Thoughts on Trey Burke and Attrition

Dylan Burkhardt
Arkansas Basketball
Newsworthy bits:

Yesterday was a busy news day in regards to the Michigan basketball roster and there wasn’t a lot of time left over for reaction. Here are some thoughts on what the various developments mean for the program.

First a clarification about where Trey Burke is in the draft process. Burke has submitted his name to the NBA Draft Advisory Committee and at this point he’s gathering information. Burke’s family has reached out to the committee because they’ve heard Burke could be a late first round pick and that the 2012 point guard class is relatively weak. The committee will give Burke a rating in the next week and from there he then has to make a decision.

Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims reached out to the advisory committee in 2009 before returning to school. Harris in 2010 and Darius Morris in 2011 also went through the same process before entering the draft.

At this point, Burke has not officially entered his name into the NBA Draft but it’s worth noting that the option to “test the waters” has been all but eliminated this year. The deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft this spring is April 10th, a month earlier than last year. If Burke does declare for the draft, there will be no further evaluation opportunities.

For Michigan, Burke’s departure would be crippling. There’s no other way to slice it. The Wolverines don’t have another scholarship player under 6-foot-5 on the roster and don’t have anyone that can be trusted as a primary ball handler. Unlike a year ago, there is no Trey Burke, or any true point guard, waiting in the wings.

For Trey Burke, the decision is infinitely more complicated. Burke isn’t thinking about leaving early because he’s unhappy in Ann Arbor or not committed to John Beilein’s program. He’s thinking about leaving because he has received information that he could be one step closer to realizing his ultimate dream of reaching the NBA.

The training videos and hard work that we saw all last summer weren’t just to succeed at Michigan, there was an end goal. Burke and his family have received word that Burke could be a late first round pick – a point which will certainly be debated. He was, after all, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and an All-American by some. Simply put, Burke would be doing himself an injustice not to reach out to the advisory committee.

The potential versus age sliding scale is a legitimate concern. NBA teams would rather take a chance on a 19 year old than a 22 year old. Burke isn’t going to grow three inches over the next year or two. His family feels the NBA draft class is weak in the point guard department. None of these statements are unreasonable. However, Burke appears to be far from a surefire first rounder. The Michigan freshman currently sits at No. 72 on Chad Ford’s ‘Big Board’, six slots behind Tim Hardaway Jr.

The moment of truth will be a week or so later when Burke receives a grade from the NBA Draft Committee and has to make a decision. Judge Burke for his final decision not for the (smart) decision to request feedback from the draft committee. If he receives a second round grade and still decides to enter the draft, that’s when it’s fair to start questioning the decision making process by Burke, and his family. At this point, Burke is only making the intelligent move to gather all available information.

Arkansas BasketballTransfers

Michigan began its spring workouts on Wednesday and it’s no secret that players meet with John Beilein and his coaching staff to discuss the season that was and where they stand going forward. For some, like Trey Burke it’s a chance to discuss the NBA Draft process. For others, like Evan Smotrycz, Colton Christian and Carlton Brundidge, the discussion might focus around unhappiness and a questionable future.

Save your breath on the theories that the announcement of these transfers has any sort of correlation to Michigan’s relatively weak postseason showing. Evan Smotrycz played some strong basketball down the stretch, including big games against Penn State and Ohio as well as the shot to send the Minnesota game to overtime.

On Colton Christian…

This one is not that complicated. Christian played 51 minutes and scored seven points last season. His only meaningful minutes in Big Ten play came at the five position, a spot where there is even less available playing time next season. Adding Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary to the front court combined with Jon Horford’s return leaves little to no room for a guy like Christian. Christian is originally from the Northwest and could likely find a much better spot to play and more importantly contribute closer to home. He’ll always have this:

On Evan Smotrycz

This is the most surprising of the three transfers but also not very difficult to connect the dots. It didn’t take a psychiatrist to read Smotrycz’s demeanor and body language on the court. Smotrycz and his mother both mentioned his relative unhappiness in Ann Arbor. Combine their comments with the up and down nature of his play and you have a kid that was struggling a bit in his current situation. Smotrycz has always been regarded as a Beilein player – he’s tall and loves to shoot the three with some perimeter skills – and I don’t think there’s any doubt that Beilein loved the player that Smotrycz had the potential to become. However, his inconsistent nature led to a reduction in minutes and playing time over the course of both his freshman and sophomore years and there was some obvious frustration by both parties. I think Smotrycz could easily latch on at a mid-major or mid-major plus program on the east coast and finish his career on a high note. For Michigan, Smotrycz’s departure likely means more front court minutes for Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary and potentially Max Bielfeldt.

