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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Getting max value — Western Michigan nabs hoops sleeper in Williamston’s Burton

By: SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN, August 22, 2021, 4:00 pm

It’s been a year and the name and reputation on the hardwood continues to grow.

Williamston senior forward Max Burton blasted on to the Division I college recruiting scene last summer with a series of attention-grabbing performances on the AAU and camp circuit. The 6-foot-10 Burton is a highly-skilled big fella who can shoot the rock as well as any post player in the country, according to the scouting experts. 

Based on that assessment, Western Michigan might have just landed itself the steal of the century. Burton committed to the Broncos and WMU second-year head coach Clayton Bates earlier this month. He’s only considered a two-star recruit, but the ceiling on his game is clearly substantial. Bates was a longtime WMU assistant before getting the nod to take over the program in 2020.

“Max is extremely skilled on the perimeter for his size,” Inside Prep Sports’ T.J. Kelley said. “He’s one of the best-shooting bigs in America.”

Burton had offers from WMU, Central Michigan, Oakland University, Eastern Illinois, Northern Arizona and UM-Kansas City. He solidified his status as a true gem of a sleeper prospect last season with a 25-point, five-rebound effort in a district semifinal win over Fowlerville. Burton’s Williamston Hornets club finished 14-2 in 2021, winning a district championship and advancing into the Division 2 regional finals.

“Looking at Max, he’s strength is obviously on the offensive end of the floor, he’s a good athlete and he’s got real good form and rhythm on his outside shot” said Kelley, one of the top scouts in the Midwest. “His defense needs to improve and he needs to show a little more toughness down  by the basket, but he’s clearly incredibly gifted offensively and that makes him intriguing to college coaches.”