Dillon Burns didn’t waste any time.
The July live recruiting period finished up Sunday and less than 24 hours, the Xaverian rising senior point had a college. On Monday evening, Burns committed to Division II C.W. Post, choosing the Long Island school over St. Rose. He also had offers from Division II schools St. Thomas Aquinas, Concordia and Holy Family.
“I liked everything about it,” Burns said of C.W. Post, which he visited last Wednesday. “Academically and athletically, I think it fits. … It’s kind of like a Division I campus.”
Burns was beginning to earn interest from Division I schools, especially after an excellent performance in early July at Hoop Group Elite Camp Session I in Reading, Pa. The University of Texas-Pan American wanted him to visit, but Burns was satisfied with the schools he had. The scrappy, 5-foot-6 pass-first point went to St. Rose on Sunday and upon returning he had his mind made up – it would be C.W. Post.
“I felt like at a Division I school maybe I wouldn’t have a chance to play as a freshman or a sophomore,” Burns said. “Maybe those schools were a little above my head. A Division II school like C.W. Post, it’s a good conference, a good team and they’re always in the tournament.”
Burns’ father, Tommy, also played at Xaverian under coach Jack Alesi and he competed at then-Division II Quinnipiac. His sister, Megan, a sharpshooting senior this year at St. Peter’s, is headed to Concordia in the fall.
“He’s such a good kid,” Alesi said. “He’s everything that’s right about high-school basketball. I couldn’t be happier for him. The word throwback is overused, but as a high-school or college coach, he’s the kind of kid you want. It started with character. He’s got a great foundation from his family.”
The coach was in attendance earlier this month at Albright College when Burns’ stock began to soar. A camp like that isn’t typically conducive to his skill set. Burns flourishes inside of a system and playing with kids he has never taken the floor with before, players who are out to showcase their own skills and not necessarily win games, is difficult.
“He’d be more appreciated in a high-school game,” Alesi said. “But he’s so good and he’s so tough, he went out there and did what he had to do and he did it on his terms.”
Alesi expects nothing less of him this season. With highly touted guard Brian Bernardi, who holds a slew of Division I interest, and improving wing Shakeel Kemp, Xaverian has a chance to make some noise in CHSAA Class AA.
“I can’t wait,” Burns said. “I’ve put this behind me and I can focus on the team now.”