Butler coach has high praise for Aiken

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Butler coach Brad Stevens was impressed with the entire St. Joseph’s team, but the most interesting comments were about Hawks junior center C.J. Aiken. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)

Butler coach Brad Stevens was impressed with the entire St. Joseph’s team as he talked abou the Hawks in a conference call leading up to Wednesday’s Atlantic-10 opener for both teams at Hagan Arena.

The most interesting comments were about Hawks junior center C.J. Aiken.

“Aiken I think is a pro down the road with his ability to block shots and makes shots, catch and shoot,” Stevens said.

Stevens, whose team is 12-2 and ranked No. 14 in this week's AP poll, then expanded about Aiken’s shot blocking ability.

“If he is standing in front of you and you shoot a normal shot you are in trouble,” Stevens said. “The bottom line is you have to find a way to get an angle on him and get a shield, be powerful, kick it out to somebody else. Shooting through him isn’t the right play.”

Aiken is averaging 3.1 blocks per game, 12.2 points and 5.9 rebounds for the 8-4 Hawks.

“We have played long athletic guys, but nobody quite as good as him for blocking shots,” said Stevens, whose teams owns wins overe North Carolina and Indiana. “We can’t get so consumed with his presence that we are not playing confidently.”

-Marc Narducci

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