Trust me on this — dynamic Deonte Burton of Nevada will be making a living in the NBA

Posted: 03/05/2014 in college basketball
Tags: , ,

I believe I saw a bona fide NBA player lighting it up in Taco Bell Arena in Boise on Wednesday night.

Sorry Boise State fans, the player wasn’t on your squad and he is the primary reason why a crowd of 6,892 went home unhappy as Nevada posted an 83-81 double-overtime victory.

Deonte Burton is his name and scoring ability, playmaking and highlight-reel dunks are part of his game.

Burton scored eight of his 25 points in the second overtime as the Wolf Pack prevented the Broncos from reaching the 20-win mark. (see stellar game story here – http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nevada-over-boise-state-83-81-2ot)

Burton is listed at 6-1 but certainly plays a lot bigger than that height. He shushed the entire arena with his mammoth dunk, which I see has made its way to YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehJYxwJ2MKk) and was also named the top play of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

The senior averages 19.9 points and also leads Nevada in assists and steals. But it is more than the numbers that impress you.

He looks like an NBA player. As well as plays like one.

A lot of college players rack up stats but there’s a major difference in putting up big numbers in college and having the ability to play in the NBA.

Burton is enough of a playmaker to play in the NBA. He’s enough of a shooter. He certainly stacks up as an athlete. He appears to have the competitiveness that you need to even get a sniff of playing in the league.

Since I was a college basketball beat writer for 13 seasons – and have covered more than 60 games the past four-plus years while being fortunate enough to have a better job than newspaper life – I learned long ago to put very little stock in NBA mock drafts that are produced in February and March.

But I will predict this now – Deonte Burton’s name will be called in the 2014 NBA Draft. Not sure when as of yet, put possibly in the latter stages of the first round.

You see, I know an NBA player when I see one. And I saw one Wednesday night.

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