MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin men’s basketball freshman Brian Butch announced Monday afternoon that he will use his redshirt and sit out the 2003-04 season.

“I have decided to redshirt this year,” Butch said. “I appreciate the understanding and support of my teammates, coaches, family and friends. This is the best thing for me right now, and I think it is the best way I can help the team in the long run.”

Butch, who stands at 6-foot-11, is one of only seven Badgers ever to be named a High School Parade All-American, and he is the only UW player to be named as a first-team choice. He was also a member of the 2003 McDonald’s All-American West team and one of 10 finalists for the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Naismith Prep Basketball Player of the Year award.

As a senior at Appleton West High School, Butch averaged 22.8 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, leading the Terrors to a 23-3 record and the Division 1 State Championship game. In the quarterfinals of the state tournament, Butch broke a 35-year-old WIAA tournament record by scoring 45 points.

Although he has decided to redshirt this season, Butch will participate in all practices and attend all games, both home and away.

“I will do everything I can to help this program and the university during the time I am sitting out,” Butch said. “Thank you to everyone for understanding this decision.”

The Badgers finished their exhibition season Monday night at the Kohl Center against the Charleston Lowgators of the National Basketball Developmental League. Wisconsin will open regular season play Friday at Penn.

compiled from staff reports