“I felt like it was the best decision for me to stay my sophomore year and compete for a national championship next year”– Trey Burke, April 9, 2012 (via ESPN).
The statement that Burke made said it all on his return for this season to Michigan, rather than jumping to the NBA. The 2012 season didn’t end well for the freshman Burke and his Michigan team, as they got upset by Ohio in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He has spoken about how frustrated he was about that disappointment and didn’t want to go out like that. Few questioned Burke’s decision, as it was smart, for both his college career and NBA future.
Now Burke is certain to go to the NBA this summer. His NBA stock now compared to last year has skyrocketed. A likely late first-round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft has become a lottery pick in 2013. Burke has showcased his excellence this season, carrying Michigan all year.
He was a preseason All-American and lived up to the billing, winning Big Ten Player of the Year and being named to every postseason All-American list, including the Wooden team. The final individual achievement for Burke will likely come in under two weeks, when the Wooden Award is announced. Burke is the favorite and only finalist still playing in the tourney. Burke’s sophomore season has given him huge individual honors and a much improved NBA Draft stock.
Now, back to his famous quote last year. A national championship is just two wins away for the hungry Burke. After a long, up and down season Burke has helped put Michigan in great position to achieve his goal.
Burke returning to Michigan for his sophomore year was a great choice for both him and the school. They have had their best run since the Fab Five and Burke might just be able to go out a champion, like he wanted. Championship or not, Burke has had a great season and a very promising NBA future next year.