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5 keys to Butler's move to the Big East

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For more on college basketball, follow Tom Davis via Twitter at Tom101010.

Bulldogs need to maintain national prominence

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 8:10 pm

LEXINGTON - Butler University announced on Wednesday that it would be joining the revised Big East Conference effective July 1.

The new league will include Providence, St. John's, Villanova, Seton Hall, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Xavier, and Creighton.

Here are five keys to a successful transition for the Bulldogs:

Look everywhere

Butler needs to continue its recent practice of recruiting nationally.

In recent years, the Bulldogs have made their mark - to a degree - in recruiting in-state players. However, too often, Indiana kids have spurned the Bulldogs for BCS programs that haven't achieved nearly what Butler has in the past 15 years.

It doesn't matter if the kid from (name the Indiana town) wants to play in the Big Ten, go get the more talented kid from Florida and keep on winning.

The Bulldogs are bringing in talent from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Saint Louis and Los Angeles, this summer. Keep that going.

Everyone else in the country considers Butler an elite, national program. If the players in this state can't realize that, forget about them.

Raising the bar

Those recruits that Butler is bringing in? Yeah, some of them need to be NBA-caliber players.

Butler has had Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack drafted into the NBA in recent years. That needs to happen in the future with more frequency if the Bulldogs want to compete near the top of the Big East.

Pay up

Brad Stevens' reported $1.2M annual compensation isn't nearly enough. At that salary, he'll make less than almost every coach in the Big East, despite being the best coach.

Butler needs to come close to doubling that amount in order for Stevens to be fairly compensated.

Oh, and for good measure, make sure his buyout is massive and solid, just in case he ever wants to look around.

Get big

Butler loses 6-foot-11 center Andrew Smith to graduation this May and only rail-thin Kameron Woods (6-foot-10) is returning with any significant length.

Stevens has signed a pair of front court players next season, but Nolan Berry (6-foot-10) is a face-up player predominantly, while Andrew Chrabascz (6-foot-6) is an undersized power forward.

The 2014 class needs to include some size to battle in the bigger (and better) league.

Schedule correctly

With Andrew Smith and Rotnei Clarke on the roster, it was fine to load up with a wrenching non-conference schedule.

Now that you'll face a daunting opponent every single league night? Better be smart and throw in some 125 to 175-rated teams on that schedule in the future.