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October 30, 2002Wisconsin big man Brian Butch simply decided that the comforts and pressures of staying in his home state to play college basketball were just too great to pass up. Greg Hartjes, Butch's high school coach, said there were several reasons the big man stayed home.
"He just felt really comfortable around the players already on the Wisconsin roster," Hartjes said. "Also, Brian is really close with his family."
"It was the comfort level with the coaching staff and the players," Butch confirmed during an interview with www.GregSwaim.com after the press conference. "I'm glad it's all over. All the coaches are great, but I'm glad it's over."
Although many people thought Butch would probably stay in the state, he really struggled with the decision.
"It was tough on Brian, because he really likes all of the schools that were left on his list," Hartjes said.
Another factor that may have affected Butch's decision was the fact that if he chose UNC, then he would probably have to play the center position, and Hartjes said he is more of a power forward.
"At Wisconsin they already have a decent center," Hartjes said, "and the following year they have a top-flight center committed."
Hartjes says the UNC coaches have nothing to be ashamed of in the way they went about recruiting Butch.
"Matt Doherty and his assistants are class acts, and did a fine job with Brian, but unfortunately someone had to lose the battle," Hartjes said.
UNC loses another big man in the end, but now their attention will shift to the class of 2004, and with two more grants in hand to pass out to a very talented class, you gotta believe this so-called big man curse will end soon.