A maturing Kameron Woods helps Butler with aggression

BasketballButler BulldogsYoungstown State PenguinsShelvin Mack

For once at a news conference, someone didn't mind talking about practice.

In fact Kameron Woods brought it up himself.

When asked about his ten point, ten rebound performance on Sunday for Butler, he felt it necessary to broach the preparation topic in order to fully explain his results. 

"I feel like I'm practicing really hard," said the freshman forward. "At the beginning of the season, sometimes I was just walking through the motions a little bit.

"i kinda feel like practice translates out to a game."

It an easy conclusion made by this quickly-maturing freshman, his coaches, teammates and the seven-thousand plus fans at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Perhaps the sun shining through the windows atop the historic venue was a sign that Woods is officially seeing the light in college basketball.

Woods' play in the post helped Butler lead for the majority of their 40 minutes facing Youngstown State, with his double-double the highlights of the Bulldogs 71-55 victory Sunday afternoon. 

"When you see a guy like that do it (rebound) over and over again, it kinda inspires you," said Andrew Smith of Woods-and that came from a guy that led Butler in scoring with 20 points. "You go and try to do the same thing." 

For Woods that play aggressively, which he has learned to be the key to opening up his game. The forward said that was something he not only worked on in practice but consciously tries to focus on before taking the floor.

That was a key two a pair of previous double-doubles against Oakland City and Purdue (Both which he had 10 points and 11 rebounds) and became the focus when he saw major minutes against the Penguins. 

"It seems like every game where I really attack the glass hard, better things happen," said Woods of his play. "I've been more aggressive attacking the glass and when that happens, a lot of other good things happen during the course of the game."

For instance on Sunday he started off the first half with a trio of offensive rebounds that led to putbacks in the first half. In fact six of Woods' ten boards on the game came at the offensive end.

"He has a high upside and a high ceiling," said Butler coach Brad Stevens of Woods. "He's right, when he rebounds, everything else really plays well. That shows a really good, in tune approach.

"When your going after the ball good things happen."

Outside of a few letdown minutes at the end, Sunday's game was just that. Butler outrebounded Youngstown State 36-22 on the afternoon and never trailed outside of the first 3:10 of the game. 

A halftime lead of seven was stretched out to as much as 20 thanks to five three-pointers as the Bulldogs snapped out of a small-two game losing streak with the victory. 

For Woods its another successful night of learning in a busy freshman year. Stevens says that he guards more positions as a freshman that future NBA players Gordon Hayward and Shelvin Mack did-and Woods thinks its paying off.

"I feel like I've become a better defender," said the forward.

Yes, he wasn't afraid to talk about practice.

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