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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Big East Freshman of Year to transfer to UConn

Few freshmen impacted their teams more during the 2013-14 season than Natalie Butler did at Georgetown.

After a chaotic series of events which resulted in two coaches being in charge at Georgetown last season and another one being hired as the Hoyas new coach, Butler's next experience on the basketball court will be as a member of the two-time defending national champion UConn program.

Fairfax Stars founder and executive director Aggie McCormick-Dix, Butler's former AAU coach, confirmed what was originally reported by Bret McCormick of the All-Star Girls' Report and that is that Butler has decided to transfer to UConn.

McCormick-Dix believes that the sky will be the limit for Butler after spending four years being coached by Geno Auriemma and his staff as she will have three years of eligibility after sitting out the upcoming season due to NCAA regulations on transfers.

"She was 6-4/6-5 and the thing that absolutely amazed me as a player was her footwork and how well she ran the floor, she can literally run the floor in five steps," McCormick-Dix said recalling what she thought when she said Butler play in high school. "That is highly unusual and I was thrilled when I saw that. I knew that if she had great work ethic that this kid had unbelievable potential. I think her potential has not even been tapped yet at this point in time. I think she is going to be unbelievable at UConn under Geno and his staff. Three years playing after that, I think he is going to be thrilled.

"The kid runs like a deer, she has great footwork, her work ethic is unbelievable and I do not think she is at her full potential and I think once she gets under Geno's tutelage, she is going to blossom, she is going to be amazing. This is a perfect (situation) for her and I can't wait to see what happens when she has been there for three years and what her potential is going to be after that. I think she has solidified that  she is going to be playing basketball for quite some time."

McCormick-Dix exchanged some text messages with Butler after hearing the reports that she had decided to transfer to UConn.

"She sad it was a life-changing experience and she is excited but it was not an easy decision for her," McCormick-Dix said. "When she made the decision to go to Georgetown she really was excited about it, happy about it, very emotionally connected to it so I don't think it was an easy decision for her."

Keith Brown was suspended as Georgetown's coach for unprofessional behavior and resigned eight days later. Former WNBA coach Jim Lewis came in and was the interim head coach before Natasha Adair was appointed Georgetown's new coach last month.

"I have three players there right now and it has been difficult for all of them," McCormick-Dix said.."I don't think it was an easy decision for Natalie to leave Georgetown by any means. She is not the type of kid to pick up and leave. I think it was a very difficult decision to make but at the same time she took her time through this process. She didn't rush anything, she took her time and she made the best possible decision she could out of a really bad situation."

Butler is a 6-foot-5 rising sophomore from Fairfax Station, Va. and daughter of former Navy men's basketball star Vernon Butler. She averaged 13.9 points, 13.3 rebounds (ranking fifth nationally and first among freshmen) and 1.8 blocked shots per game as a freshman at Georgetown. Butler had 24 double-doubles and had three 20 rebound games.


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