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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Why Trey Burke should win Wooden Award

By Ryan Feldman and Katie Sharp, ESPN Stats & Info

While other Wooden Award finalists have been inconsistent at times, Michigan point guard Trey Burke has been consistently productive.

Burke has scored at least 15 points in 19 straight games, and has led Michigan to a potential top-3 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Burke and Baylor's Pierre Jackson are the only players averaging at least 19 points and 6 assists per game this season. The only Big Ten players with those averages the past 20 seasons are Ohio State's Evan Turner in 2009-10 and Iowa's Andre Woolridge in 1996-97.

Burke has the second-highest offensive rating among Wooden Award finalists, trailing only Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk. (Offensive rating is an estimate of points produced per 100 possessions.)

While Burke has always been a prolific scorer, this season he has evolved as an elite point guard. Burke has the best assist-to-turnover ratio in the country, averaging nearly three-and-a-half assists per turnover (3.48).

Some of Burke’s best performances have come in some of his team’s biggest games.

In Michigan’s one-point win against Michigan State on March 3, Burke -- who had 21 points, 8 assists -- made a pair of clutch defensive plays late to win the game. In the Wolverines’ loss to Indiana on Feb. 2, Burke had 25 points and eight assists. In November, he had 18 points and 11 assists in a win against NC State.

How has Burke been so effective?

He leads Division I with 1.08 points per play on pick-and-roll plays including passes (minimum 300 plays). He also leads Division I with a 3.5 assist-to-turnover ratio in half-court offense (minimum 300 plays).

Burke's 6.8 assists per game would be the second-highest by a Wooden winner behind Texas's T.J. Ford in 2002-03 (7.7).

He would be the fifth sophomore to win the Wooden Award (first since Oklahoma's Blake Griffin in 2008-09), the first Michigan player to win the Wooden Award, and first Big Ten player to win it since Turner in 2009-10.