After last night's 22 point 10 rebound performance against always pesky Cleveland Sate, I feel like it is time to debut the newest nickname for Butler's 6' 10" starting center, Andrew Smith. A few lucky Bulldog fans may have been lucky enough to hear or witness the "Mooooooooooooose" chants from the North side of the Dawg Pound when Smith gets announced in the starting lineup, but after his breakout game I feel like everyone should know. Now, you may ask yourself: What does Andrew Smith and a moose have in common? Well, hopefully by the end of this blog post you will see the clear connections between Andy and the Alces alces, or in non-scientific terms - moose. By the end of reading this, I am sure the next time Smith scores a bucket, you will join us putting four fingers on each hand behind our heads and chanting "Mooooooooooooose."
The first obvious similarity between Smith and a moose is their sheer size. An average moose has been known to grow between 6-7 feet tall and Andrew Smith stands on the upper-side of that at 6' 10". Now, because Smith is just a Sophomore it might be hypothesized that he is still a growing moose, but let's instead throw out those extra two inches and call it even. And despite the average moose weighing between 850-1500 lbs, I think we can all agree to throw out the difference there as well. But wait that is not all.
If you are not convinced of the similarities yet, than hold on because I have some more. One of the most reliable resources on the web, Wikipedia, claims that "moose are not usually aggressive towards humans, but can be provoked or frightened to behave with aggression." This is seen at Butler through the polite and bashful young man who listens during class and talks at press conferences, but come to play when it is game times. Another interesting point is that the natural enemy of the moose - the wolf is seen throughout our conference. When a pack of wolves or humans provoke the moose, the moose will fight back.
That means trouble for the rest of the Horizon League. Of the nine opposing teams in the Horizon League, five have mascots that are humans or wolves, one is a flame (that burns down a moose's habitat) and another is a panther that could easily be confused with a wolf in the eyes of a moose. That leaves the Penguins, who a moose could step on, and the Pheonix who would frighten any animal - thus creating more aggression.
Still don't get the connection? Moose are known as big lanky creatures with long limbs, but are surprisingly fast and can run up to 35mph. Much like the moose, Andrew Smith is tall and lanky, but is deceivingly fast running the break and jumping up for the lob. Don't believe me? Watch Smith run the floor next game. Last night, he was consistently one of the first people back on defense and ran hard all the way to the other end on offense.
If you STILL don't believe me, check out a recent picture of Smith from practice this week.. there are some eerie similarities there, but I will let you be the judge. Rumor has it after this picture was taken, the photographer was dunked on.
Finally, the last point and possibly the real reason for the nickname might just be the fact that his number is 44. If you put four fingers on each hand behind your head (as shown in the picture at the top) it looks like antlers- thus forming a Moose. Truthfully, Andrew is beginning to blossom as a player and has been a real "moose" down on the low post. If he can continue to play consistent minutes in the post and put up numbers half as good as last night, Butler will be a scary looking inside-out threat. So whatever your reason is for calling Andrew Smith a moose, I hope that you will join us in recognizing our very own as "Mooooooooooose."