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Southeastern sharpshooter Ryan Burkhardt fueling Lions' postseason run

7 months 1 day 14 hours ago Sunday, February 27 2022 Feb 27, 2022 February 27, 2022 10:41 PM February 27, 2022 in Sports
Source: WBRZ

HAMMOND - After a disappointing 2021 campaign, Southeastern Head Coach David Kiefer knew exactly what he needed in the portal: a shooter

"We went out and signed one of the best. Obviously, I'm biased one of the best shooters in the country. We saw a perfect fit to the puzzle. We had a lot of print playmaking guards and bigs that can pass and get to the room, but we needed somebody that could stretch the defense," Kiefer said. "Since I've been an assistant coach here and head coach here, we've never had anybody shoot 40% from the perimeter, and to have a guy that's done that for years of college was was huge thing."

After hitting 130 threes in four years at North Florida. Ryan Burkhardt wanted a new challenge, so he took a shot on the portal.

"Felt like it was a good fit and you know, there's a good team coming this way and a real chance to win the Southland and go to the, you know, go dancing," Burkhardt said.

"I actually played against Ryan, when I went to Jacksonville my first two years of high school. He's a pure shooter, laser sharp shooter. He knows where to get good shots," teammate Jailyn Hinton said.

Burkhardt was the perfect fit. And with this spacing, Southeastern not only has broken a school record for threes, but is top 25 in the country in assists. The Lions have hit 271 threes, just 16 away from a conference record.

"Whenever you get in that go-mode where it's just everything that you know seems to go in the rims 10 feet wide. There's nothing really like it in sports," Burkhardt said.

But it's not the records that the Lions are after. Southeastern is trying to make the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005.  

"We got one goal on our mind and that's, you know, winning the conference championship and getting in to play tournament," Kiefer said.

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