Monday, April 9, 2012
Trey Burke returning to Michigan
By Michael Rothstein WolverineNation
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan will have its starting point guard for at least another season.
After seriously contemplating leaving for the NBA draft, Big Ten co-Freshman of the Year Trey Burke has decided to return to school for his sophomore season with the Wolverines, the school announced Monday.
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Burke started every game but one his freshman season, leading Michigan in scoring (14.8 points a game) and assists (156). He broke Gary Grant's record for assists by a freshman, a mark set in 1984-85.
"I felt like it was the best decision for me to stay my sophomore year and compete for a national championship next year," Burke said. "It was a point where I was considering leaving, (but) I was never really two feet, all the way in."
"I have so much more to develop as both a student and athlete, and there is no better place to do that than here at Michigan. I love my Michigan family and am really excited about playing with my teammates and our incoming freshmen. I want to thank my parents, my teammates and my coaches for the patience and guidance they gave me since this process began a few weeks ago."
Burke became one of 10 Big Ten freshmen since 1979-80 to lead his team in total points and assists, joining the likes of Indiana's Isiah Thomas and Ohio State's Jim Jackson.
With Burke the Wolverines will return three starters next season, including second-leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. (14.6 ppg), a junior.
"That was a big piece that was going to be missed," Hardaway Jr. said Monday. "Happy he's back now, and we just concentrate on the future."
The Wolverines also have a strong recruiting class coming in. The class is ranked No. 11 nationally in the ESPNU 100 basketball recruiting rankings, and it features three players in the ESPNU 100: five-star forward Glenn Robinson III, four-star forward Mitch McGary (Chesterton, Ind./Brewster Academy) and shooting guard Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ont., Canada/St. Mark's). The most recent addition to the class is point guard Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon), who verbally committed Friday.
"It is very unusual to have a freshman point guard play with such poise and confidence all year long," coach John Beilein said in the statement. "He is a clutch performer with a great work ethic and a brilliant future in front of him. As our team leadership changes hands, I know Trey will join the other returning players as we strive to be the leaders and best in all we do."
With Burke back Michigan could be a preseason top 10 team. ESPN.com's Andy Katz has the Wolverines ranked eighth in the country in his early projection.
Burke's return eases what has been a big offseason of defections for Michigan. Three players, including sixth man Evan Smotrycz, left the program in March seeking transfers.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.