By Andy Amey
TERRE HAUTE — Statistics won’t tell the whole story about why Brittany Butler is another key member of the current basketball recruiting class at St. Mary-of-the-Woods.
The 2007 Terre Haute South graduate, who signed a national letter of intent with the Pomeroys earlier this week, averaged 7.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game her senior year as the Braves went 21-2.
Those might be the lowest numbers of her four-year career as a regular for the Braves. Her playing time, thanks to an influx of young talent that moved her into a sixth-person role, was less than in some previous seasons too.
But the won-lost record was the best she’d ever enjoyed, and her improved play in all areas of the game was one of the reasons for that. The Pomeroys, who started contacting Butler a few years ago, noticed.
“Brittany will give us much needed help with outside shooting,” assistant coach Aaron Ballenger said in a press release this week. “She’s a strong ball handler and she sees the floor well.
“She’s a good all-around player and a better defender than what people realize. We look forward to Brittany giving us four solid years at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.”
Butler agreed that she’d tweaked her game for her final year at South.
“My defense was kind of [inadequate] for awhile, and I wanted to step up my game in other ways,” she said by telephone Friday. “I wanted to be a team player … and score when I can.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that Butler doesn’t appreciate the advice she got from Ballenger and head coach Deanna Bradley about how to prepare for the upcoming season.
“They told me to shoot,” she said.
Butler, who had considered trying to walk on at the University of Evansville and who had been contacted by several smaller schools, joins Northview point guard Lexee Hayes and Owen Valley mega-scorer Sam Stahl in the SMWC recruiting class.
“I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Butler predicted. “I know [current Pomeroys] Amanda Payne and Jennifer Gregg, and Lexee’s on my AAU team. I went out [to The Woods] on a visit and got to know some of [the other players], and they seem pretty cool.
“I’m excited … I really like the scenery out there … and I like that [the SMWC coaches] recruited me and didn’t give up on me.”
Butler, who was a two-time all-Vigo County player and a member of the 2004 HI-99/Clabber Girl Classic all-tournament team, plans to study creative writing.