The Notre Dame Fighting Irish men’s basketball team has finally made some official progress in following up their strong 2022 recruiting effort, landing the commitment of a talented local guard to kick off the 2023 Irish class.
Congrats to Penn Boys Basketball Player Markus Burton on your commitment to Notre Dame Men's Basketball !!!! pic.twitter.com/rDKQygMq3G— Penn Kingsmen Sports (@The_Pennant) July 29, 2022
Markus Burton is a 5’10” guard at Penn High School in Mishawaka, who until recently had flown a bit under the radar due to his size and being from the South Bend area, with his only offers as of the spring being from Bethel and IPFW.
However, an impressive summer from the senior-to-be has blown his recruiting open a bit, as his performances in both AAU and summer high school team play have earned him a bunch of mid-major offers in the last month or so (Drake, Ball State, Appalachian State, Miami Ohio, Western Michigan, UIC, Missouri State, Southern Indiana, and SIU Edwardsville).
Burton and his Penn team went down to Indianapolis for the Charlie Hughes Invitational, where they went 3-1, including wins over two recent Indiana state champions (Cathedral and Carmel) and Mt. Vernon. Burton scored 35 in the win over Cathedral, who you may remember is the team that features 5-star forward Xavier Booker.
His play of late has led to some of the big guys expressing interest as well. Burton’s coach had been getting calls from Michigan State, Ohio State, and Michigan about his star guard, and Notre Dame of course turned up their interest as well, hosting Burton on a visit earlier in the week and extending an offer while he was there.
Considering how recently he had visited and how much ND stands out against his other current offers, it was a foregone conclusion when he announced his commitment date that he had likely chosen the Irish — especially considering he’s been quoted as saying “I have always wanted to play for Notre Dame.”
Burton averaged 27 points per game during his junior season last year, and adds to a nice little list of recent South Bend-area guards who’ve come to play for Mike Brey, joining Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka Marian), Blake Wesley (South Bend Riley), and J.R. Konieczny (South Bend St. Joe’s).
He may not be as splashy or as highly-rated of a commitment as other recent guys like J.J. Starling and Ven-Allen Lubin — he’s currently a 3-star on 247sports.com — but it’s clear from watching his highlights that the kid can play, even if he’s a bit on the small side.
He can handle the ball, shoot it from deep, finish at the basket, and play a little defense as well. He’s not a Demetrius Jackson-level athlete (although who is??), but he’s got some solid athleticism and speed that should translate to the next level — really, the key will be him getting stronger and learning how to still get his shots up cleanly and finish at the rim despite the increased length/height he’ll see at the collegiate level.
Overall, it’s clear this guy can play, and if recent South Bend recruits are any indication, I think he’ll end up being a pretty darn good one for the Irish when it’s all said and done.