Notre Dame basketball star gets undeniable message from NBA

Markus Burton entered the NBA Draft because he wanted to learn more about his game, the Notre Dame basketball star learned something big on Saturday.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Markus Burton (3) drives the lane
Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Markus Burton (3) drives the lane / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

When Notre Dame basketball star Markus Burton declared for the NBA Draft, he sent shockwaves through South Bend. There were plenty of fans who were afraid the Fighting Irish had already lost one of their best players in years.

Yet, Burton's declaration was not a hasty departure from Notre Dame. It was a calculated move to gain a deeper understanding of his game. He sought guidance from the NBA, a message that would illuminate his areas of improvement. On Saturday, he received a message from the pros, but it was not the one he anticipated.

College basketball analyst Jeff Goodman released the list of 78 players invited to the NBA Combine ahead of the 2024 NBA Draft. Despite the list being quite comprehensive and seemingly involving almost all the highly-rated players eligible for the draft, Markus Burton was nowhere to be seen.

The message in not being among almost 80 players invited to the combine seems clear enough. The NBA doesn't believe Burton is anywhere near ready for the pros. Even if he had one of the better seasons a freshman member of the Fighting Irish has seen.

If the Notre Dame basketball star wanted to be told what the NBA thought of his game, the league threw up a roadblock. It's going to be quite a bit harder for him to see how he shapes up among the best players in college basketball last year.

Notre Dame basketball fans get a present in Markus Burton rejection

While being off the list is bad news for the Irish guard, it's good news for fans of the program. There was always a bit of a worry that Burton would get rave reviews. Reviews so good he decided he couldn't turn his back on the NBA.

Not even being invited to the combine closes the door on that kind of review. If there was any doubt that Markus Burton was coming back to the Notre Dame basketball program, it seems a slam dunk at this point.