On Carlton Brundidge

Brundidge was recruited to be a big time player in Ann Arbor. Considering expectations during his recruitment, he might be the biggest recruiting misevaluation of John Beilein’s tenure in Ann Arbor. Brundidge struggled adjusting from the get go and that left him behind the eight ball. He was never able to gain John Beilein’s trust and work his way into the rotation. He battled serious health issues throughout his freshman campaign and there have been rumors that he was considering transferring for the later third of the season. Give Brundidge credit for sticking it out this season, but landing at Detroit – the rumor with the most legs – could help him revive his career going forward. The loss is disappointing given Michigan’s backcourt depth but it’s tough to pinpoint that disappointment on the transfer decision or the fact that Brundidge was never able to make an impact as a freshman.

The Future

First take a requisite glance at the scholarship breakdown. Michigan now has additional scholarships to work with in both the class of 2012 and, more than likely, the class of 2013. If the last 24 hours tell us anything, they are a concrete reminder why coaches will always be recruiting, even if there are no scholarships to give on paper.

1024250[1]Amedeo Della Valle is now a top priority. There’s a reason that John Beilein is headed to Arizona to watch him play today. With or without Burke, Della Valle would be a welcome addition to a Michigan backcourt that is lacking in ball handling and depth.

Expect Michigan to continue to make every effort to look for a late bloomer in the class of 2012. Regardless of Burke’s decision, Michigan needs to add backcourt depth and there are generally a number of opportunities late in the game. Pay attention to coaching changes, decommitments and more as Michigan leaves no stone unturned over the next month. These situations move quickly and Michigan has a lot to offer: open playing time in the backcourt for a team that shared the Big Ten title and brings in a top 10 recruiting class.

Could Trey Zeigler be an option? The Central Michigan sophomore is transferring after his dad was let go and he’s scheduled to make an official visit to Duke this weekend. Zeigler hasn’t heard directly from Michigan but that doesn’t mean that early overtures couldn’t be made through the grapevine. Detroit, Michigan State and UCLA also appear to be major players in Zeigler’s transfer recruitment. Zeigler averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game for Central Michigan last season and would have to sit out a year before having two to play starting in 2013.

Expect a number of options to be back on the board in the class of 2013, many that never were really off the board. Byron Zeigler, Jaren Sina, Dominic Woodson, EC Matthews, maybe even Monte Morris if Michigan wants to add more guard depth. There are an endless number of possibilties. In short, when the AAU evaluation period picks up – in April this year – Michigan will be looking to add to the class of 2013.

  • Matt

    Do Walton and Morris not want to play together? If they pick up on Sina or Matthews, wouldn’t Morris be in play too? I can see Matthews, because he is a taller guard, but if Sina gets another look, I would guess Morris would too, no?

    • Could be interesting. Pretty sure Man Man and Walton are both playing with the Mustangs this summer. 

      • Fred Z in Ann Arbor

        Can we please work on the indent formatting for long threads? In the post above where there are 10 replies the last one is literally reduced to one character per line. That’s absurd.

        • Good call. I just limited the thread depth. Hadn’t seen that. 

  • Lazyfoot10

    Any chance Michigan makes a run at Alex Oriakhi?

    • storm33

      That would be an amazing idea.

  • Lankownia

    ” If he receives a second round grade and still decides to enter the
    draft, that’s when it’s fair to start questioning the decision making
    process by Burke”

    I think this statement is unfair to Burke.  Both Morris and Harris did not get selected in the 1st round and are doing well.  Yes, it is unlikely that 2nd round picks will have long successful NBA careers, but it’s even less likely that undrafted players do.  Coming back to school is far from the obvious choice if your objective is an NBA career.  You risk injury, loss of potential, lose a year of employment potential, and spend less time focusing on baskeball as a student.  In a single season you can make enough to more than cover the monetary value of a scholarship (meaning you can always go back to school.)

    If you think you’re an NBA-caliber player, the only reasons to go back to school are a) You’re having too much fun and don’t want to leave  b) you really value the education and want a Plan B  and c) you think you can substantially elevate your draft stock.

    IMO, a guy like Royce White should come back.  If he played another prodctive season at Iowa State without a single issue he’d launch himself from the 15-20 range to top 5 range — making substantially more money.  But a guy like Burke or Morris…it’s extremely unlikely he they make a huge leap from 2nd round to lotto.

    This is a long way of saying that the risks of declaring early are often overstated as are the benefits to staying .

    I know selfishly we all wanted Morris to stay and we want Burke to stay, but it’s easier in our shoes then theres to turn down money and pursuit of their dream.

    • DeathReau

      In what sense are Morris and Harris doing well?  They’re getting paid, sure, but neither is on an active NBA roster.  I don’t see how that is a good thing.

      • longhorn_wolverine

        They’re getting paid to play the game they love.  Making an NBA roster is a huge accomplishment that Kaelin Lucas, Talor Battle and numerous other successful seniors from last year can’t attest to.

        • DeathReau

          Sticking on a roster is more of an accomplishment.  As is getting a guaranteed contract.  Congrats to them that they’re getting paid, but I doubt either is close to where they truly want to be.

