Alfonso Clark "Trey" Burke III (born November 12, 1992) is an American college basketball point guard with the Michigan Wolverines basketball team who has completed his freshman season for the 2011–12 team. He earned the 2011–12 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award from the Big Ten media as well as Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year by Sporting News and was named to the 2011–12 All-Big Ten 2nd team as well as the 2011–12 Big Ten All-Freshman team. He was selected as a 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball All-American by CBSSports.com (second team) and Associated Press (honorable mention). He led the 2011–12 team in points, assists, steals and blocked shots. He set the school single-season freshman assists record.
As a high school basketball player, he was 2011 Ohio Mr. Basketball and a PARADE magazine All-American. Additionally, he was a member of the 2009 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Division I State Championship team and the 2011 OHSAA Division I State Runner-up as well as an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) U16 National Championship team in 2009 and a runner-up in the 2008 AAU U15 National tournament.
Burke shooting a free throw
during the 2009 OHSAA
Division I State Championship game
By the age of 5, Burke's local youth basketball league had to change its rules so that he would not keep stealing the ball from the other team. As a result of his prowess, he was not allowed over half court when the other team had the ball. He became Jared Sullinger's best friend in fourth grade, but when his mother was transferred to Atlanta in sixth grade they were separated. The reassignment only lasted one year, however. Jared's father, Satch Sullinger, was the coach at Northland High School, while Burke's father was an assistant coach at Eastmoor Academy. Burke chose Northland because he felt he had a better chance to succeed due to their personnel. Burke gave a verbal commitment to Penn State in 2009 after receiving his first Big Ten Conference offer, but later changed his mind to Michigan. In addition to basketball, Burke volunteered for the Special Olympics.
As a sophomore, Burke made 5 of 6 free throws in overtime to help his team defeat Dublin Scioto High School by a 54–53 margin in a 2009 OHSAA Division I regional final. In the state championship game, he made one of two free throws to give Northland a 58–56 lead with 27.6 seconds left in what became a 60–58 win over Princeton High School. He also made the pass to set up the final game-winning points, although they were scored from the foul line by Sullinger. During the championship season, Burke averaged 10.7 points and 9.1 assists, and made only 1.7 turnovers per game.
In his junior season, Burke, Sulllinger and another player, J. D. Weatherspoon, were dominant. That season they defeated both of the top two 2008–09 year-end teams (Oak Hill Academy and Findlay Prep). Northland was undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation by ESPN HS before they fell in the 2010 OHSAA regional finals to Lincoln High School. They had also been ranked #1 by USA Today for several weeks, but they fell out of the top 10 with the season-ending loss. Before his senior season, Burke signed his National Letter of Intent with Michigan in the November signing period. Coming off a 23–1 season, after losing Sullinger and Weatherspoon to Ohio State, Northland entered Burke's senior season ranked #44 in the nation according to ESPN HS. Following a 26–2 season, the team finished #45 in the ESPN HS poll.
During Burke's career, Northland was 97–5, including 57–0 in City League games. Burke was a 2009 OHSAA Division I State Champion, a PARADE magazine All-America (2011, second team) and 2011 Associated Press Ohio Mr. Basketball. He was ranked as the 15th, 20th and 26th best high school point guard in the class of 2011 by ESPN.com, Scout.com and Rivals.com, respectively.
Most elite level high school basketball players participate in the summer Amateur Athletic Union circuit as a complement to scholastic competition. Burke played in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national competitions with All-Ohio Red, coached by Benji Burke, his father. The team won the AAU U16 National Title in 2009 and finished as runner-up in the 2008 AAU U15 National tournament.
The 2010–11 Michigan Wolverines team lost 2010–11 Big Ten Conference men's basketball season assist leader, point guard Darius Morris to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2011 NBA Draft. This left Michigan with a vacant starting point guard position.
