Sophomore Trey Burke is a topic of much conversation throughout the Big Ten. After a fabulous freshman season, Burke played with the idea of entering the NBA Draft. Instead of following in the infamous footsteps of Manny Harris and Darius Morris, Burke returned to
school. As the unquestioned star of this year’s highly ranked Michigan team, Burke has a lot on his shoulders. To increase this pressure Burke was recently named an Associated Press First Team All American. Is Trey Burke really that good or is he overrated?
The first place to start when discussing Burke’s true value is his statistics. Burke averaged 14.8 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, and 4.6 assists per game. Pretty impressive statistics for a true freshman at a Big Ten school. He was undoubtedly Michigan’s best player, and is a natural leader at the point guard position. Much is made of Burke and his tendency to shoot instead of create for others. Michigan needs Burke’s scoring. Yes, ideally he should get his teammates more involved, but you can’t ask for everything. When Michigan needs a bucket, Burke gets them it and that is so valuable. Every team wants a player like that and Michigan is lucky enough to have one. Burke is an improving jump shooter and is one of the best in the nation at attacking the basket. Another aspect of Burke’s game that has been criticized is his defense. Though he did slack of on defense at times last year, overall he is an average to good defender. He has great speed, quick hands, and decent size for a point guard. Burke has to make more of a commitment to affect the game on the defensive end, but he has all the tools to be a phenomenal defender. Michigan is going to need Burke to be big time this year. Michigan fans should be excited that so much of their season rides on Trey Burke because he is clearly something special.
Trey Burke’s choice to go back to Michigan was some of the best news Michigan basketball fans received in a long time. Though Burke has his weaknesses, his strengths far outweigh them. So many of his weaknesses are overshadowed by the fact he can get to the rim basically at will. His jump shot is good. Burke is one of the best pure dribblers in the country too. As probably the second best player in the Big Ten, Burke deserves to be an Associated Press First Team All American. Look for Burke to impress not only fans, but also NBA personnel everywhere during his sophomore season.