Thad Matta is not used to losing, which made last year especially challenging for the returning bench boss.
The head coach at Butler is entering his second season at the helm and will do so with an entirely different roster. Matta was aggressive in the transfer portal after most of his guys departed, and came out with 11 new faces – nine scholarship players and two walk-ons.
“We felt like we needed to go out there and get guys that felt like more of our guys,” said Matta. “I’m really pleased with the job they’ve done in terms of coming together.”
Matta and the rest of the coaching staff will rely on veteran returners John-Michael Mulloy and Jalen Thomas to help the team return to the Butler Way.
“I got a taste of it as a freshman,” said Mulloy, a graduate student center/forward. “I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure the other team captains and team leaders understand what that standard is.”
For Thomas, this leadership opportunity is unique, being able to give advice to transfers who were in the same boat he was one year ago.
“I try to tell everyone to just be ready because the Big East is a challenge,” said Thomas, a fifth-year center. “We got a good team. We just got to stick together when times get tough because we’re not going to win every game, but the best we can do is stick together every game.”
Butler tips off the 2023-2024 season with an exhibition game at Hinkle Fieldhouse on October 28 against Ohio Northern.