He may not have been a primo recruit when then coach John Beilein plucked him out of Newark, N.J., but he has been as steady a player as you could ask for, avoided injury and, at times, has been among the most spectacular ever to play for the Mountaineers.
When Butler went off for 32 points Feb. 12 in a triple-overtime loss to Pittsburgh, a disappointing game that ended around midnight, perhaps his greatest accomplishment was all but lost.
That scoring outburst in a building where he had averaged just seven points a game for three previous games lifted him into third place all-time scoring at WVU.
Ahead of him are two Hall of Fame players -- Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley. They are the only two WVU players to reach 2,000 points.
Butler jumped to 1,867 points with the 32-point performance at Pitt. He has six more regular-season games plus the Big East Tournament and NCAA to score 133 points and become the third player ever at WVU to reach 2,000 points.
Butler recently passed Greg Jones and Rod Thorn on the list and roared past Wil Robinson in his last effort.
ON THE SPOT: F Kevin Jones got off to a huge start this season. Forced into the starting lineup when Devin Ebanks missed the season's first three games, Jones played so well that he remained in the lineup. Jones was a sharpshooter from the field for much of the early going but over his last four games has fallen back, hitting only 38 percent. He's also had three straight games scoring beneath his 14 points-a-game average.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "For us to have this talent we're supposed to have -- we're supposed to win this game, we're supposed to beat this team by this many points and that many points or whatever the case is -- well, we have all these great players and we didn't execute and we didn't finish. That's what's frustrating."
-- WVU star F Da'Sean Butler after his team blew a late lead and lost in three overtimes to Pitt.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
SEASON RECAP: The Mountaineers climbed as high as No. 4 in the nation and were looking at a potential No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament until Villanova and Pitt came along sent them spinning into a two-game losing streak.
The Villanova loss came at home and the Pitt loss was disastrous, as the Mountaineers blew a seven-point lead in the last minute and lost in triple overtime. Now, rather than fighting for a top seed, the Mountaineers are trying to gain the double bye in the Big East Tournament. The top four finishers in the league's regular season race earn that reward.
IN FOCUS: A week ago no one could have forecast that the most crucial game in the season may be the Feb. 17 meeting at Providence, but all of a sudden WVU is looking at having to dig out of a hole. The Mountaineers not only have lost two straight, but the loss to Pitt was crushing as they blew the lead in regulation and went three overtimes before losing. Winning on the road is never easy in the Big East and having to do it coming off such a hard hit makes it so much more so.