Tracking the College Basketball Stars of the Future
Read Thad Mumau's
feature article on Conference USA basketball recruiting in
Thursday, October 21, 2004
By Thad Mumau
Rough-cut gem Burke set
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• PAT DYE: Short on Tenure, Long on Impact
• INSIDE PIRATE FOOTBALL
• Recruit Profiles
• Rookie Books
• Tracking the Classes
• Florida Pipeline
• NCHSAA & ECU: Smooth Sailing Again
• HIGH HOPES FOR HOOPS
• STEVE BALLARD:
New Leader Takes Charge
• SCOTT COWEN: Busting Down the Door
• KEITH LECLAIR on ECU's Field of Dreams
• BETH GRANT: Actress Still a Pirate
rankings and stats can be dazzling, but those aren’t the magnets that
attract college basketball coaches to high school players.
combination of talent and potential is what does it.
And that is
the lure of Dwight Burke, the 6-8 ½, 235-pound power forward who recently
committed to East Carolina with plans to sign with the Pirates in November.
“Dwight is a
bit raw but is very talented," said Bobby Hurley, Burke’s coach at Newark
(NJ) St. Benedict’s School. "He has a world of potential.”
last season at New York (NY) Rice High School, where he averaged 7.6 points,
6.2 rebounds and a blocked shot per game.
didn’t play a lot,” Rice coach Maurice Hicks said. “He was our seventh or
eighth guy, and there were games he didn’t get many minutes. We were a
pretty talented team, though, so this isn’t to say Dwight can’t play.
“The thing is,
he needs to play. He needs game experience so that he can feel relaxed out
there and just play his game. He has some talent. I think he will be a good
college player. East Carolina made a good move.
some good post moves, but he isn’t very smooth at this point. Everything he
does looks kind of rough. But he can rebound. When he goes up and gets the
ball off the boards, he does it with authority.
“He had a few
games for us that he came in and did something big right away,” Hicks said.
“That would give him confidence, and he’d go on and have a big night — like
a double-double. He did that a couple of times.
block a shot, go down and score at the other end, rip down a bunch of
rebounds, get a stickback or two and really assert himself. That’s the kind
of player he can be with experience.”
and his staff didn’t offer a scholarship to Burke on a lark. Coaches from a
number of colleges watched the big guy this past summer and liked what they
Bonaventure, Richmond and Rhode Island also offered, while Seton Hall,
Villanova, Georgia and Rutgers were among several others that were very
around 35 schools looking at Dwight,” Hurley said. “Georgia, Villanova,
Seton Hall and Rutgers probably would have offered in the spring. If he had
waited and gone late, he would have gotten much more attention, with
probably a lot more of the bigger-name schools getting involved.
“I don’t say
that because I think he made a bad decision in committing to East Carolina.
Coach Herrion has things going in the right direction down there, and it’s a
good program. I think it’s a good fit for Dwight.
stating a fact,” Hurley said. “What I said about him is true for many kids.
The ones who go late, waiting until the spring to sign, end up on lists of a
lot of schools that might not be recruiting them in the fall. Everybody
doesn’t get the first kids they go after, so they add some new names in the
spring. It’s a great opportunity for kids that wait.”
visit was to Greenville.
“It was a
couple of weeks ago,” Hurley said. “Dwight really liked the coaches and the
campus, and he liked it socially. He came back from Greenville very happy,
so he went ahead and got it done.”
planning a trip to St. Bonaventure, but cancelled it.
“He has a
great basketball physique for a four or five guy,” Hurley said. “That’s
where he will play — power forward or center. He is not a finesse player; he
is a very physical power player. He’s a banger type, very strong.
pretty skilled. He has a nice little jump hook and a powerful drop step. He
blocks shots well, runs okay and is an above average athlete for a big guy.
“He has a
great up side, and that’s what coaches like so much about him.”
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