brown detailed three key areas where the Bulldogs had shown significant strides in his first of three columns this year.

 

3. One Last Shot: A story about trying out for the Butler men’s basketball team

It’s not often a Division I basketball team holds open tryouts, but it happened this year for Butler men’s basketball after Campbell Donovan suffered an ACL tear. Sports reporter Drew Favakeh laced ‘em up, gave it a shot and then wrote this article about what it was like to chase his dream one last time.

 

4. Predicting the Big East basketball conference standings

You usually see him on sidelines snapping photos for The Collegian, but in November Chandler Hart took a shot at predicting the Big East standings for the upcoming men’s basketball season. It wasn’t perfect, but he may have hit the Bulldogs spot in the standings right on the head.

 

5. Butler athletes react to newly renovated Hinkle Fieldhouse

Hinkle is historic, but it also needs maintenance from time to time to keep up with current-day standards. In the spring of 2019, the 90-year-old building underwent a $10.5 million renovation. Assistant sports editor Drew Sandifer found out how the athletes who use the building felt about the new renovations and what they meant for the basketball and volleyball teams.

 

6. Where are they now: Rotnei Clarke

In January, reporter Drew Favakeh caught up with former Butler basketball guard Rotnei Clarke in Italy, where the 30-year-old was playing for Pallacanestro Mantovana, a team in the country’s third division. In his seventh year playing basketball overseas, Clarke was raising a family, pondering his future and still chasing a childhood dream.

 

7. The final moments, the larger meaning: A look back at a Butler basketball season cut short

The 2019-20 college basketball season will always be remembered for its abrupt ending, but for the Butler men’s basketball team, the overall picture is much more complex. Sports editor Chris Brown talked with Sean McDermott about the season, its wild conclusion and what Team 122 accomplished.

 

8. Brown: Aaron Thompson’s absence has revealed just how crucial he is to this Butler team

With guard Aaron Thompson out of the starting lineup for the first time under LaVall Jordan due to injury, the Bulldogs won two of three games in late January/early February. Despite that success, sports editor Chris Brown argued Thompson’s absence narrowed the number of paths to victory for Butler and showed just how valuable the team’s facilitator is.

 

9. How LaVall Jordan stacks up with other Power 6 coaches

Back in October, with the men’s basketball season right around the corner, assistant sports editor Drew Sandifer set out to compare how Butler head coach LaVall Jordan’s first two seasons at the helm compared to those of other Power 6 coaches. The Collegian created a metric to see how Jordan compared to notable coaches such as Chris Holtmann, Archie Miller and Patrick Ewing.

 

10. Butler athletics all-decade team

The past decade was one of great growth for Butler University, and athletics is certainly no exception. Most Butler sports teams moved from competing in the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10 and then the Big East, and several former Bulldogs from the decade have since gone pro. Assistant sports editor Drew Sandifer took a look back at the top Butler athletes, teams and coaches of the 2010s.

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