In the 3-game November 21–23 2011 Maui Invitational Tournament, the team defeated the #8 Memphis Tigers 73–61, lost to the #6 Duke Blue Devils 82–75, and defeated the 2011–12 Pacific-12 season favorite UCLA Bruins 79–63, which helped the team finish in third place. Burke was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his 36 points and 18 assists during the tournament on November 28. On December 10, 2011, Michigan defeated Oakland by a 90–80 margin. It was the highest point production by Michigan since beating Northern Michigan 97–50 on November 14, 2009, and it was Michigan's first game with three 20-point scorers (Tim Hardaway, Jr., Burke and Evan Smotrycz) since December 11, 2002, when they played Bowling Green. For his season-high 20 points and season-high 9 assists, Burke earned his second Freshman of the Week honor on December 12. On December 29, against Penn State he posted 13 points, seven assists without a turnover and five rebounds, while on January 1, 2012, he added a career-high 27 points on 8-for-11 shooting with three rebounds and three assists against Minnesota to earn the conference recognition the following day. On January 2, Burke earned his first Big Ten Conference Player of the Week honor and his third Freshman of the Week recognition for his 40-point week in Michigan's two conference openers. He earned his fourth Freshman of the Week recognition on January 23 for his performances against Michigan State and Arkansas. On February 20, he earned his fifth Big Ten Player of the Week award for leading the team to its third victory over a top 10 team with 17 points and 5 assists against Ohio State. A week later, he earned his sixth Freshman of the Week award for his performances against Northwestern and Purdue. On March 1, Michigan defeated Illinois to win on the road against Illinois for the first time since 1995. During the game (Michigan's 30th of the season), Burke broke Gary Grant's school freshman assists record set over the course of 30 games for the 1984–85 Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team by pushing his total to 143 on that night. On March 5 he earned his third consecutive and seventh overall Freshman of the Week honor when he averaged 20 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in road wins against Illinois and Penn State that clinched a share of the 2011–12 Big Ten Conference regular season championship.
Burke led all Big Ten freshman in scoring (edging Cody Zeller by a 15.8–15.5 margin or 5 points over the 18-game conference season) and assists per conference game. He concluded the season as the team leader in points, assists, blocks (not blocks per game) and steals. His three consecutive Big Ten Player of the Week awards to conclude the season coincided with the team winning 6 of its final 7 regular season games. His efforts lead the team to a share of its first Big Ten Conference Championship since the 1985–86 team and the best Big Ten record (13–5) since the 1993–94 team.
Watchlists and honors
On January 4, Burke was named as one of the twenty Cousy Award Finalists along with fellow Big Ten point guards Aaron Craft and Jordan Taylor. In December 2011, he was named one of nearly 60 candidates for the Bob Cousy Award, which recognizes the Collegiate Point Guard of the Year.
He earned the 2011–12 Big Ten Freshman of the Year award from the Big Ten media (Cody Zeller earned the Big Ten coaches' award) and was named to the 2011–12 All-Big Ten 2nd team by the coaches and media as well as named unanimously to the 2011–12 Big Ten All-Freshman team. Burke and Zeller were named Co-Big Ten Freshmen of the Year by the Sporting News. He was selected by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association to its 10-man 2011–12 Men's All-District V (OH, IN, IL, MI, MN, WI) Team. Burke was a second team selection to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I All‐District 7 team on March 14. CBSSports.com used a modified selection process that resulted in Burke being named a second team All-American and a first team Freshman All-American. The process derided the traditional basketball All-American process of nameing the best players and was modelled on the All-Pro or NHL All-Star Team formula of choosing the best players by position. Burke was named an honorable mention Associated Press All-American. Burke became Michigan's first Associated Press All-American honoree since Robert Traylor and Louis Bullock in 1998. He became the eight Michigan freshman to earn team MVP.
In the first game of the 2012 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament against Minnesota, Burke set a new career high with 30 points. 30 points established a school record for the Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.
