Oct. 17, 2008
Two days before the official start of men's basketball practice, fans and boosters gathered on the Butler campus for a season preview at the Butler Basketball Tip-Off Dinner. The Butler athletic department fund-raiser drew 175 people to the sit-down dinner on the floor of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.
Featured speakers for the evening were Butler head coach Brad Stevens and former Purdue head coach Gene Keady. Both coaches talked basketball, general and specific, with Stevens lending some insight into this year's Butler squad and Keady recounting his philosophy and approach to the game.
Stevens, beginning his second season at the helm of the Bulldogs, guided Butler to a school- and Horizon League-record 30-4 campaign last year. The Bulldogs won the Great Alaska Shootout, captured league regular season and tournament championships and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Keady, whose name is on the basketball court at Mackey Arena, is the all-time winningest basketball coach at Purdue with 512 career wins. He guided the Boilermakers to six Big Ten Championships and 22 postseason tournament berths in his 25 seasons.
Butler initiated the fund-raising dinner a year ago, with former Michigan State head coach Jud Heathcoate serving as the featured speaker. The first two tip-off dinners have proven to be popular and successful, and it's an event that the Butler athletic department plans to continue in the future.
Butler begins practice for the 2008-09 season on Friday, Oct, 17. The Bulldogs will play a pair of exhibition games at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Nov. 1 and Nov. 8 (both at 7 p.m.) and will open the regular season at Drake on Nov. 15.