Michigan State continues to add some big bodies in the front court for the foreseeable future. On Wednesday, the team received a commit from former Robert Morris transfer Braden Burke, who will join the program as a preferred walk-on.
MSU basketball adds forward, Robert Morris transfer Braden Burke as a walk-on: https://t.co/j0n798DbdI
— Jeremy Warnemuende (@JSWarno247) May 11, 2017
— Braden Burke (@BradenBurke_) May 11, 2017
Burke transfers out of Robert Morris University after just one season. He will have to sit out the upcoming 2017-18 season but will have three years of eligibility remaining, and his walk-on preference means that his roster spot does not take up a scholarship.
Burke is an imposing figure at 6-foot-11, 220 pounds. The former Lakeshore High School product (Stevensville, MI) played in 32 games last season for the Colonials, averaging just over 15 minutes of game time and totaling 4.3 points per game and 2.7 rebounds. Extrapolate his numbers to a ‘Per 40 Minutes’ ratio and he’s a borderline double-double type of player.
The addition of Burke is the latest big news surrounding big men for Michigan State. Earlier this week, transfer forward Ben Carter, who sat out all of last season due to injury, received a medical hardship waiver from the NCAA and a sixth year of eligibility.
The Spartans will be showcasing a deep front court next season after having virtually zero depth this past year. Head coach Tom Izzo will have both Carter (6-9) and another senior in Gavin Schilling (6-9) returning from injuries; Schilling is expected to receive a medical redshirt and a fifth year of eligibility.
MSU also welcomes in a pair of high-profile freshman next season — 5-star McDonald’s All-American Jaren Jackson (6-10 | La Porte, IN) and 4-star Michigan Mr. Basketball runner-up Xavier Tillman (6-8 | Grand Rapids, MI). Both Jackson and Tillman, more so the former, are potential one-and-done players much like Miles Bridges (6-7), who opted to return for his sophomore season. They also have Nick Ward (6-8) returning, who played above and beyond expectations as a freshman.
As for newcomer Burke, he obviously will have no impact on the floor for the Spartans next season. But regardless of how many of these aforementioned big men MSU has after the upcoming year, Burke will undoubtedly see time as a regular in the rotation at worst, given his size and presence down low.