By David Cassilo / @dcassilo
With Shelvin Mack and Matt Howard out the door, Butler needs a new player to step up as the face of the program this season. While Brad Stevens might have found that player in Arkansas transfer Rotnei Clarke, it will take a year to get him onto the court.
Clarke, an Oklahoma native, shocked many by deciding to transfer to Butler rather than Oklahoma. In three years at Arkansas, Clarke earned the reputation of being a terrific perimeter shooter. He has a career shooting percentage of 43.8% from beyond the arc and averaged 15.2 ppg last season. Back in 2009, Clarke scored a school record 51 points against Alcorn State and made an SEC record 13 3-pointers.
When he suits up for Butler in 2012-13, he could be its top scoring option.
“Coach (Brad) Stevens is an unbelievable guy and obviously, they’ve had tremendous success the last few years,” Clarke added. “I really liked the players on the team. They seemed like more than just teammates.”
But while they wait for Clarke, Butler will try to engineer another Final Four run from its current roster. With Mack and Howard leaving, the Bulldogs have no returning double-digit scorers and will hope that Andrew Smith and Khyle Marshall can take a leap this season.