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Advice From A Mountaineer Great

There is a reason some conferences in Division I basketball are tougher than others. Many players spend every minute of the day thinking about basketball and have a passion that drives them to compete at the highest level.

In the Bob Huggins era, six players have left the Mountaineer basketball program and three signed scholarships, but never played. Those numbers seem high, and raise the question: Were some of Huggins’ recruits ill prepared for big-time college basketball?

According to NCAA statistics, 40 percent of all college basketball players transfer in the first two years. For Huggins’ teams at WVU, that number is 43 percent.

Former WVU great Da’Sean Butler helped build the Mountaineer basketball program into what it is today. Butler was a guest on Friday’s Metronews Statewide Sportsline and said he understands how tough it is to stay at one school for four years.

“The guys that do stick it out, it’s a testament to them and how they were raised and how tough they are,” said Butler. “The guys that don’t stick it out, hopefully it’s not the case that they were weak or anything like that, but maybe it works out somewhere else for them.”

“Not many of them are used to people constantly yelling at them because they aren’t getting what they want,” continued Butler. “That’s why these coaches get paid the big bucks because they tell these guys to get over themselves in a different way.”

Butler learned early in his high school career that it takes hard work to be successful. He even admits there was a time at Bloomfield Tech High School he wanted to transfer.

“Before I got there I was told I was going to play a lot, but when I got there I didn’t play one minute,” said Butler. “I walked up to my coach and I told him I was thinking about transferring. He said ‘well good luck, hopefully you’ll end up where you want to end up.’ I was like ‘What?!’”

The Mountaineer great said advice from his father helped clear up the decision.

“I talked to my dad and he said ‘I don’t want this to be a habit when things don’t go your way,’” said Butler. “I stayed and just continued to work and stay at it and I got a college scholarship and graduated so it went well.”

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