Burgess Decision Expected Within "Next Two Days"

BYU's last major "big-man" recruit will likely make his final decision to commit to Gonzaga or BYU within the "next two days." His older brother Chris, who experienced similar pre-signing anxieties before he signed with Duke and later transferred to Utah, is home for rehabilitation from Poland where he plays professionally, has been there every step of the way to counsel his younger brother.

"I do my best, but it's his decision and I don't want to force him in any way," said elder brother Chris about his heavily recruited sibling David Burgess, the 6-10, 240-pound prospect from Irvine, CA, whose stock as a national recruit jumped significantly last year as a junior at Woodbridge High School where he averaged 17 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and four blocks per game.

"Playing time is the highest priority there is," said David. "It all revolves around my brother (Chris) and when he went to Duke. He didn't get much playing time and that just killed his confidence. When your confidence goes down, its not as much fun and you get into a slump."

Burgess completed an official recruiting trip recently to national contender Louisville with coach Rick Pitino and said, "It went really well. Actually, the last couple of days I called him (Pitino) and kind of told him where I'm at. Basically, it was good, but his type of play didn't fit the way I play so I told him no."

Warm, friendly and engaging in conversation, Burgess summarized the reasons he narrowed his final choice between Gonzaga and BYU.

GONZAGA PROS: "It's the way they play," said Burgess. "They play hard nose. They do everything to the fullest and I love coach (Mark) Few's system and how he gets his guys to work. Basically for a big man, it's a really good school. Right now, they have Richard Fox (6-11, 289-pounds junior) and Cory Violette (6-8, 255-pounds junior) who are leaving after this year. They also have Ronny Turiof (6-9, 229-pound sophomore), who's going to leave for the draft if he has a good year. Basically, there is a wide-open space for me to come in and play in the middle of the paint as a center. That's what's really jumping out at me. Their style of play basically revolves around the big men."

Burgess added that, "I like the program. It's on the rise, obviously, with what they've done. It's not a mid-major program anymore like everyone has been saying. He noted more and more recruits are being drafted high from Gonzaga."

BYU PROS: "I love how (Steve) Cleveland coaches the big man and how vital they are in their program with "Hafa" (Rafael) Araujo right now, who is projected to be in the (NBA) draft this year. What they've developed him over the two years they've had him is just unbelievable. Their other big man, too (6-9, 245-pound Jared Jensen). I've seen him workout and everything. They're kind of like Gonzaga when they come down they see the post first, so basically the offense goes to the post."

Playing time in a system that will significantly develop his talents further is the most important consideration for Burgess.

Burgess is also aware that BYU's team is heavy with upper-classmen at the center position with Araujo graduating and Jake Schoff as seniors and Jensen and John Allen as the only junior big man on the team.

He noted that BYU's program has unique benefits as well.

"Obviously, it's our Church school and everything, but at the same time it's a program on the rise," said Burgess. "I mean, five or six years ago, they had a record where they only won one game. What Cleveland has done to that program is amazing; where they won the Mountain West Conference tournament as champions. This year is their strongest recruiting year. They've gotten three out of four LDS recruits kids they've gone after."

Showing maturity beyond his years, Burgess was remarkably open and candid in an interview with TotalBlueSports.com with his comments and feelings about the pros of both schools he is considering.

He also revealed another unique consideration he is weighing and pondering.

"When my siblings went off to their different colleges, and not BYU, they kind of fell inactive. They're telling me it's so hard to stay in the Church when you don't have that support. They went inactive for a little bit because you have no one and their coaches had practice on Sunday and everything like that, so they kind of fell away from the church," David said. "When Chris transferred to Utah and my sister transferred to BYU, they went back to Church and loved it there. That was a huge impact on their lives. They told me it's so hard when you're away from the Church somewhere else – and that's one of the huge reasons."

David's brother Chris was even more succinct: "If he goes to BYU, he'll probably go on a (LDS) mission. If he goes to Gonzaga, No."

The younger Burgess is taking his decision to a higher power for help. "Actually, I was hoping to decide in the next two days," he said. "I want to sign early in November at the signing period so there is no pressure for me during my senior season so I don't have that on my back because I know where I'm going. I'm just praying about it so much that hopefully I'll get an answer."

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