          • longhorn_wolverine

            What makes you think that waiting a couple of extra years would lead them to be in a better position?  Darius was never going to get a good jump shot and Manny probably should have left after his sophomore year.  They were both marginal NBA players when they left and would still have been in the same position had they graduated.  They apparently didn’t love school and didn’t want to play for free anymore.  More power to them.

          • DeathReau

            What makes you think I think that?

          • longhorn_wolverine

            I guess maybe I inferred that when you said they both regret their current position, you meant that they regret leaving school early and they should have stuck in school through graduation/another year.  Sorry if I misinterpreted that.

            However on your last point, I’m sure they both wish they were NBA stars on huge guaranteed contracts.  Nothing wrong with dreaming, but based on their skillsets they’re probably right where they belong.

            I really don’t think they regret leaving early at all, though.  They were done with school/college basketball and were ready to actually start making a living.

          • DeathReau

            Fair enough, because I do think it’s plausible to believe they might wish they had done things differently, but I agree that there’s no way of knowing.

            Especially with Morris.  Considering the huge improvement we saw from his freshman to sophomore year, I don’t see why it’s so outlandish to believe he may have shown a smaller, but still substantial improvement in his game if he stayed another year.  If he were able to improve upon his deficiencies, with his size and ability, I definitely believe he could have been a first round pick – which makes a huge difference in terms of money, but also the lengths a team will go to stick with you.

          • Lankownia

             This draft is far deeper than last years.  IMO, It’s very unlikely Morris would go in the 1st round this year.  Maybe if he shot 40% from 3 or something, but that seems doubtful.

            Obviously, we can’t know.

          • Hail

            Your arguments about not being able to improve in college, and so going pro was smart for Darius and Manny are way off. You can always improve, and college is where you have the one on one coaching and game experience to do just that.

            Darius isn’t improving right now, he’s sitting on the bench and going through shootarounds. There is no practice. He has no future with the Lakers unless he lucks out and they shed salary and keep him around as a bench player.

            And the “you could get injured in college next year” argument is so lame. What happens if he gets injured in the pros next year or draft workouts? He’d be even more screwed.

          • Lankownia

             You’ll get more coaching and more experience in the NBDL than college.  If you fail to improve your stock can go down – it works both ways. Potential is more important than production to the NBA.  If you’re hurt as a pro you still get paid through your contract, and you can always go back to school.

          • Hail

            As a 2nd rounder, nothing is guaranteed as far as contract unless you’re on the active roster by a certain date. Morris this year is now guaranteed because he hit that date. Let’s be real here, the chances a guy goes back to school after leaving his freshmen year are not very high. Coaching, okay maybe I can see that. Experience? No. There’s a lot of college teams that would dominate the D League teams.

          • ButterThief

             “let’s be real here, the chances a guy goes back to school after leaving his freshman year are not very high”

            that’s exactly where we need to be focusing our energy.

            instead of condemning kids for wanting to be a professional, we need to say you’re part of our family now, and we’ll innovate the way we educate athletes and support them as they EARN their michigan degree.

            we should stop blaming others, and blame ourselves. by challenging our existing beliefs, we can create a better working system

            complimentary to showing a recruit our fancy locker-room (oh my god, oprah put ipads in our lockers), we need to show professional caliber athletes that we have the best program for them to EARN their michigan degree (both on-line and during their professional off-season). we ought to encourage life-long learning, and kids that come to michigan get access to most innovative and credentialed education.

          • DeathReau

            Why do you keep bringing up the nbdl?  As you pointed out, Morris isn’t there.

          • Mattski

            Morris is on record–and quite recently–as saying he still feels he made the right move. If bball is your love, getting paid to do it–minus the many hours spent of schoolwork–has to be acknowledged as a strong pull. Still don’t see why so many people don’t get this. 

          • DeathReau

            Would you expect him to say anything else?

      • Lankownia

        Harris played 20 minutes last night and is signed through the rest of the season for the Cavs.

        Morris has been on the Lakers all season, except for a short stretch where he played 1 game in the NBDL.

        Both have professional coaches and trainers working to make them better basketball players full time.

        That is all beside the point because one can ‘do well’ without being on an NBA roster (e.g. Rob Pelinka, Jimmy King)

        • DeathReau

          My bad then, I thought Harris was still between 10 days, and Morris was in the D league.  And yes, you can say they’re doing well relative to many things, but based on my, I guess, bad knowledge of their current situation, they were not doing well relative to what their expectations when entering the draft had to have been.

          • Lankownia

             They’re both hard workers, I don’t think either realistically expected to come in and be an instant all-star.  Manny’s all about ‘the grind’.  Darius is in LA and there’s a lot of fame and connections that come with being a Laker.

