Trey Burke, after a Wooden Award season that ended with a trip to the national title game for Michigan, has continued to ride his wave of momentum into the NBA Draft. Burke, originally looked at as a fringe lottery pick at best, is now near the top of many draft boards with his stock peaking just days before the 2013 NBA Draft.
Burke has often been doubted due to his lack of size. At just 6 feet tall, Burke will be a minnow at the NBA level. Many wonder if he will be able to score in the paint at the next level and if he’ll be able to match up with bigger guards offensively and defensively.
But those criticisms are nothing new for Burke. He has had doubters focused on his short stature for years, a major factor in his lackluster recruitment out of high school.
Burke broke onto the Michigan scene and proved everybody wrong, dominating at the highest level in college basketball for two seasons. He feared no one and averaged just under 19 points a game, while shooting 46 percent from the field, not just by hitting 38 percent of his threes, but also by attacking the rim and finishing strong.
He has spoken about how much he wants to model his game off players like Chris Paul and Tony Parker, two fantastic NBA point guards who are also short. Burke has also discussed how he is working to better his floater, an equalizer to tall defenders that both of the aforementioned NBA point guards have mastered.
This understanding of his disadvantages and how to make up for them is what makes Burke so special. He gets that he is not tall, so he figures out how to attack defenses in different ways. Not only does he play with a chip on his shoulder because of his doubters, Burke also finds crafty ways to overcome his flaws.
Sure, the NBA is a much higher level than even the top echelons of collegiate basketball, but Burke has been doubted at every level jump, proving doubters wrong every time. At this point, even NBA teams are starting to buy in, resulting in Burke flying up draft charts into a likely top-five pick.