MORGANTOWN - Da'Sean Butler played more basketball for West Virginia than any player in history.
He scored more points than anyone not named Jerry or Hot Rod and might well have had more game-winning shots in the span of just three months than anyone, even the aforementioned West and Hundley, had in their careers.
He arguably worked harder and longer than anyone ever had to get to where got - hours upon hours in the gym and the weight room.
And he not only stayed the straight and narrow in his conduct on and off the court, he became - as his college career was winding down in almost storybook fashion - perhaps the most engaging and quotable player in all of college basketball.
Is it even possible, after all of that, that anyone on the planet was less deserving of the fate that perhaps befell him on the last play of the last game of his West Virginia basketball career?
Bad things happen to good people all the time, right? Still, this just seems too cruel.
For the record, here's hoping that Butler is one of those who can overcome something like the torn ACL in his left knee that he suffered Saturday night against Duke. It's happened before. But the timing simply could not have been worse.
The cold, hard fact about Butler was that despite all that he accomplished at West Virginia, his stock as an NBA prospect was still a little cloudy. Various mock drafts had him from the bottom third of the first round to anywhere in the second. His stock had improved considerably over the last few months, if for no other reason than he seemed to have the intangible of being a winner. But he was still a 6-foot-7 tweener who would have to play a two guard or a small forward in the NBA without superb ball-handling skills or a great outside shot.
Still, given the way he had elevated his team when it counted the most, he was probably a guy who would have been given the benefit of the doubt. Face it, after the 10 or 15 real studs are taken at the top of the NBA draft, the truth is the rest of the draft is a gamble. And Butler had put himself in position to be a guy to gamble on. He'd have continued to work on improving his stock in workouts the next two months.
But now throw in the soon-to-be reconstructed knee? Forget those workouts. And it's not hard to imagine Butler falling entirely off the draft board. Sure, he'll still get a shot somewhere, but forget any chance he had of working into the first round and getting one of the guaranteed contracts that go only to first-round picks.
And just so you know, the guaranteed salary even for the last pick of the first round of June's NBA draft is going to be in the neighborhood of $1.7 million over two years. That's what buckling his knee might have cost Da'Sean Butler.
After all that work. All those good deeds. All those hours. After all that joy.
After playing 4,451 college minutes, to have it come crashing down just nine minutes before the end.
Here's hoping Butler can overcome it all, rehab the knee and eventually have a long and fruitful professional career. But that's Plan B. That Plan A has apparently gone up in smoke after all of that is simply heartbreaking.