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May 28, 2009

Avon sophomore big man coming on strong

For as heavily recruited as Indiana's Class of 2012 has been already, there might not be a sophomore-to-be in the state with a more intriguing combination of size and skill than Avon's Austin Burgett.

The 6-foot-8, 200-or-so-pound 15-year-old is a fluid, skilled player who can shoot the ball from the perimeter and handle it like a guard, as part of a well-developed offensive game facing the basket. This spring on the AAU circuit, he's also shown to be a very good rebounder and shot-blocker.

It's the reason Purdue, among many others, have been heavily recruiting Burgett to date.

He visited Purdue unofficially the week before last, touring campus and sitting down for an extended talk with Coach Matt Painter, who stopped just short of issuing an early offer.

"That's what they said, that it's really early," said Burgett, who also visited for Mackey Madness and the Duke game this past season. "Time will tell."

With that said, Burgett will undoubtedly be watched very closely by Boilermaker coaches in June, when Avon - which also has 2011 prospect Kendall Griffin - is expected to attend one of Purdue's team camp sessions.

Then, during the evaluation period in July, it's probably safe to say Purdue will be a consistent presence at Spiece Indy Stars games after NCAA coaches were barred from attending springtime AAU events this year, denying them valuable evaluation opportunities.

In the meantime, though, Burgett has an open invitation to West Lafayette.

"They said they want me to come up and scrimmage with their players," Burgett said the week before last, at the adidas May Classic in Bloomington. "They said I play like Robbie Hummel. I want to see how we compare."

Iowa has indicated that it will offer Burgett a scholarship if he's able to make an unofficial visit to Iowa City this spring.

He's also planned a visit to Butler and a trip to a camp at Tennessee. Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern were among some of the many who came through Avon in the spring to see Burgett.

As just a freshman at Avon, Burgett averaged 8.7 points and 6.4 rebounds.

"I see myself as a more of a 4 who can move around and do different things," Burgett said.




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