Boys basketball: Lake Central’s Tyler Wideman chooses Butler
By LaMond Pope 713-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org July 20, 2013 9:50PM
Lake Central's Tyler Wideman blocks a shot by Lowell's Eric Zukaukas during a game on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, in Lowell. | Scott R. Brandush~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 23, 2013 12:22AM
Butler is in a new conference. The Bulldogs have a new men’s basketball coach. And Friday, Lake Central’s Tyler Wideman made a verbal commitment to become the newest member of Butler’s basketball program.
“I like the school itself. I like the coaching staff. I like the conference they’re in. It’s just a good place to play. I think it fits me pretty well,” Wideman said in a phone interview Saturday.
The 6-foot-7 Wideman is a three-star recruit, according to Rivals.com.
The power forward is the first recruit of the Brandon Miller era.
“I like him. He’s a cool guy,” Wideman said of Miller. “He looks pretty fun to play for.”
Wideman averaged 15.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks and 2.1 assists per game as a junior for the Indians.
“He really enjoyed the campus. He followed Butler basketball the last few years as a lot of us did,” Lake Central coach Dave Milausnic said. “With them going to the Big East and the success that they’ve had and coach Miller taking over, Tyler really liked coach Miller. It seemed like a great fit. We all couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Butler officially joined the Big East this month. The school was previously part of the Atlantic-10 for one season after leaving the Horizon League.
“In the Big East, you are playing in some pro arenas,” Wideman said. “You get a lot of exposure. It’s a good conference. I like the conference.”
Wideman said the last time he visited Butler, Brad Stevens was still the coach. Stevens recently became the coach of the Boston Celtics.
“Coach Stevens was still there and I met the rest of the coaching staff when I went down there. I had a good feel for the coaching staff. I liked them a lot,” he said.
Stevens’ departure didn’t sway his decision.
“I still knew it was a good program,” Wideman said, “and that coach Miller is a good coach.”
Wideman also said Butler’s location was another plus.
“I like how it’s in Indy,” Wideman said. “It’s not too far from home. It’s like a two-hour drive. I know people that live in Indy. It’s a pretty good place.”
Wideman looks forward to being part of a program that has had a lot of postseason success.
“You are going into a program where they are expecting you to work,” he said. “You are going to have to hold your own.
“… It’s a good feeling.”