The best comparison for Burns is probably Carlton Scott. He didn't get a lot of playtime early in his career either, but he eventually was a big part of the team. Mooney's best comparison is probably Rob Kurz.
Both guys have a chance to be major contributors at some point in their careers. They will have to put in work developing their individual skill as well as developing their understanding of Brey's system principles. It'll take time, but both can be very good players.
He compares better to Ty Nash but with a little more height.
Like you, I was thinking of Kurz for Mooney, but I'd put him halfway between Abromaitis and Kurz. Not many are as badass as Kurz was.
probably not the toughness either. Burns has some Ty in him for sure. The ability to handle the ball, and his body type are closer to Nash than Scott. I think his shooting ability and athleticism are closer to Scott. If Mooney is an Abro/Kurz hybrid, I can live with Burns being a Nash/Scott hybrid.
Anyway, everybody is their own player. Nobody is ever going to line right up. I like the potential of both guys. If they stay committed to the process, I believe both will fulfill that potential.
I believe I mentioned the informal poll I took around the middle of the conference season. I asked several of the regular rotation players who on the team was most likely to plant a teammate on the floor during practice. It was unanimous - Burns.
Three to five players come out for interviews after games, so my poll used a limited sample; but all of the players were available on Selection Sunday, so I decided to ask Burns about it.
I began by saying, "I've been asking guys on the team who was most likely to pus someone on the floor during practice, and..."
Burns didn't let me finish. "It's me," he said.
I'm looking forward to having a guy like that protecting Colson.
In the rotation. I like his game from the limited action and HS highlights I've seen, and think he will surprise folks eventually.
and where ND was at heading into the 2014 season. We pretty much knew what we had with Vasturia, Coughnaton, and Grant. I remember thinking if they can get Auguste to step up and if Jackson could make the freshman to sophomore jump they could be a pretty good team. Of course I don't think anybody expected an ACC title and elite 8.
Like 2014 we pretty much know what we have with Colson, Farrel, and Phleuger. If Gibbs can make a DJ Jackson type jump from his freshman to soph year and if anyone one of Mooney, Burns, or Geben can become a viable option opposite of Colson (like Auguste did) I think ND goes from a top 20 team to a top 10 team with a chance at another ACC title and deep tournament run.
My hope is it's Mooney. This is based totally on recruiting highlights and his bio on UND.com but his skill set seams to fit what ND needs. A 6'10" big who can rebound and pass. Others who have access to practice etc...can correct me if I'm wrong on Mooney. Maybe Burns is that guy but I don't have a lot of hope for Geben other than being a role player off the bench.
On a side note I'm looking forward to seeing Harvey and Djogo. If someone steps up alongside Colson it could be a special season.