College Basketball Nation: Avery Jukes

Butler helps Washington Generals lose by 19

April, 16, 2010
Butler seniors Avery Jukes, Willie Veasley and Nick Rodgers signed one-game contracts to help the Washington Generals of all teams take on the Harlem Globetrotters.

Not surprisingly, the Globetrotters won again 70-51, with the players making their cameos by playing five minutes in the first half and then calling it a night.

ESPN Page 2 covered the game, and reported the Butler players also got needled by one of the Globetrotters.
During their on-court cameo, Jukes missed a dunk, but managed to score a less-than-contested close range lay-up. Rodgers took three shots, one less than he attempted all season, missing all three, and Veasley settled for a 2-for-2 performance from the free-throw line despite Special K Daley's best efforts at distraction.

"You all were a lot better on TV," Special K joked.

Butler seniors sign with Washington Generals

April, 12, 2010
If America thought Butler's Willie Veasley, Avery Jukes and Nick Rodgers were facing long odds to win the NCAA tournament, they've found an even greater challenge in trying to take on the Harlem Globetrotters.

The three seniors have signed one-game contracts with the losing-oriented Washington Generals to play an exhibition against the Globetrotters at Conseco Fieldhouse on Wednesday. The Globetrotters, who put out the press release, haven't lost to the Generals since 1971.

"These kids have the winning attitude we need to push us over the hump," Red Klotz, the Generals' owner and president, said in a statement. "Playing in Indianapolis with these guys on the floor also gives us the type of home court advantage the Bulldogs enjoyed at the Final Four. I don’t think I'd want to be a Globetrotter on Wednesday night trying to shut these guys down."

The Globetrotters have lost to such college teams as Michigan State in 2000 and UTEP in 2003. Now, the red, white and blue will take on three players from Butler -- America's team -- in an attempt to keep the 39-year winning streak against the sorry Generals alive.
INDIANAPOLIS -- They piled into the golf cart that would take them to their postgame interviews -- Avery Jukes in the shotgun seat, Shelvin Mack and Gordon Hayward side-by-side on the rear-facing backseat.

No one cried or even so much as dabbed at his eyes. Jukes held his chin in his hand, Mack put his head down and Hayward just stared vacantly ahead.

Of course the Butler players were crushed that they had just lost a national championship game for the ages to Duke, 61-59, but more, the Bulldogs were stunned.

Stunned that Hayward's fadeaway on the baseline didn't fall, stunned that his last-ditch half-court shot bounced off the backboard and front of the rim, but most of all stunned that they didn't win.

Read more ...

Halftime: Duke 33, Butler 32

April, 5, 2010
INDIANAPOLIS -- Quick thoughts at the half.

  • Tremendous. Loved it. I was hoping we would have a first half just like that.
  • What I loved was seeing players like Avery Jukes that weren’t supposed to shine, come out of nowhere to be a major factor. Who had Jukes making two 3s? Jukes led the Bulldogs with 10 points. No way did anyone have that on the early scorecard.
  • Zach Hahn played sensational off the bench as he distributed, came up with a deflection and had great stage presence.
  • Duke's big three had their moments as expected, with Kyle Singler scoring nine points by making big buckets at the right times. Nolan Smith, as he has all season, bailed out a few possessions, and Jon Scheyer scored in the mid-range.
  • The Bulldogs were down one at the half and Gordon Hayward scored only four points and was 2-of-7. He did have seven rebounds, though.
  • No one had Butler getting 12 offensive rebounds with Duke having only three and outrebounding Duke 24-17.
  • The crowd has been sensational so far. Just hope they can stay in the game and we get a final-possession-type affair.
  • Butler has to believe now it can win.

Inside Tuesday's box scores

December, 9, 2009
Five things to remember from Tuesday night's action:

1. Alex Stepheson was all over the map in USC’s 51-36 win over Sacramento State. On one hand, he recorded his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The transfer from North Carolina added seven blocks, more than doubling his previous career-best. On the other hand, Stepheson also set a career-high with eight turnovers and did not record an assist. That is tied for the most turnovers without an assist in Division I this season.

2. In leading Texas Tech to a comeback win over TCU, John Roberson had 21 points and 10 assists for the 9-0 Red Raiders, who are off to their best start in 80 years. Roberson is the 10th player to have 20-plus points and 10-plus assists in a game this season. He has now gone for 20 and 10 twice in his career. Before him, the last Red Raider with 20 points and 10 assists in a game was Jamal Brown in 2000. Over his last three games, Roberson is averaging 20.7 ppg and 8.7 apg, while shooting 55.9 percent from the floor.

3. On Tuesday, Georgetown’s Greg Monroe did something that his predecessor in the paint, Roy Hibbert, never managed to do. Monroe notched career-highs in both points (24) and rebounds (15) in the Hoyas’ win over Butler. The last Georgetown player with a 20-15 was Mike Sweetney in 2003. Sweetney had seven such games in his career.

4. Justin Rutty did just about everything he could, but Quinnipiac fell to Rhode Island 83-74. Rutty (30 points, 15 rebounds) became the third player this season with 30-plus points and 15-plus rebounds in a game. However, Rutty is the first to do so while on the losing end of the game. The last player to lose while posting a 30-15 game was Radford’s Artsiom Parakhouski last February against Liberty.

