Thursday, April 5, 2012
An open letter to Trey Burke
By Bob McClellan WolverineNation
I know you've had enough of people in your ear about whether to turn pro.
I really don't have a vested interest. I won't be outraged if you leave nor overjoyed if you don't.
Trrey Burke's size doesn't bolster his draft prospects.
I do believe any player who is guaranteed to be a top-20 pick in the NBA draft should go. The money is hard to ignore; so is the fact you'll never have to take another test or write another paper. Hey, I was a college student once myself.
But here's the thing: You're not a guaranteed top-20 pick. In fact, the odds are better that you'll be a second-round pick than a first-round pick.
I'm not here to give you an opinion, Trey. I'm here to state facts. Here are some worthy of considering:
• Only 11 freshman point guards have entered the draft since the NBA changed the minimum age requirement in 2006. All of them were 6-foot-1 or taller. You're listed at 5-11. And I don't believe I have to tell you that if you should happen to measure any less than that at the pre-draft camp your chances of even being drafted will be gone as quickly as your team was in the NCAA tournament.
• Speaking of the NCAA tournament, eight of those 11 point guards were on teams that reached at least the Sweet 16. One more made the second round. The only two whose teams didn't make it out of the first round lost to higher-seeded teams. Your team ... well, I'm sure you remember what happened.
• The last Michigan point guard to leave early was Darius Morris. If you ask Morris, he was convinced he'd be a first-round pick. He was drafted in the second round, 45th overall. He is averaging 2.6 points and 9.3 minutes per game for the Los Angeles Lakers, and he has played in less than one-third of the team's games. Oh, and he's 6-4.
• Andy Katz's early preseason top 25 for next season has the Wolverines ranked No. 8. That's if you return. Your team adds three top-100 recruits. You have the chance to lead the Wolverines deep into March, and that would only boost your draft stock significantly.
• The 2012 ESPNU 100 lists only three point guards among the nation's top 40 players. With a few underclassman point guards getting out of your way this year, a better sophomore season would only boost your draft stock significantly.
So there you go, Trey. It boils down to this: You're rolling the dice on making it into the first round. I'm sure you believe you'll go to the pre-draft camp and blow everybody away. But consider what happens if you don't: You'll be lucky to go in the second round and play 10 minutes a game in a third of your team's games. Would you rather do that, or lead a preseason top-10 team in scoring, assists and minutes and possibly to the Final Four? Be the 12th man or be the man?
The money will still be there in a year. Do everything you're capable of in Ann Arbor as a sophomore, and chances are that money will grow exponentially.
The lottery sounds a whole lot better than the second round, doesn't it?
Bob McClellan is the editor of WolverineNation. He has covered college basketball for more than 20 years and contributes to Blue Ribbon Yearbook. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.