Butler basketball head coach Brad Stevens received signed commitments from a trio of promising prospects, 6-10 Nolan Berry of De Smet Jesuit H.S. (Mo.), 6-7 Andrew Chrabascz of Cushing Academy (Mass.) and 6-2 Rene Castro of Worcester Academy (Mass.), on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
"One of the things that we've really tried to prioritize in the class of 2013 was recruiting kids with competitive maturity, guys who have won and guys who we think are mature beyond their years and will have an impact sooner, rather than later," said Stevens of his trio.
"We're thrilled to be adding Rene, Nolan and Andrew, and we think they will continue in the long line of outstanding Butler student-athletes as members of our basketball program."
Berry, one of the top prep players in Missouri, was a first team All-State performer as a junior in high school. He averaged 19.5 points and 9.2 rebounds, while helping De Smet to a 19-9 season in 2011-12. The talented forward is a grandson of former NBA great Ed Macauley.
"Nolan has a great understanding of the game," said Stevens. "He can dribble, pass and shoot it. He's very comfortable facing the basket, and you can run your offense through him, because of his passing ability and his understanding and savvy for the game."
Chrabascz, who hails from Portsmith, R.I., averaged 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals, while earning team Most Valuable Player honors at 20-7 Cushing Academy. He also was a top performer for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club, averaging 8.4 points and 7.3 rebounds for the successful summer A.A.U. squad.
"Andrew is an unbelievable leader and is extremely well-respected among his peers and coaches at Cushing Academy," noted Butler's head coach. "He is very physical and very effective both inside and out. His competitiveness, skill and charisma are at a high level."
Castro, who was a teammate of Chrabascz on the BABC, was the Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year. He averaged 23.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.6 steals, while shooting 42% from three-point range. He was the BCD Holiday Hoops Most Valuable Player and earned All-Tournament honors at the National Prep Showcase. Castro averaged 16.7 points and 2.8 assists with BABC.
"Rene is a winner," stated Stevens. "He's a guy who can affect a game in a number of different ways. He's a terrific ball-handler, passer and scorer. He's a very good leader, on and off the court, and a guy people want to be around. His energy and presence are contagious."
Butler, beginning its first season in the Atlantic 10 Conference, has compiled seven consecutive 20-win seasons and seven straight appearances in postseason tournament play, including back-to-back appearances in the national championship game in 2010 and 2011. Stevens has won more games in his first five seasons with the Bulldogs than any other coach in NCAA Division I history.
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