Sweet Sixteen: #1 Donyell Marshall vs. #5 Scott Burrell

Donyell Marshall vs. Scott Burrell

#1 Donyell Marshall – (1991-1994)
by Tyler Wilkinson

In Rd 2, Marshall defeated #9 Rashad Anderson, 198-61

In Rd 1, Marshall defeated #16 Tim Coles, 228-1

During Scott Burrell’s senior season in 1992-1993, he averaged an impressive 16.1 points and 6 rebounds per game. That’s an impressive stat line from arguably the most well rounded player that UConn has ever had. During that same year, a sophomore named Donyell Marshall averaged 17 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Mashall was better than Burrell by his second year on campus.

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That isn’t meant to disparage Burrell, but to emphasize just how dominant Marshall was. Donyell was the first true star that UConn ever had, paving the way for the incredible recruits that would follow him. By his junior season, he had developed into a cold-blooded scorer – scoring over 20 points in a shocking 23 consecutive games. His 855 points in ‘93-’94 was a single season record for 17 years until a kid named Kemba Walker came along. His scoring average in that season (25.1) is still good for third all-time on UConn’s list – the best since 1977.

Hardly a one-trick pony, Marshall also held the UConn record for blocked shots for a decade until Emeka Okafor came along. Hate St. John’s? So did Donyell. He scored 42 points against them on Jan. 15, 1994 then scored 42 on them AGAIN less than two months later.

Although Marshall’s run at UConn never resulted in a title, he is arguably the most important figure not named Jim Calhoun who paved the road for UConn to get there.

Career Points: 1648

Career Rebounds: 695

Career Assists: 131

Career Steals: 113

Career Blocks: 245

#5 Scott Burrell – (1989-1993)
by Meghan Bard

In Rd 2, Burrell defeated #4 Tony Hanson, 102-64

In Rd 1, Burrell defeated #12 Nadav Henefeld, 128-22

I have to start my pitch for Scott Burrell by telling you that I have been a UConn fan literally my entire life. My parents went to UConn, and both played sports there. I went to my first UConn game in a car seat during the 1981-82 season. It was UConn-Georgetown at the Hartford Civic Center. Dad likes to say I saw Patrick Ewing play. I’m not sure it counts when you’re an infant, but I’ll take it. The point is, I’ve rooted for the Huskies for as long as I can remember. And my first real UConn basketball memory is watching Scottie Burrell hurl the ball baseball-style cross-court to Tate George. The Throw that begat The Shot.

It’s a really special memory for me. Mom and Dad were going crazy downstairs watching UConn play Clemson in the Sweet Sixteen in March of 1990, and they woke my brother and I up. It was a school night, and we were supposed to be sleeping, but instead of sending us back to bed, they called for us to come into the den and watch the end of the game with them. I got there just in time. One second left. Burrell sends a perfect strike clear across the court. George catches and shoots in one motion. It’s good! And everyone went completely insane. And even though Christian Laettner broke my poor little eight-year-old heart two days later, that moment is when I fell in love with UConn basketball. And it’s a love affair that’s now more than two decades old.

Look, I can tell you about how Scott Burrell was such an amazing athlete that he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays coming out of high school. I can tell you that he was the first player in NCAA history to compile more than 1,500 points, 750 rebounds, 275 assists and 300 steals over the course of his college career. I can tell you that he spent nearly a decade in the NBA, that he won an NBA Championship and that he spent another five years playing professional ball all over the world before coming back to Connecticut to coach at Quinnipiac. But in my heart, Scott Burrell is always going to be the guy that started my near-obsession with UConn basketball. And as great as Donyell Marshall is, and as much as he’s contributed to UConn basketball, I’ve got to go with my first love.

Career Points: 1562

Career Rebounds: 750

Career Assists: 293

Career Steals: 310

Career Blocks: 129

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