5. Butler’s Avery Jukes fouled out in just six minutes of play against Georgetown. It was Butler’s quickest foul out this decade (Jeff James fouled out in seven minutes in 2003). If Jukes’ exit seems quick, it is. But it’s actually not the fastest this season. Four D-I players have fouled out in five or fewer minutes this season. The winner of the quickest foul-out of the season belongs to UTEP’s Wayne Portalatin, who picked up five fouls in just four minutes against Arkansas State on Nov. 21.

Jimmy V Classic: Hoyas hit the stage

December, 8, 2009
NEW YORK -- Villanova, Syracuse and West Virginia have all made their marks this season.

These three teams are clearly contenders for the Big East title. Winning elite tournaments in the month of November was a sure sign that none of them is going away anytime soon.

Now it's No. 13 Georgetown's turn.

If the Hoyas beat No. 20 Butler Tuesday night in the Jimmy V Classic (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET) at Madison Square Garden and then go to Anaheim and defeat No. 16 Washington in the Wooden Classic on Saturday, it would be an indication of Georgetown's ability to be a part of the same conversation.

Connecticut could also enter the discussion if it can knock off Kentucky Wednesday night (ESPN, 9:30 p.m. ET) in the SEC-Big East Invitational at MSG, but anything short of that would likely put the Huskies in second-tier status without a headline win so far this season.

This isn't meant to dismiss Cincinnati's chances to challenge for the title after beating Vanderbilt and Maryland and losing to Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational. Or to totally dismiss undefeated Seton Hall or one-loss Notre Dame with perhaps the conference MVP in Luke Harangody. But it's not a reach to say the title will likely come down to Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia and then possibly the Hoyas or Huskies.

So, for now, it's up to the Hoyas to prove they belong with the elite in what is turning out to be the best conference yet again.

"This will be good for our team, regardless of how things go to get ready for the conference," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "This will get us ready for the conference with a league type of week. In the Big East, no matter who you play on a Tuesday you're going to play a tough game on the weekend. We want our guys to go through those emotions this week."

Butler and Washington will present two different challenges for the Hoyas. The Bulldogs defend extremely well, run their system fundamentally, and can shoot from mostly all five spots. Washington will want to push the ball, exploit its speed on the perimeter, and get the game in a high-scoring mode.

That's indicative of the Big East, as well, with two different styles on two different courts in the same week.

Georgetown has actually hit the road this season, but wins at Tulane and Savannah State don’t exactly give a true read on the Hoyas yet. And beating Temple by one (46-45), in a game that went down to the final possession in D.C., also doesn’t give a true indication whether the Hoyas are ready for prime time.

Sophomore center Greg Monroe has been solid as expected with nearly 14 points and 10 boards a game. The play of guards Chris Wright and Austin Freeman hasn't disappointed either with both players in double figures scoring. The stunner though has been how consistent Jason Clark has been through the first six games, averaging a dozen points, five rebounds and three assists.

"I don't think anyone outside of our program expected this," Thompson III said. "We did because we saw what he could do at both ends of the court. He doesn't get tired and he goes 100 miles an hour on both ends of the floor."

Georgetown goes big the rest of the rotation with Julian Vaughn, Hollis Thompson and Henry Sims rotating, something that could cause Butler problems -- especially with Matt Howard having foul issues throughout November.

To Howard's credit, he finally shed the foul-prone label in the last two games by committing just one in a win at Ball State and three in a win over Valparaiso, after fouling out of two games in the 76 Classic in Anaheim and picking up four in the fifth-place loss to Clemson. Prior to that, Howard had fouled out of games at Northwestern and Evansville. That's why he is only averaging 23.8 minutes a game this season, down four minutes from a year ago.

Butler has bigs like Avery Jukes and Garrett Butcher to complement Howard, but if he can't stay on the court against the Hoyas' big men then that will put even more pressure on the shooting of Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Willie Veasley and Ronald Nored.

Georgetown probably has had as little spotlight shone on it this season of any Big East contender, but that's because the games haven't been featured -- yet.

"I don't mind us not getting our pop," Thompson III said. "I don't mind us flying under the radar in November and December. It's all about getting better and if it happens then fine."

If you remember, a year ago Georgetown was a early-season story with a blowout win over rival Maryland in the Old Spice Classic and then a Big East-opening win at Connecticut. But it all went downhill with a flame-out in the league and an NIT berth.

"The good thing for us is that we're not cruising," Thompson III said. "We have a long way to go, a lot of room for improvement. We're pretty good now, but this week will be a big test."

Thompson III is hoping he can get 6-foot-7 freshman forward Jerrelle Benimon increased time again Tuesday night. A high-ankle sprain limited his minutes early in the season and kept him out of three games. He played 14 minutes in the win over American last Saturday and made 2 of 3 shots for four points.

"He's an active big body kid," Thompson III said. "He'll give us even more presence and he's strong and aggressive."

Thompson III wanted to be in the Jimmy V Classic because of the cancer research angle. His wife, Monica, is going on four years of being a breast cancer survivor. Thompson III said Monica is doing well.

"It didn't matter who we played," Thompson III said. "I was going to be in this. They do great work with cancer research."