We’re doing a “Year In Review” series, in which we review how awesome or horrendous or spectacular or spectacularly frustrating each player’s season was. And no, we did not copy Anonymous Eagle’s “Player Reviews” series. Okay, maybe we did. WE’LL MAKE SOME CHANGES ALRIGHT!?!? Anyways, we’ll go by ascending class order, and by alphabetical order in those classes. First we went against our own rules and did Dylan Flood, and then we accidentally skipped Deonte Burton for John Dawson in our supposed alphabetical order, so I guess now would be the time to lay off the LSD and get our s–t together. Just kidding. But really, let’s right this ship and get on with Deonte’s player review.
Stats: 12.6 MINS — 6.9 PTS, 2.2 REB, 0.5 AST, 1.1 STL, 0.4 BLK — 47.8% FG, 50% 3PT FG — 87-182 FGM-FGA, 4-8 3PM-3PA — 1.8 PF, 0.9 TO
Stats Reaction: Drop everything you’re doing right now and look above. #Bane averaged 6.9 points per game in 12.6 minutes per game. SEVEN POINTS IN THIRTEEN MINUTES. That’s special. And not only special, but it’s telling of much bigger things to come from Burton. Let’s point to Lazar Hayward’s freshman-to-sophomore jump in points as a similar situation, since they usually draw comparisons. Hayward went from 6.6 points in 16 minutes during his rookie season to 12.8 in 25 the next year. Since Deonte had more points in less minutes (and probably one more SportsCenter top-10 dunk) during his freshman season, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a similar jump to become our one of our top scoring options next year. After all, Buzz did say his instincts were “Lazar Hayward-like,” and that Deonte has the potential to be the “best player [he’d] ever coached.” With Gardner and Otule gone and Fischer not eligible until the second semester, expect Burton to make the most out of his increased minutes and thus raise his production exponentially — especially if Steve Taylor proves himself to still be a defense liability. Don’t believe it’ll happen? Read below.
Similar to the rest of the freshmen, Burton’s success was hampered by his lack of minutes. When he did get the opportunity to play, however, he was one of the best players on our team. As stated above, Burton averaged 12.6 minutes per game and 6.9 points per game (#EFFICIENCY!!!). He received more than 13 minutes on 16 occasions. In these games, Burton averaged 11.4 points per game, scoring in double digits in fourteen of the sixteen games. His lack of sufficient opportunities was partly due to a “ball stops here” playing style that needed to be tamed, but there’s no denying that Burton had the ability to spark the offense (or defense) on any given play. Considering that he’ll have more minutes (and increased skill and strength from offseason training) next season, it seems Burton is a legitimate candidate to be one of our best players next season.
Sooo, this happened..
That dunk shall forever be known as “The Terrorizing Tomahawk.” Well, at least until he does it again.
You know where I’m going with this. It was the infamous epitome of Buzz’s confusing coaching tactics throughout last season. Marquette’s in a close game with Xavier, it’s the last game of the season, Deonte has a career-high TWENTY-THREE points early in the second half, and Buzz sits him for the last seven minutes of the game for “defensive reasons.” This was, to say the least, complete BS, and it likely cost us the game. Whether or not we ever know the real reason why Buzz sat him (needed to shorten up the season to finalize his deal with Virginia Tech… uses Deonte’s “bad defense” as the perfect scapegoat — okay, I’ll stop with the crazy conspiracies), we’ll always know that Marquette missed an opportunity to expand on Deonte’s career night and possibly win the game. Thanks, Buzz.
Scale 1-10: 8 when he had the opportunity to play. 7 for the season as a whole.
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