            Even if they were in the NBDL though, I’m not sure that isn’t a better route for pro development than another season of college ball.  The NBDL is still in its infancy and teams are still figuring it out.  IMO, the NBA is evolving to much more of a minor league baseball model than the NFL’s model.  In other words, college isn’t the only place to develop your skills.  We shouldn’t view players in the NBDL as failures anymore than AA baseball players.

          • DeathReau

            You say this even after seeing the jump Darius took from year one to year two?  Do you contribute that to opportunity rather than actual improvement?  I can buy that to a degree, but not fully.

            Regardless, he isn’t in the NBDL so your point about those benefits aren’t applicable.  And I do have to point out that nobody here, including me, called either of them a failure.

          • Lankownia

            I’d say both opportunity and improvement.  However, some kids are more polished than others.  I don’t expect Burke to be much better as a sophomore, because his skills are already well-refined.  He has far less room for improvement and his areas for improvement from an NBA-perspective (like height and quickness) are much harder to improve than things like shooting (Darius’ big weakness.)

            Trey should improve, but it’s more about refinement than making a leap.  Dylan referred to “potential versus age sliding scale” and I think that’s right.  Trey would have to improve substantially to offset the loss in age and perceived potential.  Not sure the cost/benefit calculation works out in his favor from a purely basketball perspective.

          • DeathReau

            That’s pretty much my view on Burke too.  If he’s projected as a first round lock he should go, if his dream of playing in the NBA outweighs having a college career and education by that much.  And nobody should begrudge him. 

        • Joev734

          Worth noting that Pelinka and King both have degrees helping them “do well”

    • wesq

      Coaching from Beilein and staff >> Random D-League coach. The NBA doesn’t spend a lot of resources developing fringe talent.  There is a reason Coach B gets paid millions and NBADL coaches work for peanuts.

      • Lankownia

         That reason isn’t player development.  Beilein does a good job, but he’s coaching 15 kids.  NBA teams sometimes have coaches dedicated to individual players.  NBA players basically get as much coaching as they can stand/want.  College coaches are busy recruiting, dealing with bureaucracy, fund-raising, etc. 

        • wesq

          Sure it is.  Might not be the sole reason, NBADL type players may be able to get coaching but it doesn’t mean it is good coaching.

  • robpollard

    Well, hopefully Burke is smarter than Darius.  I’m not an official NBA talent evaluator, but no matter where Burke get drafted (and my guess is that he’s mid-2nd round, at best), he’s not ready to play in the NBA next year.  Like Darius, he would at a minimum spend at least one year riding the bus around the D-League if went pro right now.  

    Why someone would want to do that when they could instead be playing 35 minutes a game as (likely) the best player for a nationally ranked team, getting tons of exposure every week is beyond me.  Stay in school, Trey.  It will work out be for both your present, and your future.  

    • Lankownia

      Is riding the bus around D-League really worse than riding the bus around southern Michigan and Ohio?  I think there is a lot more to it than the couple hours a week that these guys are ‘live’ on the court.

      Darius seems like a fairly obvious example of why going pro isn’t a bad idea.  There are of course many less happy stories, but it’s ultimately it’s impossible to evaluate these decisions because we don’t know how it would have gone otherwise.

  • gpsimms

    sam webb says probably no to trey zeigler this morning

  • PeteM

    I’m not going to criticize a kid for exploring his options.  If I were 19 and had a chance to make in the mid to high six figures (the NBA minimum) I would look at seriously.  That said, I think that Michigan could be something special next year, and that with a number of additional options to go to Burke could really advance his draft status (yes, that’s a risk obviously).

  • Andy

    I didn’t like hearing that UM is limiting Brundidge’s transfer options.  Especially after the Arnett and St. Joe’s stories, no good can come from this.  It just makes Beilein look pettty.  I expect better from the University. 

    • Sarah

      where are you seeing this?

      • Andy

        It’s in today’s Free Press story from Mark Snyder.  He tweeted it yesterday too.

        • Sarah

          I don’t trust the Freep when it comes to Michigan…may be true. But I take all there info with a grain of salt. 

          • Sarah

            And those requests…not a school in the conference or a future opponent are pretty standard

          • wolverine_longhorn

             In the conference is not an issue, because you can’t transfer within the Big Ten and still be on scholarship (think of Justin Boren in football who had to pay his own way at Ohio).  Those are conference rules, so the Freep are idiots for bringing that up.

            The part I disagree with is about not going to future opponents.  If you think the kid is not good enough, let him go anywhere.  So I wonder if this means he can’t go to Oakland and U of D (which is his rumored destination) will probably be our opponent at some point.

        • Jeff

          Mark Snyder is a complete hack. It didn’t escape my attention yesterday, that while other sources said Burke was weighing his options, Snyder of course went with “BURKE STRONGLY CONSIDERING LEAVING!!!”. Ok, it wasn’t in all caps and didn’t have exclamations points, but I’m sure it did on his first draft.

