Joe Burton has transferred from Oklahoma State to Valparaiso, according to a release on the school’s athletics website, valpoathletics.com. He will have to sit out the upcoming season, and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
A 6’6” swingman originally from Texas, espn.com ranked Burton as the 59th best player in the nation in the high school class of 2014. He only played sparingly in his freshman season in Stillwater. This past season, he saw action off of the bench in 30 games, scoring 4.7 points per game on a Cowboys team that finished second to last in the Big 12. He proved to be a consistent offensive threat, averaging 44.3% from the field, which included 39.7% from three-point range. He actually made and attempted more three pointers than two pointers.
It is clear that Valpo is preparing for life after Alec Peters after the upcoming season is over. Burton is the third player from a four-year school to transfer to Valpo this offseason. Guard Bakari Evelyn transferred from Nebraska, and guard John Middleton came from Utah State. Both of these players will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after also having to sit out this season.
Burton is nearly the same size as current Valpo swingman and former transfer Shane Hammink. Both can shoot the ball very well and are threats to finish at the basket. With Hammink being a senior, Burton should be able to seamlessly replace him after this season.
Perhaps the addition of these three transfers shows a shift in how Valpo will recruit under new Head Coach Matt Lottich. Over the years, Valpo’s rosters have had among the most international players in all of college basketball. Their current roster only has four international players from three different countries. Jaume Sorolla, a center from Spain, is the only incoming freshman from another country.
Burton will be a key component for the 2017-18 Valpo squad, which will be led by guard Tevonn Walker, who will be a senior. His major conference experience, coupled with a year of practicing with the team, should provide for a smooth transition to Horizon League play.