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This Guy Plays Notre Dame Basketball #12: Elijah Burns

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Will the junior see and increase in minutes this season?

NCAA Basketball: Loyola-Maryland at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a tough go for Elijah burns through his first two seasons with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, as ankle surgery after his senior year of high school sidelined him for his entire freshman season, and followed with a sophomore year where he logged just 44 minutes in 11 games.

According to Burns, he doesn’t mind it at all. After all, Mike Brey is known for slowly developing his underclassmen before unleashing them for two seasons, leaving many to wonder where the hell they came from. Will Burns follow that same trajectory and see more time on the court this season?

3 Things to Know About Elijah Burns

  • The ankle surgery late in his senior year at Blair Academy in New Jersey was a microfracture surgery that still hampered his play coming into the 2015-16 season, where he saw no playing time aside from a couple exhibition games.
  • Blair Academy is responsible for producing basketball talents like Luol Deng and Charlie Villanueva, so Burns was in good hands during his last two years of high school.
  • Brey has said that Burns showed him enough in practice this offseason to be considered as a sixth man for the team this year

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At 6’-8’’, 238 pounds, this man can move!

I, RyChi, Dub Thee:

“Elijah Boards.” If Burns really is to be considered for the sixth man spot, it will be because of his rebounding abilities.

2017 Outlook

The sixth man spot for Burns is a surprise to say the least, and it will be interesting to see if it actually comes to fruition. Due to the Irish’s struggles rebounding the ball last season (13th in the ACC), it is not crazy to consider Burns as a reliable presence off the bench to alleviate the workload of Bonzie Colson, who will need to be fresh down the stretch of close conference games. Burns can be that guy.

On the other side, Martinas Geben is supposed to be the one to help Colson in the frontcourt, although Geben will likely do that out of a starting role. Geben stole the show in the team’s exhibition game against Holy Cross, while Burns pulled down five boards in 24 minutes, but racked up five personal fouls. That will have to come down drastically if Brey is serious about making Burns his first man off the bench.