  • Colby84

    Kind of hoping that he staff could find a graduating guard that wants to play another year and can contribute like Wood at MSU this year. That way we get some experience and the ship opens back up again.

  • Blockhead

    of course I understand Burke looking out for himself, who wouldn’t, and I root for UM guys in the pros. That said i’d be pissed if he left as I want this team to win and that’s what I care most about. 

  • Hail

    I don’t want to pass judgement on Burke until we see his decision. And like the write-up says, it’s a very smart move to get feedback and see where you stand right now. There’s nothing to lose and I agree with him doing this.

    IF he did leave, it won’t be the smart decision because of his fringe status. However, my problem would lie with Beilein. What’s his deal then? He’s obviously not recruiting kids who love the University of Michigan if they choose to leave a contending team behind and aren’t even considered locks to even get drafted. Look at Sullinger and Buford, they love OSU and wanted to come back to help them win even with the NBA a certainty. I don’t care if he has an eye for lower rated talent, he needs to find guys that want to win for Michigan.

    • Sarah

      Not sure its fair to put this on Beilein…they come here to play for him and when they turn out better than expected they inquire. Should he stop recruiting talented guys?

    • storm33

      You’re painting broad strokes and the evidence just doesn’t stand to the facts.  Sullinger is a sophomore and will probably leave this year.  Ohio State has had big problems with attrition (i.e. Kosta Koufos, BJ Mullens, Greg Oden, Daequan Cook, Mike Conley) in recent years.  The blunt reality is: when you recruit big-time players with NBA prospects, you just can’t be sure that they will stick around.  Name me a program in the entire country that is able to keep all of their highly touted players for 4 years.

      As for recruiting guys who “love the University of Michigan,” how do you gauge that? Carlton Brundidge grew up a Michigan basketball fan, and after not getting playing time in his first year (which is absurd to me, potential sour grapes from getting less playing time than Burke?), he bailed.  And what about Novak? Douglass? Manny Harris and Deshawn Sims stayed an extra year than they had to.  I just don’t think that Beilein is somehow failing.  Trey Burke is tinking about the NBA for one reason: because he can.  If you were Burke, would you not at least inquire about your NBA prospects? He’s making the smart move.

      • Hail

        Your last sentence I already said in my post that I would do that if I was Burke. And there’s a big difference between Oden/Conley and Burke, Morris, Harris. They were lotto picks, top 5 too. If any of our three guys were sure fire top picks or even without a doubt first rounders, then by all means please go pro and I’m happy for them. But they weren’t and lets be real, Burke won’t be either even though I think he will be in a year or two. Sullinger stayed for his Sophomore year to try and win it for OSU while leaving a lotto pick on the table.

        Our guys are not big-time NBA prospects, albeit still very good players. I also never said a word about guys leaving if they’re big time prospects for the draft. My beef is guys leaving who are most likely mid 2nd rounders to undrafted. As for a program, UNC brought all its studs back for one more run didn’t they? The year they won it in 2005 their eventual draftees were all juniors.

        • Lankownia

           The lotto-or-come back to school argument isn’t very good.  Coming back to school isn’t/wasn’t going to turn Morris/Harris/Burke into lotto picks, so it’s an irrelevant point.

        • storm33

          Manny Harris would’ve been a marginal first round pick in 2009, so he came back to get better.  It didn’t work and he ended up going undrafted.  It’s not as simplistic as: either you’re a lottery pick or you come back.  I think there’s a point of view to say that Burke’s NBA stock could be at its peak right now.  Look at Kalin Lucas if you need another example.

          • Hail

            My million dollar question is then, why is it the Michigan guys who are very borderline first rounders and most likely second rounders leaving early with a Final Four next year? Whereas guys who can be lotto picks at other schools are deciding to stay?

          • Dr_ZC

            That is a great question. I would think that they either do not get the right information from the scouts, or they believe they know more than them. Remember Morris was projected a first rounder (17-22) but it did not work out this way. And to boot, he decided to declare anyway, despite the NBA strike rumors.

          • Sarah

            I don’t think that is entirely accurate..  I think you might no hear about the fringe players but you hear about the stars that stay. I don’t follow the NBA but follow all college basketball and I don’t even know most of their names in the pros.. 

          • mirepoix

            Actually, it makes sense if you think about it — the lotto pick type guys have the luxury to stay; they’re surefire 1st round picks who can jump to the NBA anytime they want with little fear of their stock being downgraded, at least not too significantly.  Whereas the borderline guys have to pick their timing very wisely — they may be hot right now, but could very well not be a year from now, so better get while the getting’s good.  If you weren’t thought of as a NBA-track player out of high school and you’re getting looks from teams after your freshman year, you really have to think pretty hard about jumping on that opportunity before it’s gone.

