Apr 9, 2013, 6:15 AM EST
ATLANTA — Trey Burke is leaving Atlanta with plenty of hardware.
The uber-talented Michigan point guard won every Player of the Year award that you can win, receiving trophy after trophy, posing for photo-opp after photo-opp, going from press conference to press conference to talk about the season that he had over the last five months.
And what a season it was.
Burke averaged 18.5 points and 6.8 assists. His efficiency numbers were superb despite being responsible for handling the ball on seemingly every one of Michigan’s possessions over the course of the season. He was the focal point of every defensive scheme, somehow managing to remain the engine that made the nation’s best offense run. He led a team full of freshmen to the national title game.
But there was only one piece of hardware that Burke wanted. And thanks to an 82-76 loss to Louisville in the national title game, he didn’t get it.
“It hurts a lot,” Burke said after the game. “Just to play for the national championship, it hurts so much.”
“You know we fought.”
Yes, we do.
Burke, quite literally, left it all on the floor. He drove headlong into the lane and got knocked to the floor twice in the final minutes, spending every second he could milking the landing as he tried to catch his wind. After one possession where he went one-on-one against Russ Smith, trying to once again single-handedly lead Michigan back from a seemingly insurmountable deficit, he drew a foul and stepped to the line, grabbing his shorts as his chest heaved.
“There was never a point in time where we gave up,” he said.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
In all likelihood, this was the last time that we’ll ever see Burke suit up for the Wolverines. He was all-but out the door last season before a change of heart led him back to campus. You don’t think that, after a season where he’s the consensus Player of the Year and almost a lock for the lottery, he’ll be declaring for the draft?
And there-in lies the shame of it all.
Not that Burke is going pro. I think he’s making the right decision. As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot, and Burke’s iron will never be hotter than it is right now.
The shame is that the lasting memory that most will have of Burke is with his head down, slowing walking off the court as the Cardinals celebrate, streamers and confetti bursting from the Georgia Dome rafters.
The memory of Trey Burke that will always stick with me will be late in the first half, after Spike Albrecht had just beaten Louisville off of a high-ball screen, getting to the rim and finishing a layup over Gorgui Dieng for his 17th point of the game. That shot put the Wolverines up 33-21, their biggest lead of the game. Albrecht, the seldom-used back-up point guard who finished with a grand total of 24 points in all of Big Ten play, came sprinting back to the sideline, as fired up as you’ll ever see a basketball player.
The first person to meet him, sprinting out to midcourt, was Burke.
Because when Burke was recruited to Michigan, he was that guy. He was supposed to be the seldom-used back-up to Darius Morris, the guy that paid his dues for a couple of years before getting a shot to beat out the next John Beilein point guard recruit for a chance at a starting job. But Morris went pro earlier than expected, and Burke was suddenly forced into the starting job, where he thrived.
Where he grew into an all-Big Ten talent as a freshman and the Player of the Year and a lottery pick as a sophomore, all as a kid that had originally committed to Penn State.
That ascent into greatness is how I’ll remember Trey Burke.
And I hope you will as well.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Dec 21, 2013, 12:30 PM EST
After weeks of speculation, Florida officially announced that transfer center Damontre Harris is officially no longer with the team, according to Kevin Brockway of the The Gainsville Sun. Florida announces C Damontre Harris officially no longer with team.— Kevin Brockway (@gatorhoops) December 21, 2013 Harris transferred to the Gators from South Carolina after averaging 6.8 points, 5.5…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:00 PM EST
Arizona State will get an immediate boost to its rotation as Michigan State transfer Brandan Kearney is eligible to play for the Sun Devils on Saturday against Texas Tech after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. Kearney averaged 2.3 points in 16.9 minutes last season as a sophomore at Michigan State, but…
Dec 21, 2013, 11:20 AM EST
Junior point guard Mike Powell has opted to transfer out of Rhode Island, according to a release from the University. The Chicago native lost his starting job to Texas Tech transfer Biggie Minnis after starting seven of the first nine games this season as Powell was struggling to produce. Powell averaged 2.6 points in 15…
Dec 21, 2013, 10:30 AM EST
If you like dunks, surely you remember high school phenom Seventh Woods’ mixtape from his freshman season last year. Well, the springy sophomore is at it again, this time with an absurd dunk over a defender at the Chik-Fil-A Classic. While the dunk by Woods is obviously fantastic, it might be the reaction of the…
Dec 21, 2013, 9:40 AM EST
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 5 Michigan State at Texas (4 p.m., CBS) A banged-up Spartans team travels to Austin for its first true road game of the season on Saturday as Rick Barnes and Texas hope to continue to surpass preseason expectations. Texas has a big chance at home to capitalize on an already…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:54 AM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Minnesota 92, Nebraska-Omaha 79 — Friday nights in college hoops tend to be quiet, but Minnesota and Omaha put on a show at The Barn tonight with the Gophers holding on for the win. Deandre Mathieu led all scorers with 27 points for Minnesota. IMPORTANT OUTCOMES 1) SMU went on the…
