June 14, 2008

Burton takes in Corvallis

Joe Burton is definitely a unique talent.  At a robust 6-foot-7, 270-pounds, he certainly takes up plenty of real estate in the lane and does damange in the paint and on the boards.  But the Hemet (CA) West Valley post isn't just a football player masquerading as a hoopster.  Burton is a skilled big man and the Beavers are trying their best to stay fresh in his mind on the recruiting trail.

[Currently, Burton is playing with an all-star outfit called Team Reebok USA that is competing at the Rose City Showcase in Portland.  His selection to the team comes off a stellar spring where he was able to show off his skills at a high level. 

"It's been going good," Burton said.  "I've been getting up and down the court and my all-around game is coming along good.  I'm trying to improve my mid-range shot and I've been putting in the work."

If you want an image of how Burton plays, envision Kevin Love about two inches shorter or for you old-school folks, hall-of-famer Wes Unseld.  Burton understands positioning to grab rebounds, but has the ability to snare a board and immediately turn around and throw an accurate outlet pass.  He also has abnormal ball-handling ability for a young man his size, and it's allowed him to pick up fans from many college programs.

The majority of calls to Burton have gone through his step-father, an assistant junior college coach, but Burton is well aware of who's interested and has an impressive list of schools. 

"I'm hearing from Marquette, Villanova, Florida, Arizona, and Oregon called the other day," Burton said.  "Also, San Diego State, Utah, Gonzaga, Oregon State, and Utah.  I've gotten offers from Marquette, Utah, Gonzaga, San Diego State, Peppedine, Central Florida, and Oregon State."

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