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Butler Bulldogs Sign Four on National Signing Day

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – With the regular season tip-off for the 2015-16 campaign scheduled for Saturday, Head Coach Chris Holtmann and the Butler Bulldogs are also looking to the future with the signing of four prep standouts to letters of intent. The class was announced on National Signing Day on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

The class includes Joey Brunk, Howard Washington, Kamar Baldwin, and Henry Baddley. The four-player class is ranked between #25 and #35 by recruiting services such as ESPN, 247sports, Scout and Rivals. Each player is listed as at least a three-star recruit across all four recruiting rankings.

“This is a very exciting day! These young men are terrific people, students and talented players who we think will fit very well within our program,” said Holtmann. “The staff did a great job of evaluating talent within this class and building relationships to sign an exciting group for us. We know this group will play a large role in the coming years against high-level competition in the BIG EAST.”

Photo: Butler Athletics/Head Coach Chris Holtmann (Brent Smith)
Photo: Butler Athletics/Head Coach Chris Holtmann (Brent Smith)

Joey Brunk is a 6-10 center from Southport High School in Indianapolis. He is a four-star recruit on several lists, and is ranked among the Top 100 players nationally by ESPN (69th), Scout (97th) and Rivals (98th). The three-year starter for Coach Kyle Simpson’s team has led Southport to three conference championships. He earned All-State honors as a junior and was an Indiana Junior All-Star, scoring 10 points and adding 12 rebounds as the team beat the Indiana All-Stars over the summer.

He averaged 16.5 points and 9.0 rebounds as a junior for Southport, which went 23-3 and spent most of the season ranked first in the state of Indiana. Brunk was a selection for the National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp. He played for Indy Hoosiers in AAU competition.

“Joey is a talented big who is very skilled and possesses a terrific feel for the game,” said Holtmann. “He has had an outstanding high school career and will continue that this year. He can score in the low post, rebounds very well and is physical. We obviously love the fact that he is from right here in our city and state.”

Howard Washington is a 6-3 guard who is ranked as a three- or four-star recruit by various outlets. He is ranked No. 120 nationally by Rivals. In his first season at Montverde Academy in Florida, he helped the team to a national championship and a 32-1 record. He earned All-State honors for Coach Kevin Boyle.

Washington played for City Honors’ varsity team as an eighth grader before spending his freshman and sophomore seasons at Canisius High School in New York, where he averaged 15 points and 5.5 assists in his final season. At Montverde, he averaged 6.6 points and 2.7 assists for a team that ended the season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25.

He played several summer events with his Albany (N.Y.) City Rocks team and was a member of Team Canada in the Nike Global Challenge in Chicago last July.

“Howard, like his classmates who signed today, is a large part of a winning program and has been extremely well-coached throughout his prep career,” said Holtmann. “He is a willing passer and does a nice job leading an offense. He also has good length for his position.”

Kamar Baldwin is a 6-0 guard from Winder, Ga. He is a four-year starter who has led Apalachee High School to three straight state tournament appearances, including a “Sweet 16” berth in 2015. His high school team is one of the top-scoring teams in Georgia’s AAAAA class. Baldwin has played a large role in that, scoring 27.1 and 26.6 points per game respectively over the past two seasons. The two-time All-State selection and team MVP has shot better than 57% in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. The left-hander added 9.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game last season, earning Georgia’s Region 8-AAAAA Player of the Year honors. He is coached by Kevin Morris. Baldwin played with the Atlanta Celtics during AAU play and is ranked No. 115 nationally by Rivals.

“Kamar is very talented. He is a high-volume scorer,” said Holtmann. “He has a knack for getting those points while shooting a very high percentage. We’re excited about the impact he can have on both ends as we graduate two All-BIG EAST players next season.”

Henry Baddley is a 6-4 forward from Wadsworth, Ohio. He is a two-year starter and four-year letterwinner at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, coached by Dru Joyce. He helped the team to a No. 1 ranking in Ohio’s Division II and the school’s first unbeaten regular season since LeBron James’ freshman year at St. Vincent-St. Mary (1999-2000). They team finished the season 26-1 and was ranked third nationally at one point. Baddley averaged 18.1 points per game and was a second-team All-State selection. On the summer circuit, he played with King James AAU.

“Henry possesses great athleticism and the willingness to defend at a high level,” said Holtmann. “He has been part of several great teams that value competing at a high level and winning. His best days are ahead of him.”

Butler, including Holtmann’s initial recruiting class of freshman C Nate Fowler and freshman G Sean McDermott, tips off the 2015-16 regular season Saturday night at Hinkle Fieldhouse against The Citadel. Butler returns three starters and its top three scorers from last season’s 23-11 team that advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Senior G Kellen Dunham and redshirt senior G/F Roosevelt Jones earned All-BIG EAST accolades, while junior F Andrew Chrabascz also averaged double figures for the 2014-15 campaign. Junior point guard Tyler Lewis, a former McDonald’s All-American, is now eligible after transferring from North Carolina State. The Bulldogs’ depth will feature sophomore G Kelan Martin, sophomore forwards Tyler Wideman and Jackson Davis, graduate transfer F Austin Etherington and graduate transfer G Jordan Gathers.

Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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