Pack signs point guard to replace Johnson | NevadaAppeal.com

Pack signs point guard to replace Johnson

JOE SANTORO
For the Nevada Appeal

RENO – The Nevada Wolf Pack has found its point guard.

Pack coach David Carter announced Wednesday that Deonte Burton, of Compton, Calif., has signed a letter of intent to play for the Pack next season.

“Deonte Burton is a very talented guard who has the ability to play at a high level,” Carter said in an athletic department press release. “We are thrilled to have Deonte join our program. He will be very exciting to watch for the next four years.”

The 6-foot-1 Burton averaged 21 points, six rebounds and five assists for Compton Centennial High. He sat out last season after transferring from Long Beach (Calif.) Cabrillo High.

Burton’s strengths are his quickness and scoring ability to along with a solid all-around game. El Segundo (Calif.) High coach Rich Sabosky raved about the lightning quick Burton after his team was beaten by Centennial 80-43 in February.

“All of a sudden Burton just starts lighting it up,” Sabosky was quoted by The Beach Reporter newspaper in Southern California. “He was coming off picks. He was three-four feet above the 3-point line and nothing but net. I kept looking and going, ‘I got a guy on him. I got people jump-switching on him and he’s just elevating and shooting over the top of them.”

Burton was recruited by numerous Division I programs, including UCLA, Marquette, New Mexico State, Long Beach State, USC and Washington. He was one of seven Southern California players honored with the John Wooden High School Player of the Year award this year. The award is given to one player in each of the six California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section divisions and the Los Angeles City Section.

The 185-pound Burton also was named the CIF Southern California Division III Player of the Year and scored more than 2,000 points during his high school career.

Burton will help fill the void left by junior Armon Johnson who declared for the NBA Draft last week.

Burton is the third guard recruited by the Wolf Pack this off-season along with Jordan Burris of Bakersfield, Calif., and Jordan Finn of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.. Center Illiwa Baldwin of Pratt Community College in Kansas is also included in this year’s recruiting class.

Carter said earlier this week that he plans on adding a forward “who can score inside and out.”