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Trey Burke named B1G Player of the Year, but he’ll be defined by this month

Mar 11, 2013, 9:22 PM EDT

Michigan's head coach Beilein talks with guard Burke during a break in game action during their NCAA college basketball game against Indiana in Ann Arbor Reuters

In the least surprising news of the day, Michigan guard Trey Burke was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the coaches and media.

He’s joined on the first team all-Big Ten team by teammate Tim Hardaway, Jr., Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas. Burke and Oladipo were unanimous coaches and media selections, with Zeller and Thomas earning that distinction on the media list.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Burke was the easy choice for all involved, pacing the Wolverines this season in all facets. The Columbus, Ohio native averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. He did it all and made the plays that were necessary.

Now, let’s see what he can do.

Burke has earned and lived up to every bit of hype that’s been uttered about him. But we all know that regular season awards, while nice, aren’t given with the postseason in mind. That’s where these awards are validated.

It’s a safe bet that Burke comes out for the NBA Draft in June, and he’ll more than likely be a first round pick. He’ll have a ton of pressure on him coming into a franchise at that point. But how high he’s drafted could be helped by a solid run in the Big Ten tournament.

It’d be a nice touch to make a run through the NCAA Tournament.

It’s really the perfect situation for Burke to do it. The loss to Indiana at home on Sunday made them a five seed in the B1G tourney. That’ll mean a four-games-in-four-days run for the crown. A trip to the finals might also be necessary to secure a two seed in the Big Dance.

As good as Burke is, he might need to show out to make that happen.

The Wolverines have the tools around Burke, but he’s the leader. The team follows him.

And if Burke does what he’s been doing all season, he could go down as not just one of the best in Michigan history, but one of the best guards in college basketball history.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

  1. bengalsstillsuck - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    1st thing Michigan won out right in a while but they will get bounced early in the tourny O.H.I.O…. lilttle blue sucks

  2. funktron2x - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    It is the Big Ten, silly and pompous word play notwithstanding.

  3. creek0512 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Which idiotic coaches didn’t put Thomas and Zeller on the first team?

    • beelza - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      Ever since Brittney Griner dunked on Zeller, his value has fallen.

  4. xli2006 - Mar 12, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    “Easy choice for all involved” and “Made the plays when necessary”

    Umm, not so fast. You could have made an equal case for Oladipo, and there was quite a bit of deliberation between the 2 candidates. Burke missed the FT and layup when the conference was on the line. Oladipo made the blocks, the put backs, the steals, and got his points on less shots & minutes… oh and he shot nearly 62% (4th in the nation, for a guard thats incredible).

    IU swept Mich on its way to an outright B10 title. Burke can have the POY, but Oladipo gets the B10 Title and got to celebrate it on Burke’s home floor.

  5. beelza - Mar 12, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Burke had two critical opportunities to put his club ahead of IU on the scoreboard, in fact win the game. Burke missed 2 FTs, and missed a last chance lay-up. Given this, Burke ought to have his legacy in damage control and forget the accolades. Sting as it may, Burke lost the game.

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