Natalie Butler, the 6-5 Big East Freshman of the Year with Georgetown in 2013-14, has officially transferred to UConn. NCAA rules stipulate that she'll have to sit out next season, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. For starters, the Huskies will have 6-3 Kiah Stokes and 6-2 Morgan Tuck in the frontcourt, and perhaps more importantly, it will give Butler an opportunity to improve without the pressure of having to perform in actual games.
“I think the year off is really going to help her,” Bret McCormick of the All-Star Girls Report told SNY.com this week. “She can score. She’s already a good rebounder and I think that she can be a really good passer. She’s just what Geno and UConn needed.
“There’s no one out there (in the high school ranks) who’s in the 6-5, 6-6 range for them to get. That kind of size is what they need. And with Natalie, they’ve got it.”
And when she does take the floor, Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella, who had to face Butler last season, thinks the center could become one of the best frontcourt players in the country.
“Natalie was the most impressive freshmen I have coached against in my 14 years as a Division 1 head coach,” he said, via the Hartford Courant. “And it’s not just because of her numbers and production. Her poise, demeanor and maturity level far out distanced those of an average 18 year old. She took constant pounding, double-teaming and pressure all year and always fought through it. And she continued to progress all year.
“And now, with a year to continue her development under the best coaches in our game and with three years following years to play, quite frankly I would not be surprised to see her as an All-American one day.”