April 16, 2008
One day after earning a new seven-year contract as men's basketball coach, Butler's Brad Stevens had a couple of additional reasons to celebrate. The Bulldogs' coach began the NCAA spring signing period by landing prized backcourt performers Shelvin Mack of Bryan Station (Ky.) and Ronald Nored of Homewood (Ala.).
Mack, a 6-3 guard, and Nored, a 6-0 guard, both signed with the Bulldogs on Wednesday (April 16). Mack helped his high school squad to a No. 1 ranking in Kentucky during the 2007-08 season, while Nored helped lead his team to a state runner-up finish!
"I'm excited that Shelvin and Ron have chosen to join the Butler family," said Stevens, who became the first men's basketball coach in Butler history to guide the Bulldogs to 30 wins in a season. "They're very good players, they're very good students and both are proven winners."
Mack averaged 23.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 7.5 assists and 3.8 steals last season, while helping Bryan Station to a 30-3 record. The 30 wins were the most for Bryan Station since 1981. Mack led the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, three-point shooting percentage and free throw shooting percentage. He finished with 1, 725 career points.
"Shelvin is a very versatile player who can impact the game in a number of ways and is capable of playing multiple positions," noted Stevens of his Kentucky recruit.
Nored originally signed a letter of intent with Western Kentucky, but opted out when the Hilltoppers' head coach, Darrin Horn, left for the head coaching position at South Carolina. The Alabama guard averaged 15.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists last season, while leading Homewood to a 31-5 record. He was named first team All-State and was selected as the 2008 Boys South and Hoover Player of the Year by The Birmingham News.
"Ron combines a high level of skill with all the intangibles that we look for in a Butler guard," stated Butler's head coach.
Mack and Nored will join three fall recruits, 6-8 Gordon Hayward of Brownsburg, 6-7 Garrett Butcher of Edgewood and 6-3 Chase Stigall of New Castle, in Butler's 2008-09 freshmen class. The five high school players combined for a 124-23 record, which included one state championship and one state runner-up finish.
"We're thrilled to have these five players in our program. They all fit well in our system and each is committed to team success," added Stevens.
Butler returns just one starter from last year's 30-4 squad, which won the Great Alaska Shootout, captured a second straight Wooden Tradition trophy, won a second consecutive Horizon League regular season title, claimed the Horizon League Tournament championship and won a first round game in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs were ranked in the "Top 25" for a school-record 19 consecutive weeks, including five weeks in the "Top 10."