As much as it may hurt Spider fans to hear, former University of Richmond basketball player Tyler Burton, ’23, is off to a strong start at his new school, Villanova University.
In each of the first two games of the regular season, both of which he started, Burton scored in double figures. In the Wildcats’ first game Nov. 6 against American University, Burton scored 15 points and collected 7 rebounds in his Villanova debut. Against Le Moyne College Nov. 10, he had a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Over the next nine games, Burton reached double figures four more times.
He scored 15 points against the University of Maryland Nov. 17, 11 points against the University of Memphis Nov. 24 and 12 points against Kansas State University Dec. 5.
A shining moment for Burton came in his most recent double figures effort, where he totaled 18 points and picked up 10 rebounds against the University of California, Los Angeles Dec. 9. He shot just 3-for-12 from the field and 1-for-7 from 3-point range, but went 11-for-14 from the charity stripe to help his final point total..
“I’m gonna wake up tomorrow and take the same shots I usually do, and it’s gonna click one day,” Burton said in a Dec. 9 postgame press conference, in response to a question about remaining confident despite tough shooting stretches.
Burton, who spent four years at UR, announced he was transferring to Villanova on May 31. After making a name for himself in the Robins Center and proving to be an integral part of the program’s success since he joined the Spiders in 2019, he used his final year of collegiate eligibility to transfer to a power-5 conference school.
“First and foremost I want to say thank you to the University of Richmond for all the love and support you’ve given me the past four years,” Burton wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, announcing his transfer to Villanova.
Burton went on to thank his coaches, professors, the staff and his teammates, writing that he was “grateful” for his time at the school.
Burton’s former teammate and current UR graduate center Neal Quinn offered his support following Burton’s announcement.
“Go be great TB,” Quinn tweeted, followed by a heart emoji.
Burton scored over 1,600 points at UR, leaving as 11th on the program’s all-time scoring list. He also grabbed over 800 rebounds in four seasons with the Spiders. In 2022, alongside graduate fifth and sixth years Jacob Gilyard, Nathan Cayo, Grant Golden and Nick Sherod, Burton helped lead UR to its first A-10 Championship and NCAA Tournament bid, both since 2011.
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In his senior season at UR, Burton averaged 19.4 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game. Then, Burton made the decision to hang up his hightops at the Robins Center and head to Villanova for a final season of collegiate basketball.
Burton was the last domino to fall from the A-10 Championship team the Spiders fielded during the 2021-2022 season. This year, the Spiders have been defined by new players, the majority of whom are transfers or first-years, and new to the program.
“Definitely a new group and obviously a new time in college basketball,” UR Head Coach Chris Mooney said in a press conference during the Spiders’ first practice Sept. 25. “One change that’s helped us in this particular situation is how much time we have with the guys.”
UR’s record currently sits at 6-5 after a win over the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Dec. 16.
As for Burton’s new stomping grounds, his Wildcats hoist a 7-4 record.
Burton and Villanova will take on the Creighton University Bluejays at 9 p.m. Dec. 20.
Contact sports editor Jimmy James at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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