Boys Basketball: Burdin building off strong shooting season

Rising senior Garrett Burdin led Rochelle from 3-point range this past season, shooting over 36 percent. (Photo by Marcy DeLille)

Rising senior aspiring to become elite two-way guard

Shooting 3-pointers has been a strength of Garrett Burdin’s game since he debuted on the Rochelle Township High School varsity basketball team his sophomore season. An IHSA Sectional 3-Point Shootout qualifier this past year, Burdin will be working to expand his skills on both ends of the floor as he prepares for an even larger role with the Hubs as a rising senior.

Burdin shot over 36 percent from 3-point range during his junior season, averaging 15.3 points per game and spearheading a Rochelle offense that topped 80 points on five separate occasions. While Burdin has the makings of an elite 3-point shooter, he said he’s working to become an elite defense as well, and he wants to continue expanding his offensive game.

“I thought I shot the ball from 3-point range really well last year, and I thought I made strides in becoming a better defender every game,” Burdin said. “I want to defend better on and off the ball next year and I want to be better at attacking the paint and finishing so I can get to the free-throw line or create shots for my teammates… Nothing is more important to me than bringing a regional championship home to our city. That’s my No. 1 goal for next season.”

Burdin will be one of two starters returning from a 2019-20 roster that turned around a poor start to finish 20-12 overall and third in the Interstate 8 Conference. An Academic All-Conference honoree, Burdin will also be the only third-year varsity player on the Hubs next winter, and as the most experienced guard on the team, he’ll be looking to emphasize defense and communication while continuing to push the pace on offense.

“I thought we really grew as a team last year,” Burdin said. “I thought we guarded as best as we have throughout my career at Rochelle and that helped us tremendously as we went on our run and reached the regional championship game. We shot the ball well from 3-point range and we played with a lot of pace which sped teams up and helped us be successful. I think we can get better on defense by communicating more and helping each other on the weak side. We can also improve our rebounding to create more second-chance shots and slow teams down.”

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