Inside with LaVall Jordan, Butler Basketball and Finding Answers in a Season on the Rope – The Athletic

LAS VEGAS – The quest is the fundamental element of epics, allegories of self-awareness, self-reliance, and the turmoil of what it takes to get from here to there. These stories are as old as time. However, what is the ultimate journey? Is that Dante going through the rings of hell? Was Odysseus on his way back to Ithaca?

Are not. As it turned out, it was trying to navigate the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on a weekday, midday afternoon in the context of a conference for some national corporation or another. Butler is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Monday at the Michelob Ultra Arena, the 12,000-seat indoor arena that serves as host for the Maui Invitational that is relocating this week. The complex is located at the southern end of the Mandalay Bay estate. Try to get there from hotels and boardrooms, and you’re forced to navigate a maze of corridors and escalators, with all sorts of restaurants and casino tables. Finally, there is a corridor. And that hallway leads to the gym.

That, on Monday, was where Butler found Houston waiting.

The Bulldogs took to Las Vegas this week in search of some sort of newly found identity. LaVall Jordan, in his fifth year of leading one of the great college basketball-focused programs, is in for a big season. He’s a prime example of a coach who has had much of his tenure capped by the events of 2020. After taking over the show from Chris Holtmann and expected to keep Butler as a player. Longtime NCAA Tournament team, Jordan took his first team to the NCAA second round in 2018, then missed the tournament in 2019, then had his best team – 2019-20, a group highly ranked #5 in the country and almost seeded #5 in the 2020 NCAA Tournament – lost the chance to play in March due to the pandemic. That was followed by a bad, injury-hit campaign last season, and now Butler finds herself here. Inside with LaVall Jordan, Butler Basketball and Finding Answers in a Season on the Rope – The Athletic

Chris Estrada

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