Cornell has an incredible opportunity to recruit a monster sized player from the junior college ranks. Marc Van Burck, a 6'11" 280 lb. center has left the University of Colorado basketball team and enrolled at Salt Lake Community College for his sophomore season. Van Burck was recruited by Cornell when he attended Luther College High School in Saskatchewan, Canada, however, Van Burck was lured to the limelight of the Big 12. When Colorado's head coach, Ricardo Patton was replaced by Air Force's Jeff Bzdelik this year, Van Burck lost his scholarship and is now searching for a new Division I home for the 2008-2009 season. In all, four Colorado players lost their scholarships. An opportunity for Van Burck to obtain an Ivy League degree and play right away makes Cornell an ideal fit as a transfer destination.
Van Burck averaged 24 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots per game during his senior year of high school and appeared in the Nike All-Canadian Camp and on the U-17 Developmental National Team. With the Colorado Buffalos he saw action in nine games, but was injured most of the season with a right foot stress fracture. He did get a taste of Big 12 life, seeing floor time against Missouri (twice), Kansas, Baylor, Texas Tech (twice), Kansas State, and Nebraska. NCAA Division 1 programs from the West Coast Conference (WCC) and Big West Conference have been inquiring into the 6’11” 280-pound center. Cornell should get involved.
Van Burck Moving
Marc Van Burck doesn't have to come down from his Rocky Mountain high just yet.
The former Luther Lions basketball star lost his scholarship with the University of Colorado (located in Boulder) this spring, but found a new home on the other side of the mountain range with Salt Lake City Community College.
When Colorado hired Jeff Bzdelik as their new head coach in April, he informed Van Burck that his services were no longer required.
"I didn't really like it or I didn't really like him there," said Van Burck. "I knew his style was not going to work with me and a couple of my friends there."
The 6-foot-11 and 280-pound centre didn't see much action during the 2006-07 season for the Buffaloes. He was on the floor for six minutes of the team's season opener against the University of Denver, but a stress fracture in the second toe of his right foot kept him out for the next two months.
Still, Van Burck was assured by former head coach Ricardo Patton that there would be significant floor time available later in the season. In his first game back from injury, the Star City product logged 32 minutes.
But at season's end, Patton did not want a contract extension and the school hired former Air Force coach Bzdelik.
The new head coach wanted to install a new, Princeton-style offence that requires everyone on the floor to be able to score from the inside and the three-point line.
Van Burck didn't fit into those plans.
"He saw that four of us from the team didn't have a chance to thrive in that offence and he wanted us to go on and play somewhere else and have better careers at other schools," said Van Burck, 19.
When Van Burck went looking for a new university team in the U.S., he found most of the majors had already used up their scholarships for the year. That led him to Salt Lake, where expects to stay for one season.
Van Burck has already had inquiries from four-year schools and expects to be enrolled at one of them for the 2008-09 campaign. He declined to reveal which schools have shown interest.
After his stellar career with the Lions, Van Burck had been recruited heavily by Colorado, Idaho State, Cornell and Brown.
After he was cut at Colorado, Van Burck considered coming home and playing at the University of Saskatchewan or the University of Regina. He quickly decided, however, that if he wants to chase the dream of high-level NCAA basketball and the NBA, he needs to stay south of the border.
So instead of a relaxing summer of waiting to suit up for the Buffaloes again in the fall, Van Burck spent a number of weeks visiting different schools. From there it was tryouts for Canada's under-19 team that recently played in the world championships in Novi Sad, Serbia. He failed to crack the roster.
But now that all that is finished, he is back on the farm in Star City where a number of relatives from Germany came to visit for his dad, Hans' 50th birthday. Hans and his wife, Marianne, were both raised in Germany and came to Canada 25 years ago.
Once the reunion is over, Marc Van Burck won't have much more time to relax. He is expected back in Salt Lake on Aug. 20.
"There's not a lot of time," said Van Burck.