After career-high 36 in final regular-season game, Baldwin leads Butler into tournament

Kamar Baldwin (WTHR photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - It's tournament time, and Kamar Baldwin is ready to go.

He leads the Butler Bulldogs into the Big East tournament, and one could argue he loves dramatic finishes.

This guy has ice in his veins.

Baldwin’s last-second three-pointer gave Butler a dramatic win over Xavier last weekend.

Back at practice this week, he was just trying to be another guy on the team.

Eyewitness News sports director Dave Calabro asked Baldwin if we should call him Clutch.

“Oh, no. I’m just Kamar,” he said with a grin.

That quiet, unassuming and humble approach has earned him big respect from his teammates. ​And he just keeps getting better each time out. He scored a career-high 36 in the final regular-season game of his career.

“Unbelievable,” said forward Sean McDermott, also a senior. “I mean, he’s done it for four years but he’s a senior now and he wants to win every game and if he has to, he’ll take over and score 36 against a rival. To do that in that fashion, I think, says a lot about him.”

“You kind of get to sit back and enjoy the show,” said junior guard Aaron Thompson. “It’s fun just being able to play with a guy like that, knowing that if the ball is in his hands, he’s going to make the right decision, whether it’s scoring or passing. It’s fun when he’s in a zone like that, fun to be a part of it.”

He’s hit four game-winners since his freshman year. No moment seems too big for him. The coach says Number 3 has the green light to shoot whenever he wants.

"My confidence level is probably like anybody who has watched Butler basketball the past four years,” said coach LaVall Jordan. “He’s been doing it since he was a freshman, so he’s got an extreme confidence in those moments. His teammates believe in him. He puts in the work. If he didn’t put in the work, you wouldn’t feel that way. You see him in the gym, you know how much he cares about the game. He’s a great competitor.”

So where does a player get all that confidence? It took hours and hours to develop.

“It starts here in practice,” said Baldwin. “The coaches to a great job of putting us in situations like that, where we’re up, we lose it or we’re down and we have to come back. We practice those moments, so just being able to go in and execute in actual games is just a replica of what we do in practice.”

Baldwin is a great player, but an even a better person away from the court. He sets the tone for an entire program.

“When I told the freshmen ‘if you want to know what we’re all about, follow Kamar Baldwin around for a day and you’ll be able to figure it out pretty quick,’” Jordan said. “That’s just who he is.”