(a film we saw in Indianapolis hours after penning this
paper plane), was easy enough to predict as a Best Picture winner, although others of these supposed lead-pipe locks
would have lost you your mortgage money. And so it is with predicting the machinations of another academy. Could Butler make it into the NCAA Tournament without a Horizon League title, and how many correct answers to the the Selection Committee's questions would magically come from the Bulldogs' own life experiences? For now, Gordon Hayward is out fifteenth Mid-Majority Baller of the Week for the 2008-09 season.
Mr. Hayward's week started out humbly enough, with a four-shot performance in Butler's loss at Wisconsin-Milwaukee
; his four points in that game was a personal low so far. But he more than made up for it next time around. In a 12-point win
in a nationally-televised BracketBuster game at Davidson, Number 20 in black and blue exploded for a career-high 27 on 6-for-12 shooting (4-of-7 from 3), badly outdueling Stephen Curry
and sending the commentators scrambling for material on the young phenom. He added nine rebounds, two steals and a block, and made 11 of 12 free throw attempts. He was definitely Best Actor in a Leading Role over BracketBusters weekend.
The Brownsburg, Ind. native is the most promising of Butler's talented freshman class, if only because he's already shown the ability to do a lot of different things. At 6-8 and 180 lbs., he can shoot from any angle (48.5 percent from the floor, 45.9 percent from 3), hit free throws (82 percent), run the baseline for two-point dunk shots, grab rebounds (he's the HL's fifth-leading board-getter at 6.5 rpg), get out in transition, and steal (1.6 spg) or block shots (1.0 bpg) in equal measure. After the game on Saturday, Davidson head coach Bob McKillop favorably compared the young star-to-be as a possible next coming of Mike Dunleavy
. That guy's making some cash, no?
And so might this guy someday, a future Bulldog Millionaire. Congratulations, Mr. Hayward, you're our Mid-Majority Baller of the Week.