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Stanley Burrell is Excited

Stanley Burrell, being excited.

If Xavier and Duke go on to meet in the Sweet 16, some poor piece of hardwood will take a pounding, for Musketeers guard Stanley Burrell is this year's version of Steve Wojciechowski. Kid's more demonstrative than a freshman at Berkeley, more excitable than a middle-aged sportswriter upon first laying eyes on the Georgia cheerleaders. What exactly does Burrell do, you ask?

"He claps and then slaps the ground really hard," Derrick Brown said after Xavier's win this afternoon. "I always think he's gonna hurt his hands."

"He shakes, goes like this, like he's lifting weights," Drew Lavender said, thrusting his arms back and forth in front of his chest. "Shaking and yelling, I don't know what it is."

"He's clapping, he'll pull his shorts up, and after a defensive stop he'll just stand there and roar," Stephen Duckett. "Trust me, you can hear it throughout the arena."

"He's the first guy I've ever seen in college stand on top of the announcer's table and throw up Xs," B.J. Raymond said, referring to the Xavier arm motion that makes you think the Musketeers crowd is forever calling for an intentional foul. "When he's saying something, he will literally run to you and grab you by your shirt."

"One thing that I don't like, and he's done it a couple times," Dante' Jackson said: "he just gets so excited that he actually grabs your head and brings it to him. You're so drained from diving on the floor; it's just like, 'I just need some room, some air.' "

Happily, Burrell pulled that maneuver on his coach today, sprinting to the bench after one key basket in Xavier's inevitable comeback, grabbing Sean Miller with both hands and shaking that head coaching head while screaming various motivational sayings into his coach's ears. Such as: "C'mon, man! We're here! Stay with me!" This is the same thing I sometimes do to my editor, when his head needs a good shaking.

"Nothing surprises me that he does," Miller said, when asked about having his own cage rattled by the guard. "As long as he's playing hard, I'm fine."

Burrell, as you'd expect, also acts like a Duke point guard while playing video games. He's always the Cleveland Cavaliers--"Let's [bleeping] go LeBron, let's go LeBron!" he'll yell at virtual LeBron James while pounding his own chest. "It's....interesting," Jackson said.

He's watched his own antics on video tape and it gets him fired up; "It kind of gives me chills, like, 'Yeah, there you go, lead your team!' " Burrell said.

The floor-pounding Wojo himself was watching the Xavier game courtside; believe it or not, he said he didn't notice Burrell's on-court displays, and refused to take credit for popularizing the squat-and-clap.

"It came long before me; Tommy Amaker and a lot of great [Duke] point guards in the past, it was something that they did to show when our team needed a defensive stop," Wojo said, also pointing out "it's not the only thing I did," when I asked whether he's still known for his defensive posturing. And does Wojo like seeing the floor pound live on?

"I like it when it's our team and we're getting stops," he said.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 20, 2008; 4:26 PM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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Next: This Game is Electric!

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