College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, November 18, 2009
The Butler Bulldogs have a pretty good team. How far they go this season rests largely on the big shoulders of 6'8" sophomore Gordon Hayward, who recorded his first double-double with 14 points and 10 boards in Butler's 67-54 victory at Northwestern.
The win made the Bulldogs 2-0, with a bunch of big games just ahead. On Thanksgiving, the Bulldogs host #24 Minnesota, but then on December 8, 12 and 19, the schedule gets extremely tough, at (19) Georgetown, then home for (15) Ohio St. and then unranked Xavier.
It's that kind of scheduling that keeps little Butler consistently in the Top 25 and battle-tested for the Horizon League regular season. The Bulldogs have been in the NCAA tournament each of the last three seasons, having won or shared the regular league title in each of those years and the conference tournament after the conclusion of the 2007-08 season.
Hayward averaged 13.1 points per game last season. He's up to 15.5 so far this year.