2013 Recruiting Class Preview: Deonte Burton

Marquette’s 2013 recruiting class has the potential to be its best in years. Three consensus top-100 high school players, as well as another four-star and a three-star recruit, make up the verbal commitments joining the Golden Eagles next fall. 

Scout.com ranks the group seventh in the nation, and other national media outlets Rivals.com (7th), ESPN.com (9th), FoxSports.com (9th) and CBSSports.com (10th) all place Marquette’s 2013 class in the top 10. Read Trey Killian’s profiles of the rest of the recruits here.

Deonte Burton. Courtesy of ESPN
Deonte Burton. Courtesy of ESPN

Buzz Williams’ Marquette teams succeeded thanks to a bruising, physical style of play. Milwaukee native Deonte Burton fits that mold.

Burton, who is the state’s top recruit according to ESPN.com, committed to Marquette last September and adds a combination of toughness and athleticism to Williams’ roster.

At No. 49 on the ESPN 100 and 11th for his position, Burton drew a lot of praise on the national level, and he won an impressive comparison from Marquis Hines, his Milwaukee Vincent High School coach, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“He’s like the LeBron James of Milwaukee,” Hines said of Burton. “No player in the state has his raw talent athletically. There’s no one like him. No one can touch him.”

Burton played under Hines at Vincent for his freshman and junior prep seasons, spending a season at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., in between.  He scored just six points per game at Brewster but contributed to a successful squad that finished 33-3 overall.

Burton’s numbers skyrocketed upon his return to Milwaukee as he scored 21 points per game, leading Vincent to a 17-7 finish overall and berth in the regional finals.

The small forward plays much bigger than his 6-foot-4 frame suggests. A report by Scout.com calls him one of the “most physical and toughest wings in the class.”

“Burton is a load to deal with,” the description states. “He has great strength, is aggressive, and is an elite athlete. Now he doesn’t have a ton of skill outside 10 feet and is a little short for a forward, but still he plays taller than his listed height given his unique athleticism.”

Burton was the first member of the 2013 class to sign a national letter of intent with the Golden Eagles, and like the other four, he’s made a big impression on Williams as a good personality on and off the court.

“Deonte has a spirit about him that is infectious,” Williams said. “He is an absolute joy to be around, and I have the utmost admiration and respect for how he has responded to the recent hardships in his life. Nothing has ever been given to him, and because of that, he has a firm foundation in what he believes in on and off the floor and is very consistent in his approach to how he works on a daily basis. Because that type of value system is in place, and the access he has had to our program since his commitment, I believe he will have a smooth transition from the beginning.”

Burton joins one of his longtime friends at Marquette in fellow recruit Duane Wilson. The duo met back in 2004 at Hillside Boys and Girls Club.

“Back then, I didn’t know who he was,” Wilson told the Journal Sentinel. “We were all calling him ‘Big Baby’ after (Orlando’s) Glen Davis. He was something else.”

“It’s pretty wild we’re both going to Marquette,” Burton told the Journal Sentinel. “But it’s cool. We’ve been close for a long time.”