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March 11, 2013

Trey Burke a deserving Big Ten Player of the Year

Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke has been voted the Big Ten's Player of the Year by both the coaches and the media, securing his legacy as one of the best to ever play in maize and blue.

In leading Michigan to a 25-6 record and within a breath of a second straight Big Ten title, he might also be considered the best point guard in U-M's storied history.

Burke is averaging 19.2 points and 6.8 assists per game and was the only Big Ten player to score at least 15 points in all 18 conference games. He has reached double-digit scoring in every game this season, hitting the 20-point mark on 12 occasions and recording three double-doubles (all points and assists).

A three-time 2012-13 Big Ten Player of the Week, the 6-0 guard is also a finalist for the John R. Wooden National Player of the Year Award, the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Award, the Bob Cousy Award for top collegiate point guard and Wooden All-America Team.

"We don't make a very big deal about the individual awards during the year. However, this is a huge honor for Michigan basketball, for the players individually and their teammates because they are a big part of this, as well," head coach John Beilein said. "We can't say enough about Trey and what he has meant for this program, what he has meant to the Big Ten and really what he has meant to the national profile of the Big Ten. He's a terrific competitor and a great teammate, and it is a great pleasure to coach him every day."

Burke is a likely bet to announce for the NBA draft following the season. For now, though, he has unfinished business at U-M, hoping to lead the Wolverines on deep runs through the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.

The honor, however, isn't lost on him.

"That means a lot because I know what type of impact players Cazzie Russell, Gary Grant, Glen Rice, Campy Russell and Roy Tarpley had on this program and how they've allowed this program to grow," he said. "It means a lot, really.

"Honestly, I don't really know what to say because it is a big accomplishment to be able to say that I am a part of that group. I'm just thankful. I thank God for allowing me to be in this situation, I thank my teammates and my coaching staff. I'm excited about the honor and will continue to get better and be a leader on this team to take it as far as it can go.

"It feels really good and is such an honor and an accomplishment. I give my coaches and my teammates a majority of the credit because, without them, I wouldn't be in this position. They deserve this as much as I do."

Tim Hardaway Jr. earned first team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and second team from the media, as well as the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the Wolverines. Glenn Robinson III made the all-freshman team and was honorable mention all-conference, while redshirt junior big man Jordan Morgan made the All-Defensive team.

"Tim is a great example of someone who works really hard to be the player that he is," Beilein said. "This is all about his diligence, his preparation to be a good player, and I'm really happy for Tim as well.

"This is also another year where we have someone on the all-rookie team. It is a great honor for Glenn because he has worked at it, as well. His ceiling is so high, we love coaching him and will look forward to coaching him every day. Seeing that Jordan (Morgan) missed four or five of the games with his injury, him getting on the all-defensive team is a big honor for us and, more importantly, for him. He has taken a mentality that he is a defender who also helps us on offense. Being the leader for us on defense has helped us be successful."

Notes

  • Burke on his teammates receiving Big Ten honors: "It means a lot because it goes to show how versatile and how good this team can be. Jordan is pretty much our leader on our defense, and he definitely deserves to get the award he's gotten. Glenn has had a pretty good year. Sometimes he has had some adversity, but that just shows how good he can be - how high his ceiling is.

    "Tim being on the first team in the coaches' poll goes to show how good our backcourt is and where we are capable of going as a team. This team is a lot better than what a lot of people may have seen recently, but we are still a young team and will continue to grow and get better."


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