Iona’s Steve Burtt had 27 points in a recent win over Portland State. One of them made Burtt and his father part of college basketball history.
It was during that game that the Burtts – both named Steve – became the all-time leading father-son scoring combination in Division I, with both getting at least 1,000 points.
The elder Steve Burtt scored a school-record 2,534 points at Iona from 1980-84. The younger Steve Burtt is a senior at Iona, and he started this season with 1,254 points. He has led the Gaels, off to a 6-0 start, by averaging 26.6 points per game. He has a chance to catch Gary Springer, his father’s teammate, for second place on the school’s career list.
“It definitely feels good. It’s such a great accomplishment, something I never even thought of coming to the school,” the younger Burtt said last Sunday after leading the Gaels with 25 points in a win over Vermont. “I look up to him so much and he’s played such a big role in my life. I have the same attitude he did, always work hard and give 100 percent all the time.”
The Burtts passed Jalen Rose, who played at Michigan as part of the Fab Five from 1991-94, and Jimmy Walker, who played at Providence from 1964-67, for the top spot on the father-son scoring list.
Walker had 2,045 points and Rose had 1,788.
Rick Barry, who scored 2,298 points at Miami from 1962-65, combined with sons Jon (1,355 points at Pacific and Georgia Tech from 1988-92), Brent (1,304 at Oregon State in 1992-95) and Drew (1,253 at Georgia Tech in 1993-96) for the next three places on the list.
The younger Burtt has seen plenty of tapes of his father’s games.
“We are real different players. He could dunk and was real athletic. I’m more crafty,” he said, breaking into a laugh.
The elder Burtt is a coach in Streetball, the playground style of basketball, and he doesn’t get to see his son play very often, though he did his first three seasons at Iona.
“I still look over to where he sits all the time,” the younger Burtt said. “He calls every day and he stays abreast of how we’re doing. It’s something really special.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright was selected co-Development Coach of the Year by USA Basketball.
Wright and Harvard’s Kathy Delaney-Smith were honored for leading their respective teams to gold medals at the World University Games last summer in Izmir, Turkey.
Wright joins former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Oliver Purnell of Clemson and Kelvin Sampson of Oklahoma as college coaches who have won the award, first presented in 1996.
Nevada started the season in the Top 25, and then went on the road.
The Wolf Pack, No. 22 in the preseason and 17th this week, started the season by traveling 10,028 miles in 11 days. They came out of it unscathed before heading home to Reno for a 78-51 home victory over UC Davis on Wednesday. The Aggies shocked struggling Stanford 64-58 last Sunday in Davis, Calif.
Nevada is in Los Angeles this weekend for the Wooden Classic and the team’s first meeting with UCLA since 1947. Then finally, the Wolf Pack will get four straight games in Reno.
“We’ve traveled a long way,” said Nevada forward Nick Fazekas, the reigning WAC player of the year. “I know I’m sick of the road and ready to sleep in my own bed and eat my own food.”
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