This is the first of ten posts revealing the ten Marquette nominees for the SBN Wisconsin Hall of Fame. These are in no particular order, except for the particular order they're in.
Butch Lee goes down as one of the all-time greats at Marquette. As point guard of Al McGuire's rugged defensive teams, he averaged 15.1 points/game in his career. Puerto Rican born and a native of the Bronx, Lee was known for his unselfish play. Ray Meyer said, "He controls a game better than Cousy did." Peter Gammons (yes, Peter Gammons) had a nice story partially about Butch in Sports Illustrated in 1978 that is worth the read.*court-length pass to Jerome Whitehead to beat UNC-Charlotte in the national semifinals. He was awarded the Most Outstanding Player of 1977 NCAA Tournament. He scored 19 points in the final win over Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar Heels. Do you need any other evidence that he was the man?
There's more to Butch than the national championship season. Lee amassed a stupid 99-17 record during his run at MU, including a 15-2 record against Wisconsin, DePaul and Notre Dame. His non-championship teams finished #11 (23-4) in 1975, #2 (27-2) in 1976 and #8 (24-4) in 1978. The 1976 team lost to undefeated Indiana in the Elite Eight. He won the Naismith Award in 1978 and was a two-time All-American. Lee is the 5th all-time in scoring at Marquette with 1,735 points. Too bad assist stats weren't kept in the 70s or else he'd be near the top of that list as well.
Lee was drafted 10th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1978. Unfortunately, injuries shortened his NBA career, but Lee did pick up another title ring with the Lakers in 1980.
Butch Lee, despite all the history of Marquette basketball, he still belongs on any Marquette Mount Rushmore.
* If you don't click on the link, you aren't a Marquette basketball fan. It's a great look at the team post-Al. It discusses Hank's loosening of the offense, his own eccentricities, some the leftover dissent from Al's showboating ways and a good overview of Butch Lee.