Celebrating Oregon State Senior Joe Burton

Posted by Connor Pelton on February 23rd, 2013

Remember just a couple of weeks ago, when basketball games scheduled to be played on aircraft carriers were getting condensationed out, Illinois magically stormed through the Maui Invitational bracket, and Arizona defeated Florida, Miami (FL), and San Diego State, all in the course of 10 days? Well, it may seem like just yesterday, but in reality another college hoops season has flown by. Today, two Pac-12 teams will honor their seniors in their final home games of the regular season. We’ll do the same, highlighting the guys that will be missed the most over the next few weeks.

Joe Burton's No-Look, Over The Shoulder Passes Have Become A Staple In Oregon State's Offense. (credit: Washington Post)

Joe Burton’s No-Look, Over The Shoulder Passes Have Become A Staple In Oregon State’s Offense. (credit: Washington Post)

We look today at Oregon State, as the Beavers’ Senior Day comes when they host white-hot California. Joe Burton will be the lone honoree, as the only other senior on the roster, Angus Brandt, sat out the majority of the season with a torn ACL and hopes to return in 2013-14. Burton was head coach Craig Robinson’s first commitment of his initial recruiting class, and ironically, he’s the only one playing his final game in Gill Coliseum tomorrow. Roberto Nelson had to sit out his first season in Corvallis due to an NCAA Clearinghouse issue, Jared Cunningham left after his junior season for the NBA Draft, and Rhys Murphy transferred to Chaminade after the 2011-12 campaign. Burton made history when he signed with Oregon State, becoming the first Native American men’s basketball player to ever earn a scholarship at a Pac-10/Pac-12 school. After a quiet freshman season playing outside of Robinson’s seven-man rotation, Burton became a regular on the court from his second year forward. But without question, this final season with the Beavers has been Burton’s finest.

Category

Previous Career High

2012-13 Total

Pac-12 Center Rank

Scoring

8.3

11.6

2nd

Rebounding

5.9

6.4

3rd

Assists

2.8

3.4

1st

Minutes Played

25.8

29.1

2nd

Burton’s growth in off-court maturity and on-court discipline has earned him the second most minutes played for a center in the Pac-12 this year. One of the most crafty players in the nation, he dazzles his way up and down the court. Whether it’s a no-look, over the shoulder pass, a “Native Tornado” reverse layup, or a half-court lob attempt with his back on the ground as the shot clock winds down, he is without a doubt the most entertaining big man in the league. Robinson has even said that a career with the Harlem Globetrotters could be in order once Burton leaves Oregon State (check out the 1:20 and 3:15 marks for some “audition” assists).

Goodbye Joe (credit: Oregon State)

Goodbye Joe (credit: Oregon State)

Finally, we can’t leave without mentioning all Burton has done for the Native American community while at Oregon State. He is one of the main leaders of Nike’s N7 initiative, and the man responsible for starting special N7 games not only at Oregon State, but at other schools throughout the west as well. To honor Burton on Senior Day and to match his turquoise shoes, the Beavers will break out the blue uniforms for their meeting with California.

Connor Pelton (297 Posts)

I'm from Portland. College basketball and football is life.


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