Dec 21, 2013, 12:27 AM EST
In Ivy League basketball circles, which soon expanded to national basketball circles at the conclusion of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, all of the talk during the summer months revolved around Harvard. Rightfully so, to an extent. The Crimson returned virtually their entire team, along with welcoming back Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry. They were the…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:37 PM EST
On the surface, Minnesota leading Nebraska-Omaha — who is in just their second year of playing a schedule comprised of almost exclusively Division I competition — 83-77 with just minutes remaining in regulation may seem like a lackluster effort by the Golden Gophers. That’s far from the case. Minnesota played well. Their potent offense ran…
Dec 20, 2013, 9:15 PM EST
Syracuse blew out High Point on Friday evening, 75-54. If you can believe it, however, High Point actually led Syracuse early in the second half, 40-39. The Orange would then go on a 28-3 run. Midway through the run, C.J. Fair did this. Follow @KLDoyle11
Dec 20, 2013, 7:30 PM EST
Expectations were high heading into the 2013-14 season for the University of Denver. The Pioneers returned their top player in Chris Udofia, and were coming off a season where they finished 22-10, but 16-2 in the WAC — they have since transitioned to the Summit League after the dust settled from conference realignment. In their…
Dec 20, 2013, 6:30 PM EST
University of Rhode Island sophomore forward Mike Aaman was recently assaulted at an off-campus house in Narragansett, RI, and will be out of the Rams’ lineup indefinitely, the Providence Journal’s Kevin McNamara reported. Aaman, who has been sidelined for the past six games following severe stomach cramps — resulting in an emergency appendectomy — he experienced during…
Dec 20, 2013, 5:15 PM EST
Not only was Jerran Young’s dunk against Eastern Illinois a monstrous throw-down, but it came off of a set out-of-bounds play from the baseline. This was pre-meditated, and head coach Billy Donlon certainly was keeping this in his holster for an opportune time. Unrelated to the dunk, Wright State needed this win against Eastern Illinois…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:49 PM EST
Louisville will be down a player in the front court when they take on FIU Saturday afternoon, as the school announced that freshman forward Akoy Agau has been suspended indefinitely. The school did not specify a reason for the disciplinary measure in the statement released on Friday afternoon. Agau hasn’t seen a large amount of…
Dec 20, 2013, 3:00 PM EST
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Pacific vs. Princeton (10:30 p.m., in Las Vegas) Ron Verlin’s Tigers were picked to finish in the bottom half of the WCC in their first season as a member of the conference, and through nine games Pacific has the look of a team capable of exceeding those expectations. Their lone defeat…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:56 PM EST
Hours after his team took care of UCLA on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski appeared on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Friday morning to discuss his team’s performance to date among multiple topics. One of the topics had nothing to do with the action on the floor, as Bruce…
Dec 20, 2013, 1:09 PM EST
When it was announced prior to North Carolina’s game against Texas on Wednesday night that senior guard Leslie McDonald was eligible to play, many wondered when there would be a decision regarding the status of junior guard P.J. Hairston. However unlike McDonald, North Carolina had yet to apply for reinstatement on Hairston’s behalf, instead continuing…
Dec 20, 2013, 12:17 PM EST
The second annual Governor’s Holiday Hoops Classic will be played at the Richmond Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, with the doubleheader matching four of Virginia’s 14 Division I men’s basketball programs. In the opener Hampton takes on James Madison, with the Dukes looking to round into shape after winning the CAA tournament and making its first…
Dec 20, 2013, 11:30 AM EST
After averaging a respectable 8.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, Dayton sophomore wing Dyshawn Pierre’s picked up where he left off for the Flyers. Currently averaging 10.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per contest and shooting 50.0% from the field, Pierre’s one of the reasons why Archie Miller’s team is off to…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:45 AM EST
Vin Parise from CBT caught up with Manhattan head coach Steve Masiello. The Jaspers are 8-2 and one of the hottest mid-majors in the country right now. CBT: Steve, let’s start out with the most recent win in your 5 game winning streak – your road victory at South Carolina. Masiello: It was proud night…
Dec 20, 2013, 10:00 AM EST
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 7 Oklahoma State vs. No. 20 Colorado, 11:30 p.m. Sat. (all times eastern) A pair of former Big 12 rivals square off out in Las Vegas as Marcus Smart will lead his Cowboys into battle with Tad Boyle’s impressive Colorado squad. The Buffaloes have already split with the other two…
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