Team: Butler Bulldogs
2015-16 Record: 22-11, 10-8 Big East
2015-16 Big East Finish: Tied for 4th
Final 2015-16 KenPom Ranking: #32
Postseason? Yup, lost to Virginia 77-69 in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament
Key Departures: Roosevelt Jones (13.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.7 assists) & Kellen Dunham (16.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists)
Key Returners: Kelan Martin (15.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.1 assists); Tyler Lewis (5.9 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists); Andrew Chrabascz (10.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists); Tyler Wideman (7.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks)
Key Additions: guard Avery Woodson (grad transfer from Memphis, 9.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 43% 3 point shooting); 247 Sports’ #61 recruiting class, 6th best in the Big East, including Joey Brunk (6’9’, 225 lb. center, ranked #107) & Kamar Baldwin (6’2’, 175 lb. shooting guard, ranked #158)
Coach: Chris Holtmann, in his third season (89-76 overall, 45-22 at Butler)
Outlook: At this point, you can't say that the Bulldogs are going to have a down season under Holtmann. He took over the program in less than ideal circumstances, and he’s guided them to the second round of the NCAA tourney in both seasons that he’/ been running the show. There’s no reason to doubt what Holtmann can do as a coach.
If you do have a question, it comes down to the fact that he doesn't have his two cornerstones of Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones. Between Dunham’s ‘shooters gotta shoot’ mentality and Jones’ old man game that lets him get to the rim as well as contribute a little bit of everything, Holtmann has just been filling in the edges around them. The trio of Kelan Martin, Andrew Chrabascz, and Tyler Wideman are a good place to start, though, and if those guys step up just a wee bit this coming season, Butler should be a top half of the Big East team again.