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April 4, 2013Although Michigan has to wait until Saturday to seize the moment in the Final Four, the spotlight is already on sophomore point guard Trey Burke.
National awards and honors are starting to role in, and many are being given to Burke, who has led the Wolverines' to the first Final Four appearance since 1993. Thursday, Burke was named the Associated Press National Player Of The Year. He also won the Bob Cousy Award, given to the country's best point guard.
"He has been with three to five freshmen all year long. Here he is this cagey sophomore, veteran sophomore," Michigan coach John Beilein said today in Atlanta.
"C'mon, the whole year he has been just as calm and cool as if he was a fifth year redshirt senior guard. So you look at that. He didn't come in as a freshman, sophomore and have all these veterans around him, he just has to fill in the pieces, much like he had to do this year. This team carried itself, he was just out front all of the time so many times. Those young guys look at Trey, they see poise, they say patience. It's worked very well."
Burke is just the second player in program history to be named AP National Player Of The Year. He joins legend Cazzie Russell (1966) with that distinction.
Burke is averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 assists per game, shooting 46.4 percent from the floor.
There are still some big accolades that could come Burke's way before the Wolverines take the court to play Syracuse in the national semifinal.
The Oscar Robertson National Player Of The Year award will be announced Friday morning at 9 a.m. Robertson himself will be on hand at the ceremony to give away the trophy.
Shortly thereafter, the John Wooden Award presentation will commence Friday at 11:15 a.m.