By Evan Sidery
Butler Beat Writer


This is one of the few words Butler fans can think of when they saw one of their top 2014 recruiting targets, Trevon Bluiett, commit to UCLA on Monday.

Bluiett, a consensus four-star recruit and one of the top recruits in the state of Indiana, chose the Bruins after visiting campus this weekend. After new head coach Steve Alford hired Park Tudor's head coach, Ed Schilling, as an assistant, UCLA immediately starting getting noise in the Bluiett camp.

We all knew Bluiett was very unlikely after Brad Stevens left for the NBA's Boston Celtics to become their head coach. However, now that Bluiett has officially been announced he is going elsewhere, it is a big visible mark on the Bulldogs recruiting plans.

Now, after Butler strikes out on one of its top recruits, where do they go from here?

Anywhere but up.

With Bluiett choosing to take his talents to UCLA, Butler has now been told "thanks, but no thanks" by most of their top priorities.

Now, Butler has to put the poker chips all-in on two big men, Kelan Martin (three-star recruit from Louisville, KY) and Trey Lyles (five-star recruit from Indianapolis, IN), two of the biggest recruits Butler is still after. Also, Butler has had their eyes on Wisconsin guard Riley LaChance to be their backcourt piece.

Martin and the 'Dawgs have had high mutual interest ever since the Adidas Invitational in July. The 6-foot-6 forward raved about Butler to the media after a game. Ever since then though, Xavier has started to make Martin their priority as well.

Lyles, on the other hand, already seems like a goner from Butler's plans. From everyone I have spoken to close to his recruitment, it has been down to Louisville (current favorite right now, according to close source) and Kentucky for awhile now.

As I confirmed on Twitter a few weeks ago, Lyles has been wanting to team up with his friends, JaQuan Lyle (current Louisville commit) and James Blackmon Jr, and Louisville presents that to him. We will see how his recruitment develops, but Butler seems like a massive long-shot right now.

LaChance's recruitment to Butler has been a rocky one as well. He has visited Butler multiple times on unofficial visits, but has yet to schedule an official visit, as he has with Big East rival, Xavier.

The 6-foot-2, lights-out shooting point guard is Butler's main recruiting focus in the backcourt now. This is due to J.P. Macura (one of Butler's top backcourt targets) telling the 'Dawgs "thanks, but no thanks", and not even making the next cut on his list.

Butler needs to hit on one or more of these three recruits, or we could see one of Butler's worst recruiting classes in a long time.

Only getting three-star big man, Tyler Wideman and a few filler pieces will not cut it for some Bulldog fans, wanting immediate success. We will see how the fortunes of recruiting change for the 'Dawgs as we advance into the key commitment period soon.

After having success for so long under Stevens, are the Bulldogs headed to mediocrity in their new, bigger conference?

As of now, yes, and it is not even close.


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