Being a college senior seems surreal in so many ways. One more semester, one more spring break, one more round of finals, and one more basketball season. After 3 ½ years at the small, yet noteworthy Butler University, I am going into my last semester with nothing more than hope and excitement for a great couple of months. Most of all, I am anticipating an exciting basketball season much like the 2009-2010 season the school recently had. The only thing that can top off a great senior year would probably be another trip to the NCAA Championship Basketball Game, with Butler coming out on top.
But is this dream possible?
Since Butler’s loss to Duke in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game, the team took time off to focus and get a good start to the upcoming 2010-2011 season. This past Saturday, Butler gained a 90-70 victory against Florida Southern in the exhibition opener. The Bulldogs, who will return three starters and eleven letter winners from last year’s 33-5 team, will open the 2010-11 campaign at home against the local Marian University, on Nov. 13. I am personally looking forward to the rematch of Butler vs. Duke, which will occur at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday, Dec. 4.
My hopes for this season might be hindered by the absence of a few key players: Gordon Hayward, Willie Veasley, and Avery Jukes. Gordon Hayward, following his sophomore season, was taken No. 9 overall by the Utah Jazz and will be absent on the court for the Bulldogs. He was the program’s first NBA player since 1953. Both Veasley and Jukes were key defensive players for the team last year,and both played their final season with the Bulldogs as seniors.
Sitting in Lucas Oil watching the seconds tick down during the loss to Duke was probably one of the most heart-wrenching feelings I have ever experienced. Although the team has lost a couple of its top players, the Butler Bulldog’s line-up is full of determined, hard-working, young men. I have the utmost faith that the 2010-2011 team will put on a great show for the Butler community, and will continue to build the Butler Way in men’s NCAA Basketball.
Jennifer is a Marketing Intern at LIDS and is a senior at Butler University. Jennifer writes occasional blogs regarding her experiences as a college student, an intern at LIDS and an avid sports fan.