The Longwood University men's basketball team traveled all over the country last season, to 10 states and both coasts, as part of its ongoing reclassification into Division I.
The program's latest signee knows something about long distances, too.
Bryan Butler, a 5-foot-10 shooting guard known for his deep shooting range, is the newest Lancer, after attending a year of prep school at Coastal Christian Academy in Virginia Beach to boost his academic standing.
Butler, the second-leading scorer in Potomac High School history with 1,218 career points, will be immediately eligible to join Hylton graduate Dana Smith, a sophomore guard, on the Lancers' roster.
Longwood Coach Mike Gillian said he saw Butler play a lot two summers ago on the Woodbridge Hawks team that included Smith and former Gar-Field star Chris Vann (Mount St. Mary's).
"I'm excited to have him," Gillian said. "If he displays now what I expect him to, he'll have a role in helping us. . . . Bryan can shoot the ball very well. When you can do that and have his athletic ability, you become a valuable asset."
Walter Webb, Butler's coach at Coastal Christian, said in April that Butler had become a more well-rounded player. He made 83 of 181 three-point attempts in scoring 14.3 points per game but also averaged 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals and was sometimes double-teamed, in part because of his passing ability.
Longwood, an independent, went 1-30 last season, tying an NCAA record for Division I losses and losing to such teams as Illinois, Cincinnati and Wake Forest, as well as four additional postseason qualifiers. Longwood's lone win was over Howard.
The upcoming season's schedule, which includes a game in Atlantic City against Villanova, is far less demanding. The Lancers have two games scheduled against Savannah State, which went 0-28 in 2004-05.
Smith played in 30 games last season and averaged 3.8 points and 3.3 rebounds a game. He made four starts after missing his senior year of high school with a knee injury.
"He went through your normal freshman growing process of really getting involved in the game and how fast it is and how physical players are at this level and how talented they are," Gillian said. "That won't be new for him now."