  • Dr_ZC

    If I am Burke, I would stay. Here is why. I was a 3-star high school player at 5-11. Then I went to UM where by chance I had the opportunity to play a load of minutes against good college competition. I had several good games, was a top scorer but in some games the load of all these extra minutes took a heavy toll. Defences caught up on me and I could not create or contribute when it mattered.

    Now, NBA scouts will focus on the negatives. They want proof that a 5-11 guard can keep with the rigors of a tough schedule. Was it random that he was under the radar when he was in high-school? Can he get his teammates involved? Darius opted for the NBA not because of his scoring, but because of his size, assists, and ability to create-penetrate and defend. Burke will not be able to score at the NBA level, especially when he will be defended by taller guards.  

    If I am an NBA Scout, I would like to see if Burke can be consistent in his sophomore year and if he can better his team with his leadership. The stage is set for him to prove that. More talent, National TV audience, Higher expectations. Now he is a liability at best. 

    • Quaint06

      I think this is all absolutely right on.

    • storm33

      Agreed.  I say he pulls a 2009 Manny Harris and stays one more year.

      • Dr_ZC

        He should take a lesson from TH Jr’s book. Tim had a breakout freshman year, an NBA dad with NBA draft connections, and an NBA body (still growing). And yet, TH Jr stayed put for his sophomore year (and it looks like he will need another year). This is an insurance policy for NBA teams and scouts, especially when college recruits are under the radar. The book is full of first round NBA floppers.

    • Lankownia

       I’ve never seen draft evaluations discuss “keep with the rigors of a touch schedule”.  The primary questions about Burke are related to size and athleticism.  That’s unlikely to be answered by him returning next year.

      It’s about NBA potential, not college production.  The two are related, but not as much as people seem to think.  Look at the 1st round of any recent draft and you see people like Jan Vesely going way above people like Kyle Singler. 

      • Hail

        I don’t know what Burke you watched, but I saw a Burke who still has a lot to work on, which coming back to college would correct. His question marks are not just size and athleticism,

        Not a knock on Trey at all either. He was flat out awesome and a savior this year. I agree, a 6’2″+ Burke is a first rounder this year, but reality is he’s not that tall.

        • DeathReau

          Right.  I know he took some tough shots, but 43% overall, 34.8% from 3, and 4.6 assists a game don’t exactly wow you from a sub 6 footer.

          • Hail

            Again, I agree he had a hell of a year and will be an NBA player. I’m not questioning that. But he needs to work on his pick and roll game, 3 point shooting (34.8% is average) and separation skills. Quick guards gave him problems. A lot of his pull ups came after a 4 or 5 switched out on him.

      • Dr_ZC

        Maybe I used the wrong words. I would rephrase this as being consistent. Not that Burke was not, but imagine, if there was a way for college players to declare for the NBA draft after a breakout game, Brandon Paul would be a #1 pick after his game against Ohio.

        If I am a bank and you come to me asking for a mortgage, I would consider you are a high risk, if you do not have established a credit history. All I am saying is that Burke can be a liability in the eyes of the NBA scouts. Heck, Greg Olden was considered a liability coming out early, because of his injury history at Ohio.

    • Bigrange

      I agree with your points about Burke. I too feel that he should come back for another year and show what he can do with some better players around him (TH, GR3, MM). If he comes out and has a solid sophmore year, then it shouldn’t matter all that much if the PG position is deeper. It’s simply about showing scouts you are one of the best at the postion.

  • Dr_ZC

    It is simple math. Morris took a risk to leave with the NBA strike looming. He was in a position to showcase his skills for another year with the same team, and a lot of TV exposure. As it turned out he was a second rounder. Had he come out this year, his chances would be much better to be picked in the first round and secure a higher salary while playing significant minutes for an NBA team.

    • Lankownia

       It’s a MUCH deeper draft, so he would probably not be a first round pick this year.

      • Dr_ZC

        I have not checked, but according to Burke’s dad, this year the draft is not deep at the pg position.

        • wolverine_longhorn

          The draft is much deeper this year.  Supposedly not as deep in the PG position, but the overall draft is very deep and it all depends on what the priorities are for drafting teams.  You could be the second best point guard prospect this year, and still end up in the second round because other positions are so talent-rich.

          • America

             This premise works both ways.  You could be the second best point guard prospect this year, and end up being a lottery pick due to specific team needs.

          • Lankownia

            The vast majority of NBA picks are based on talent.  Need only plays into the equation between equivalent ranked prospects.  Most rookies aren’t ready to contribute and teams know that.

            NBA GMs are overly conservative, but they’re not generally as stupid as fans want to make them out to be.

          • A2JD

            Not gonna happen.  A guy ranked as low as most have Trey at this point isn’t going to be a lottery pick, unless he grows 3 inches in the next two weeks.

            They only team that I could MAYBE see taking him in the 1st is Atlanta. They currently have the 21st pick. I still would guess they’d go BPA at that slot and not worry about position.

