CEDAR PARK, Texas - The road to the NBA looks to now be a lot shorter for Da'Sean Butler than it recently has been.
The 27-year-old West Virginia product has been playing for Austin of the NBA Development League since late December and in 19 games, including 11 starts, he is averaging 11.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists.
"I like it [in the D-League]," Butler said. "It's been an experience. I've learned so much through the players and as expected, the coaching staff. It's just great to have the opportunity to continue to do this."
Brad Jones is the Toros' head coach and even though he has been coaching this ex-Mountaineer for only a short time, he likes what he has seen thus far.
"First of all, we're super excited to get a talent like him. Second of all, we're kind of excited to be part of his road to be the player that he was before he got injured," Jones said. "He's getting better and better every game."
Of course, this is Butler's first full season of competitive basketball since he suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in WVU's trip to the 2010 Final Four, their second in school history.
Since leaving Morgantown, he has been drafted by Miami in the second round of the 2010 NBA Draft and after a short stint with the Heat, caught on with the Spurs in March 2011. But with the uncertainty surrounding the NBA lockout, he explored other options last fall and ended up in Latvia for a short time.
"Well, I was there for probably four days. But the four days there was a great experience, just watching those guys play and seeing their style of play," Butler said. "Overall, it was a good experience."