As Craig Robinson started for the door at the end of his press conference following Oregon State’s 82-72 loss to Stanford on Thursday evening, he advised the media to bring handkerchiefs to today’s 3 p.m. game with California.
Win or lose, Robinson expects it to be a sad occasion for OSU fans.
Burton will be the first of Craig Robinson’s recruits to have a senior day.
“With Joe being the first recruit, I’m sure it’s going to be emotional,” Robinson said. “He has meant so much to this program both on and off the court. He has represented us on the court fantastically, but off the court he has been just a tremendous ambassador for himself, his family, for our program. He does so much in the community with young kids, with regular students on campus and with just people in the community who aren’t kids.
“He is going to be sorely missed by everyone. It will be a tough day, but we still have a basketball game to play.”
Burton has developed into a key part of the team on the court.
He is fifth in career rebounds in the record book with 697.
Burton has shown bits of his skill set since he’s been at OSU, but he’s blossomed as a senior, particularly in the past month.
He is averaging 11.6 points and 6.4 rebounds and leads the team with 92 assists.
Off the court, Burton has gotten involved with the youth of the community. He attends high school games regularly.
The Beavers will wear their turquoise uniforms for Burton’s senior day game. The Nike N7 uniforms are usually worn in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Burton is a member of the Luiseno tribe and was raised on the Soboba Indian Reservation.
Burton said the run up to today’s game will be the same as any other game day.
“I’ll probably wake up. Hopefully I’ll wake up,” he said. “Get to the shootaround, lace up, go out to shootaround. People will probably be sad.
“Do the shootaround for about an hour, go eat the meal, nap for about an hour and a half. Then get back up, ice my knees, my body, put the jersey on one last time and then lace up shoes and go out there and do the same routine. Nothing’s going to change.”
It will most likely be the last chance to see Burton’s array of shots and passes in person.
Who knows what he will come up with? In the last couple of games, Burton has dished an assist between his legs and tossed in an over-the-head, back-to-the-basket shot.
Freshman guard Langston Morris-Walker did not play in the loss to Stanford due to an incident on Wednesday.
Morris-Walker was cited for misdemeanor theft by the Oregon State Police for allegedly shoplifting a Nike T-shirt from the OSU Beaver Store.
Morris-Walker was given a court date and released.