Willie Burton, who led Minnesota to the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight in 1989 and 1990, had his jersey retired at halftime of the Michigan State game Sunday. After the game, Burton talked about being honored, about his former coach Clem Haskins, the current Gophers squad and more.
Q: What was that moment like when your No. 34 was raised into the rafters?
A: What hit me was the fact that all the hard work, all the sacrifice, all the drills, all the videos, all the injuries, all of the doubt [was worth it.] You're talking about winning 18 games in two years. You're talking about turning it around like that. That's the reality. [No one would believe if] I said to you a team that was 9-19 for two years and the next year, they're going to make it to the Sweet 16 and be known as the nation's giant killers and knock off top-ranked teams. I think that's what really came into play. No one knew how hard it was for us.