  • Dr_ZC

    Not to put anything against coach B, but I noticed on the video when Ohio beat MSU all the players gave hugs to JB, except Smot, who gave him a handshake. It is no secret that in the beginning of the season JB was praising Smot for his progress, but he yanked him away from the starting lineup. This can certainly be the source of bad blood brewing between the coach and a player. If I were JB, I would re-insert Smot in the starting lineup, at least as an experiment, especially after the slow Michigan game starts (which we could not recover).

    On the other hand, I would spread the wealth between Burke and Carlton in minutes played. This way Carlton could be happy and Burke more effective and contend with his role. But I am glad I am not JB (and hindside is always 20-20).

    • Ajerome33

      No offense, but I don’t think it is wise to give players increased playing time in order to temper their mood or potential for transferring. They either earn the playing time or they don’t. Coach Beilein had his reasons for developing the rotation that he did and until the very end of the season, it worked out quite nicely.

  • storm33

    How about Jaren Sina? Top 100 stud from New Jersey for 2013?

  • Hail

    Another thing about why you should come back and stay, Draymond Green. We can have a whole other huge debate about his NBA potential, but he stuck it out and went from NBA pipedream to looking like late first round. How? Scouts love his leadership and Basketball IQ even though he has physical shortcomings for his position. He matured and improved every year. They love seeing him lead his team in this tourney.

    That’s why you stay in school. You don’t think Burke’s stock skyrockets if he leads Michigan to a Final Four? It’s not always about improving you skills for the NBA, there’s other aspects you improve which you can do like Green did.

    • Jeff

      Yep, while it’s more popular to talk about the guys who drop by returning to college, there are plenty of guys who improve their status, or at least maintain it. Burke doesn’t have as much to lose by returning as some guys because he’s not likely to go in the first round. He also potentially has something to gain by coming back if he can work himself into a first rounder, although that is tough to do.

      It may just come down to what’s more appealing to him, coming back to college for another year and trying to move up to being a 1st rounder, or fighting for a roster spot and possibly spending time in the D-league for a chance at that half million dollar league minimum. I think with Morris the latter was more appealing. We shall see with Trey.

    • Dr_ZC

      Hail, good call on Draymond, but why not being a bit more relevant to the position in question? I would pick Mateen Cleaves, who is 6.2, won an NCAA, was highly touted in high-school and stayed at MSU for 4 years. I believe he was picked at #12 in the first round by the Pistons.

      • jemblue

        Cleaves was picked 14th. He was definitely a hometown pick, though.  Most other franchises didn’t have him that highly on their boards.

  • MGoTweeter

    been staying away from commenting because I needed time to cool down after last friday’s tough loss.  I thought it was some early april fools day joke (a very mean one) when I saw the headline on mgoblog the other day announcing the departures of Smotrycz, Christian and Brundidge.  When I came over here to see the same thing, I was pretty speechless.  That said, attrition is a natural thing in college sports and maybe more so in basketball than other sports.  There are so many opportunities out there for players that if they are unhappy at a place it is relatively easy for them to find a new home and immediate playing time.  So it is difficult for me to place any blame on anyone for these losses. 

    That is not to say, that I am not unhappy about it, particularly with Smotrycz.  He has so much offensive potential that it really hurts to not get to see that potential develop in a Michigan uniform.  However, in terms of the program itself, this is just a bump in the road.  One that may not even be felt at all depending on how the freshmen play next season.  Everyone fretted over the loss of Harris and Morris, but it is hard to say the results the team gained the next season would have been much different had they stayed.  Certainly it lowered expectations but following both losses the team moved on and succeeded at a high level. 

     In this case, I am not sure that my expectations change all that much for next season (depending on Burke’s decision ofcourse).  The team is still going to be the deepest we have seen in Beilein’s tenure especially in the front court.  The talent is still going to be the highest.  The questions of why these players decided to leave is both irrelevent and meaningless, since we will probably never know everything that went into the decisions.  Plus as I said before, this is a normal thing for college programs. 

    As for Burke.  I wish him the best whatever he decides and whatever the ultimate result is.  He does not owe Michigan anything, besides representing the school with dignity, and he certainly does not owe me anything.  I would probably advise him to stay, but I do not know anything about his reasons, his background or his goals.  If he feels his best option is to leave for a shot at the NBA now, then good luck to him and I look forward to seeing how his pro career progresses.  If he stays, I will cheer for him and Michigan victories as always. 

    No matter what happens over the next few weeks, this program continues to be on the upswing and the future is very bright.  Go Blue! 

    • I think it is some sort of April Fools Joke that you, our most loyal commenter, saw the headline first on MGoBlog! Just kidding.

