Late last week, Butler head coach Brad Stevens announced that the team had dismissed junior guard Chrishawn Hopkins.
It is never a good thing to lose your second leading scorer, but Hopkins was dismissed for repeated violations of team rules. The Indianapolis Star reported last week that Hopkins was “extremely regretful” for letting his team down. Hopkins averaged 9.1 points per game last season as a sophomore.
The Indianapolis native will pursue a transfer following his dismissal.
Looking forward, the loss undoubtedly hurts, but the back court rotation for the Bulldogs should still be among the best in the Atlantic 10 Conference this year.
Senior guard Chase Stigall provides experience for the Bulldogs, having played on each of Butler’s final four teams in 2010 and 2011. However, the real talent emerges from eligible Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke and incoming freshman Kellen Dunham. Clarke is widely considered as one of the purest shooters in the country while Dunham enters the Bulldogs’ back court as highly-regarded, top-100 recruit.
Hopkins’ dismissal will force others to step up and sophomore guards Roosevelt Jones and Jackson Aldridge will find themselves in a position to do so.
Stevens certainly has weapons this season as the Bulldogs will look to reemerge on the national scene. Big man Andrew Smith anchors the squad down low while forwards Khyle Marshall and Kameron Woods also return with expectations of improvement.
Butler is entering its inaugural season within the A-10 this year and expectations of a conference title are not out of the question. The Bulldogs will be tested early with a trip to Xavier as part of the ESPN Tip-off Marathon before a trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational.
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