The 1990 NCAA Tournament. East Rutherford, New Jersey. And the East Region Final – Connecticut and Clemson – a 61-60 final in favor of the Huskies. How? Thank now-SCSU men’s basketball head coach Scott Burrell for his full-court inbounds pass to Tate George.
George, the 22nd overall pick in that summer’s NBA Draft, was sentenced to nine years in prison last January for a Ponzi scheme that endangered former NBA players Charlie Villanueva and Brevin Knight, who played for nine NBA teams over a 12 year career, ending in 2009, and Randal Pinkett, who won President Trump’s former reality show, “The Apprentice.”
Burrell finished his second season as Southern Owls’ men’s basketball coach earlier this month, following a second round exit in the national Division II Tournament to the College of Saint Rose, 67-47.
He was named Coach of the Year last season and is assisted by Mike Papale, who directed basketball operations at Quinnipiac for seven years, including during Burrell’s tenure as an assistant for the Bobcats, and assisted the UMass-Lowell program in 2011-12 when they secured a tournament berth.
In a July 2015 interview with John Pierson, Burrell said his baseball skills helped with the aforementioned inbounds pass, allowing him to gain a respectable distance to hit George for the turnaround winner. A three-sport athlete at Hamden High School, Burrell quarterbacked the football team and pitched for Hamden’s baseball team before he was fully confident in his basketball future.
And clearly he made the right choice. Now the only thing left to sweeten the pot: a ring as head coach. But if he wants to do that it’s gonna have to be without Northeast-10 scoring leader Michael Mallory.
Mallory was named to this year’s Division II Reese’s All-Star Game earlier this week, capping off a star-studded four year Southern career.