By: Michael Hanich | Sports Editor
It was a wild season for the sport of College Basketball this past season only to cut short due to COVID-19. For the South Alabama Jaguars, they were only two wins away from their sixth Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament title in program history. Now the Jags, led by head coach Richie Riley, can only move on and compete for the future. Part of the future is having to replace all five major starters from last season and more impact players.
Last Saturday, the Jaguars got a huge addition to their team with former Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Dachon Burke Jr. announcing his decision to transfer to the University of South Alabama. Burke will be playing immediately as a grad transfer. Burke spent the previous season with the Nebraska Cornhusker after sitting out a year in the 2018-2019 season due to NCAA transfer rules. He spent his first two seasons with the Robert Morris University Colonials.
Last season, Burke played for an underwhelming and unfocused Cornhuskers team that finished with a 7-25 (2-18 in Big Ten Conference play) record. This includes a 17-game losing steak after starting the season 7-8. Burke averaged 12.2 points per game (second-most on the team), shooting 40.1% from field-goal, 3.4 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game, 1.4 steals (team-high), 0.6 blocks per game (team-high), and 1.5 turnovers per game. Burke did average 16.4 points per game in the last five games he played in.
Burke is a tenacious shooter as he displayed his dynamic ability to create shots in the paint and from the three-point arc. One of his best offensive performances came on December 13th in an away 96-90 overtime loss to the Indiana Hoosiers when he scored 25 points on a 56.3% (9-for-16) field-goal shooting including 4-for-8 from behind the three-point arc. On March 1st, Burke accounted for 19 points, two assists, and five steals in the 81-76 overtime home loss to the Northwestern Wildcats.
Seeking a change of culture and new opportunity to be a part of a stable and winning culture, he chose to withdraw from the University of Nebraska. He chose the University of South knowing the culture of winning that Jaguars basketball program hunger for. His electrifying playmaking and mentality will be a great addition to the Jaguars’ basketball program looking for another chance to become Sun Belt Conference champions.
The Jaguars’ leading scorer returning to next year’s team will be senior guard John Pettway with 5.4 points per game. Pettway was a more tough defender for the Jaguars than he was on the offensive end of the court. He will be a great complementary player to the incoming Burke next season for the Jaguars.