With the dead period nearing an end, college basketball recruiting is about to ramp up in a big way across the country. This summer marks a huge one for the class of 2022 and several players have already started to show their skills following shortened or non-existent junior high school seasons as a result of COVID-19. Butler’s recruiting efforts in the 2022 class have largely been a mystery over the past year but that is already beginning to change through the opening month of the offseason.
Rowan Brumbaugh, one of the fastest-rising guards of the spring thus far, received a scholarship offer from Butler over this past weekend. The Dawgs have generally been very selective under Coach Jordan, and Brumbaugh is just the fifth 2022 player to receive a scholarship offer from the program. A 6-foot-4 smooth-shooting creator, he fits the mold of a potentially perfect fit in Butler’s offensive scheme.
I had the opportunity to chat with Brumbaugh earlier this week regarding the offer from Butler, his overall recruitment, and playing style. When it came down to receiving this scholarship offer, Coach Jordan was on the call himself to deliver the exciting news.
“Coach Vall called me Friday night, FaceTimed me for about an hour, and we talked. At the end, he was like ‘I’m sold on you’ and you have a scholarship. I know a lot of schools just throw out offers but Butler really gets to know you. The whole staff has been in communication with me and my family and my coaches. They really took the time to get to know me. They don’t really hand out a lot of offers so an offer from Butler is really meaningful, especially from Coach Vall. I’m really looking forward to going to see the campus and everything.”
Head coach LaVall Jordan has made recruiting players with winning backgrounds a priority since he took over a few years back. That was perhaps especially evident during his five-man 2020 class, in which he landed a pair of very decorated guards in Chuck Harris and Myles Tate. Might Brumbaugh be the next in that line as a future major piece of the backcourt? Coach Jordan has built a great reputation for developing guards over the past several years, dating back to his days with Trey Burke as an assistant at Michigan.
Coach Jordan has also prioritized keeping Butler as a family-oriented program built upon strong relationships between the staff and its players. Brumbaugh expressed feelings about the program that many current players and recruiting targets have also shared in the past. He had this to say regarding Butler’s pitch and the program itself:
“They want winners and that’s who I am. I’m a winner, I’m learning how to win, and Coach Vall says I’m his type of guy. I just love the whole environment about Butler. At the end of the day when it comes to making my decision, it comes down to the people and the place; that is what Butler offers especially. I love the coaching staff, I love the strength coach, I love Coach Vall...great people there.”
While Brumbaugh’s junior high school season was canceled amidst the ongoing COVID-19 impact, that did not stop him from improving his game. He has taken massive strides and high-major programs across the nation have taken notice. Offers from Wisconsin, Xavier, Mississippi State, Seton Hall, Butler, and San Diego State have all come since the start of this year, as well as several from well-regarded mid-majors. There should be no doubt about the fact that he is going to be a major priority for several programs in the coming months.
“I think the recruitment process is really going well. I didn’t get a chance to have a school season here so not many people got to see me. I’ve improved a lot since last year. I wouldn’t say I’m blowing up but some schools are starting to note my upside and what I can bring to the table for their school.”
Brumbaugh is a talented lead guard that stretches the floor as an excellent 3-point shooter while also using his vision to be a plus creator. Growing to 6-foot-4 has also made him all the more interesting as a prospect. He is able to operate out of the post as a guard and his defensive versatility is improving as well. There is room to grow, as is the case with all high school players, but he is an intelligent creator that can make multi-faceted contributions.
Brumbaugh noted this about the biggest strengths and weaknesses in his game right now:
“My strength is playing out of the pick-and-roll. I’m a really good shooter, so hitting threes from behind the arc, then driving and passing. I definitely would say my vision and playing out of the pick-and-roll are my strengths. As for my weaknesses and stuff I’m trying to get into my game, I’m working on playing off two feet offensively and on my lateral quickness.”
(You can find some of Brumbaugh’s recent highlights here.)
When it comes down to making his final choice, Brumbaugh noted that he does not have a specific timeline at the moment. He wants to go “go out and see all these schools, meet the coaches, and meet the coaching staffs” prior to making a decision at the right time. He noted the following about what he is looking for in his eventual destination:
“A school that really wants me and has made me a top priority. Of course, the people and the place are huge. At the end of the day, my relationship with the coaching staff and the feel and everything will be most important.”
As already discussed, Butler does not issue scholarship offers lightly. The Dawgs are expected to be heavily interested in landing a guard in the 2022 class and Brumbaugh appears to be at or near the top of the priority list right now. He brings great size to the point guard slot and his ability in the pick-and-roll would make him an excellent fit in the Dawgs’ offensive scheme. Adding more shooting is also always a plus in the modern era.