DAYTON, Ohio — Butler guard Rotnei Clarke was injured on a hard foul Saturday afternoon and taken out of the University of Dayton Arena on a stretcher.
A Butler spokesman said Clarke was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays.
Clarke was attacking the basket after recording a steal when he took what appeared to be a shot to the shoulder from Dayton’s Matt Derenbecker with 8:13 left in the first half. The official trailing the play immediately ruled it an intentional foul, and Clarke had words with Derenbecker while laying on his back.
An on-site doctor was first to Clarke, followed by Butler coach Brad Stevens. After several minutes, paramedics stabilized his neck before placing him first onto a backboard, then in a neck brace and onto a stretcher.
Clarke was moving his head, arms and legs before the paramedics arrived.
A 6-foot senior, Clarke leads No. 17 Butler with 17 points per game and entered Saturday as the nation’s second best 3-point shooter at 58-of-131 (44 percent) on the season.
A transfer from Arkansas, Clarke sat out last season after averaging 15.2 points per game and being named second-team All-SEC in 2010-11.
Butler went on to beat Dayton 79-73 Saturday, and head coach Brad Stevens left immediately after the game to join Clarke and his parents in the hospital.
The Butler medical staff said after the game that Clarke suffered a sprained neck, with no fracture or spinal cord damage.
“He’s in a lot of pain,” head athletic trainer Ryan Galloy said. “But he’s awake. He’s encouraged it’s not worse. He wanted to come back to the game.
“He’s more emotional than anything else.”
Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Stevens informed his staff that Clarke may be discharged in time to ride the bus back to Indianapolis with the rest of the team.