It's official: Butch to Wisconsin

Brian Butch

<b>1:20 p.m. update</b> - Brian Butch confirmed reports by announcing at a press conference in Appleton, Wisc. today that he has decided to commit to Wisconsin. "I'm going to go to the University of Wisconsin," he said, as the hometown crowd of over 500 students roared.

I'm glad it's over," Butch said in a radio interview shortly thereafter with Broadcast Monsters. "All the coaches have been great -- they are great programs with great coaches -- but it's time it's over."

Butch's high school coach Greg Hartjes said it was a tough process for the heralded seven-footer.

"He had schools that everyone perceived as big-time programs -- perennial Final Four teams," Hartjes said. "He had to look at it and see where he'd fit in with those teams compared to Wisconsin, so it was a difficult decision for him to look at those story-honored programs and go to Wisconsin."

Butch told the Appleton Post-Crescent that the Tar Heels finished second, and that he thought he fit in with the players at Wisconsin better than at North Carolina.

"The players [at UNC] were great," Butch told the paper today. "But I just think the lifestyle and that stuff. They have a cockiness and a swagger to them. I know I'm good enough to play there, but I don't know if I have the cockiness and the swagger."

Butch chose Wisconsin over North Carolina, Kansas and Marquette. He eliminated such schools as Arizona, Stanford, Iowa, Kentucky and Tennessee earlier in the process.

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Updated Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. --Brian Butch will announce his decision at a 1 p.m. (EST) press conference at his high school today. By all indications, he will announce a commitment to Wisconsin. You can also listen to the press conference online.

ONLINE AUDIO FEED OF THE BRIAN BUTCH PRESS CONFERENCE

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Updated Tuesday at 5:20 p.m. -- According to sources close to the situation, all signs point to Brian Butch committing to Wisconsin at his Wednesday press conference. However, his high school coach says a decision has not been reached as of yet.

"It's not set in stone," Appleton West coach Greg Hartjes said on Tuesday afternoon. "He's probably 60 percent sure, but he could still change his mind."

According to Hartjes, Butch spoke to Matt Doherty this morning for approximately 30 minutes and plans to speak to the UNC head coach again either tonight or tomorrow morning before making his decision public. A press conference is scheduled at the high school at 1 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday.

"Coach Doherty was still trying to tell Brian about all the positives – and Brian was still listening," Hartjes said. "He has hoped to have it done this morning, but he didn't. He still hasn't decided. He still plans on talking to a couple more coaches."

Hartjes said that Butch was planning on talking to Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan later today.

"He didn't get a chance to speak with him yesterday or today," Hartjes said. I'm not sure if he's going to call Coach (Tom) Crean and Coach (Roy) Williams as well."

Despite the fact that Hartjes denies that a decision has been reached, sources close to the UNC basketball office told Inside Carolina this morning that Butch was headed to Madison.

Dave Telep, of TheInsidersHoops.com, clarified this situation in an article this afternoon. "We can tell you that more than one school doesn't think they are getting Butch, but we can also tell you that to the very best of our knowledge not a single school has received a telephone call from Butch himself alerting them to his final choice," Telep wrote.

BadgerNation, which spoke with Butch's AAU coach Ritchie Davis, writes "Davis said Butch will make up his mind later this evening after talking to the coaching staffs at North Carolina and Wisconsin one more time."


For much more on the Butch recruitment, IC premium subscribers can check out IC's Brian Butch profile, with tons of photos, interviews and analysis dating back to the beginning of his recruitment.

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