Butler basketball just picked up a big-time recruit for the class of 2018. Power forward Bryce Golden was sought after by several other top programs.
This commitment might not make the most headlines on a day that features the decision of Romeo Langford but it is almost as important for college basketball in the state of Indiana. Butler basketball has long been on the search for a big man to add to the roster for the 2018-19 season and beyond. The Bulldogs have been rumored to be interested in several graduate transfers as well as high school seniors. On April 30, the efforts of head coach LaVall Jordan and his staff paid off in a big way with the commitment of Bryce Golden, a 6’9″ power forward from Maryland.
Golden visited the Butler campus this past weekend and made his decision shortly after. This is obviously extremely welcome news to the Bulldogs’ fan base, which was eager to add another big man to the rotation. Golden’s announcement is coming just after graduate transfer Femi Olujobi, another Butler target, made his decision to play his final season at DePaul. In addition to Butler, Georgetown, Illinois, and Syracuse were among the finalists to secure Golden’s commitment. He formerly had committed to Pittsburgh prior to the firing of head coach Kevin Stallings.
Golden is an extremely talented power forward who will fit in tremendously with the Butler program. He is a high-character athlete that could instantly receive minutes in the frontcourt as a freshman. Golden is well-known as an athletic big man with the ability to stretch the floor out to the 3-point line. On film, he looks like the perfect fit for the Butler team moving forward. He should be able to develop well with the other young bigs in the program, including sophomore center Joey Brunk and 2019 commit John-Michael Mulloy.
As of right now, Golden joins the team as the only true power forward on the roster and he will provide a valuable skill set next season. Senior Nate Fowler and sophomore Brunk are expected to lead the way in the frontcourt for the Bulldogs in 2018-19 but both truly belong at the center position. With that being said, players such as Sean McDermott, Jordan Tucker, Christian David, and Henry Baddley are also all best-suited to play on the wing. The addition of Golden will allow everybody to play the majority of their minutes at their primary positions, something that will surely make Coach Jordan happy.
As Rivals reports, Golden had this to say about his commitment:
“The connection I had with Coach LaVall Jordan and Coach Emerson Kampen was big; they really related well to me. I fell in love with them, the guys and the school, and it was just the best fit for me. St. James School and my coaches did a great job of helping me with all of this and in keeping my academics up with this crazy schedule and getting the chance to visit with Aaron Thompson this weekend, who is a big-time winner, just really excites me. They want to use me as a stretch 4 that can work outside but also go inside and finish in the lane. They just showed me how they could use me on film and really, I just fell in love with how they play.”
247Sports ranks Golden at No. 212 in their composite rankings and he is a three-star recruit. While neither of these particularly jump off of the computer screen, Butler has had success with similar recruits in the past, including fan favorite Andrew Chrabascz, who was ranked at No. 258 in the 2013 class.
While playing for Saint James School in Maryland this past season, Golden averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game. He is adept at scoring around the basket and has also flashed the ability to knock down the open 3-pointer. Golden joins Markeese Hastings, a 6’6″ small forward from Michigan, in the 2018 recruiting class for the Bulldogs.
While it is unlikely that Golden will be a stand-out scorer or rebounder for Butler next season, he fills a much-needed positional hole and should see plenty of minutes off the bench. Bryce Golden looks to be the future at power forward for Coach Jordan and the Butler Bulldogs. This late in the year, this is definitely a major recruiting victory for the program over several other top teams.