2012 NBA Draft
Immediately after the season ended, Burke said he was uninterested in declaring for the 2012 NBA Draft. After the season, Burke was recognized as one of the best point guards in the nation by CBSSports.com. He was named a second-team All-American by the website based on the premise that every team needed a "dribbler". A few days later, however, the realization that the pool of point guards in the 2012 draft was shallow and Burke's stock was high led to some deliberation for him and his family: "When you have a season as a freshman like he did, the NBA, they like them young," Trey's father, Benji Burke said. "They think their ceiling is higher when they're young. Trey had ... a solid season for a freshman. It's going to be one of the weaker point guard drafts in years." Some observers thought Burke was at his peak in terms of NBA potential. On March 21, Burke submitted himself for evaluation by the NBA Draft Advisory Council, which had encouraged Michigan's DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris to return to school in 2009 but advised Harris in 2010 and Darius Morris in 2011 to declare for the draft. The deadline for entering the NBA draft was April 29, but the deadline for withdrawing a declaration and retaining NCAA eligibility was April 10. The deadline for submitting information to the NBA Advisory Committee for a 72-hour response was April 3. As Burke weighed his decision, he became involved in a controversy when the Michigan State Spartans athletic director Mark Hollis communicated with him directly via Twitter. Experts doubted his readiness for the draft, noting that notable NBA draft successes who were between 5-foot-10-inch (1.78 m) and 5-foot-11-inch (1.80 m) over the past 30 years (Terrell Brandon, Dana Barros, Brevin Knight, Damon Stoudamire, Mark Price and Michael Adams) waited past their freshman years to enter the draft. Nonetheless, CBS Sports reported on April 4 that Burke would declare for the draft. Burke's father denied the decision on Twitter at later in the day, saying "Trey Burke has not declared for the NBA draft. He is still enrolled at the University of Michigan." Burke's early departure for the NBA would have been the third in a row for a Michigan guard after Manny Harris in 2010 and Darius Morris in 2011. It would also have been the sixth scholarship-player departure from the team after two players graduated and three transferred. The National Letter of Intent signing period for Michigan to replace Burke ran from April 11 to May 16, 2012. On April 9, Burke announced he would return to Michigan for his sophomore season instead of declaring for the NBA draft.
Burke's grandfather starred at East High School in Columbus in the 1950s and his father starred at Eastmoor in the 1980s before going on to set records at Northwest Missouri State University. His parents are Ronda and Alfonso "Benji" Burke II. Three former Northland teammates are now his Big Ten competitors: Sullinger (Ohio State), J. D. Weatherspoon (Ohio State) and Javon Cornley (Indiana, football).
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- ^ Baumgardner, Nick (2012-03-22). "Michigan point guard Trey Burke 'has nothing to lose' by seeking advisory committe's [sic] opinion, NBA draft analyst says". AnnArbor.com. http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-basketball/nba-draft-analyst-assesses-early-entry-prospects-for-michigan-basketball-pg-trey-burke/. Retrieved 2012-03-23.
- ^ "Michigan State AD regrets tweet". ESPN. 2012-03-29. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7751004/mark-hollis-michigan-state-spartans-tweet-trey-burke-michigan-wolverines-regrettable. Retrieved 2012-03-29.
- ^ Snyder, Mark (2012-03-23). "Analysts: Michigan's Trey Burke isn't a first-rounder". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20120323/SPORTS06/203230407/Analysts-Michigan-s-Trey-Burke-isn-t-a-first-rounder. Retrieved 2012-04-04. "Though there is not a lot of precedent, there are players at Burke's height who have been drafted high in the past 30 years, including first-rounders Terrell Brandon (5-11), Dana Barros (5-11), Brevin Knight (5-10) and Damon Stoudamire (5-10). Mark Price (5-11) was picked in the second round and Michael Adams (5-10) in the third."
- ^ Goodman, Jeff (2012-04-04). "Trey Burke expected to leave Michigan for NBA". CBS Sports. http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/blog/eye-on-college-basketball/18297608/trey-burke-expected-to-leave-michigan-for-nba. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- ^ Baumgardner, Nick (2012-04-04). "Report says Trey Burke expected to leave for NBA, Michigan point guard's father says he hasn't declared". AnnArbor.com. http://www.annarbor.com/sports/um-basketball/report-says-trey-burke-expected-to-leave-for-nba-michigan-point-guards-father-says-he-hasnt-declared/. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- ^ Burke, Benji (2012-04-04). "@Benjib10 status". Twitter. https://twitter.com/#!/Benjib10/status/187619777865457664. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- ^ "Michigan's Trey Burke expected to declare for NBA draft". USA Today. 2012-04-04. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/mensbasketball/story/2012-04-04/michigan-trey-burke-to-declare-for-nba-draft/54010448/1. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- ^ "NLI Signing Dates for Prospective Student-Athletes Enrolling 2012-2013". National Collegiate Athletic Association. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. http://www.webcitation.org/66hQFeXI3. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- ^ "ESPN Recruiting Nation Basketball". ESPN. Archived from the original on 2012-04-05. http://www.webcitation.org/66hQH7x1D. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- ^ "Trey Burke returning to Michigan". ESPN. 2012-04-09. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7792387/michigan-wolverines-point-guard-trey-burke-back-2012-13. Retrieved 2012-04-09.