      • MGoTweeter

        usually for me this is my first stop when i jump on the internet (as it should be for everyone), but due to my mood (anger, depression, fear, sadness, etc.) following last friday, I tried to stay away from too much exposure to basketball.  I did read all the great posts after the game and weekend, but only when I had drank enough that it did not bother me.   

        • gpsimms

          didnt the drinking make it worse?  im an emotional person to begin with.  add a few beers and morgan’s tears…

    • Hail

      Well said! I agree with everything you said MGoTweeter. Couldn’t have expressed it any better than that!

      I feel bad because I’m not trying to put down Burke. I also wish him nothing but the best whatever decision he makes. He was awesome this year and he’ll be awesome whatever path he decides to take.  I just have strong feelings about him staying because I truly believe coming back is best for him and Michigan.

      • Dr_ZC

        Indeed. We are all Michigan fans and we’d love to see Burke for at least another year in Michigan colors. Burke comes from a basketball family. His dad and his high-school coach are giving him the right advice. He also has JB and his teammates for additional input. He will get his net worth estimate from the NBA and he will make the best decision for himself. This is exactly what we want. In this blog we are playing the devil’s advocate by looking at his chances in being succesful at the NBA level now. History and statistics are not in his favor, but make no mistake. We’d love to see him in an NBA uniform, as well.

  • Kevin Schewe

    let’s look take a look back at guys like sherron collins, lavance fields, dee brown. and tyshawn taylor.  all studs in college (with better statistical season(s) than burke and on better teams) none of them got drafted besides brown, and that was in the second round round and he was out of the league very quickly.  I think if Burkes best chance of playing in the NBA will be to leave now with hype (and if scouts say he’ll even get drafted in any round) because unless your chris paul (most complete point guard in league) or someone like allen iverson (elite scorer) the chances of you sticking around in the league aren’t that good.  so in essence this long post is trying to say if any team says they want to give him a chance at all then do it because the likes of that happening later down the road aren’t to promising in my opinion.  and i hope my point about the other players made this not seem like a “yeah no s***” post

    • Lankownia

      There are more options than being a ‘complete pg’ or a ‘elite scorer’.  You can be an elite defender, elite scorer, elite 3 point shooter, shot-blocker, rebounder – specialists can make it for a long time.  PG is like any other position in that you need to have at least one elite NBA skill or have absolutely no exploitable deficiencies, which is even more rare.  For Harris his elite skill is his first step quickness – which lets him get open and get decent looks, even at the NBA level.  For Morris it was his passing ability and size at the position (important for defense).  Burke has no elite skill and his size makes him a potential liability on defense.  Burke is like Kalin Lucas, Daniel Horton and countless other college point guards — no matter how productive and successful they are on that level, no matter how great their composure/leadership stand out, you need something on the NBA level that gives you an edge. 

      • Ethanpatrick21

        Horton’s not a point guard. 

  • mikey_mac

    I love Burke irrationally, but he’s just not NBA material right now. He’s a score-first PG who will not be able to get to the rim and finish over NBA height. He doesn’t shoot well enough from college 3-pt line to make that him a threat from outside. He cannot pass over taller players (read: everyone in the NBA). His turnovers started to mount towards the end of the season. He’s just got too many areas where he still needs to improve.
    A shallow class of PGs in the draft marginally increases his odds of being a first-round pick, but I think Ford’s estimation (#72) is probably a lot more accurate …

  • section13row15

    The real thing going on here is that selfishly as fans, we don’t care what the aspirations of the person is because Michigan hadn’t made a tournament since 1998 prior to Beilein coming in and we haven’t made a significant tourney run since the fab5 was here. We know that if Burke stays another year w McGary, GR3, THJ, etc, thenwe have a shot to win it all in March. Isn’t that what this dialogue is all about?

    • Jeff

      I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. I have seen a bunch of people say that if he goes in the first round, then it was a good decision to go. It’s possible that what’s best for us fans is also what’s best for him. The interesting debate that has appeared lately is whether it’s more desirable to play another year of college or leave early knowing you likely won’t go in the first round and will be fighting for a roster spot or spending time in the D-league. I have seen at least one poster who thinks the latter is more desirable. I guess it depends on the player.

    • A2JD

      It’s not that simple.  If everyone (or ANYONE) was calling Burke a lottery pick, I’d wish him all the best. He’s not even thought of as a 2nd rounder in any of these mocks.  

      If he comes back, I think it’s a win-win-win situation for the player/team/fans.

  • storm33
    • Lordfoul

      Not going to help us next season, but maybe could after sitting out a year.

      • storm33

        True but if Brundidge and Burke leave, we’re going to need more than just one point guard.  He could fill a Sam Maniscalco type role at minimum.

  • Bballer

    What about landing a 5th year transfer a la Brandon Wood style?

  • David DeMember

    I doubt Burke goes… his right hand is weak. There’s a reason he became less efficient as the season wore on, teams forced him to his off hand or a trap. They won’t be able to double him the same way next year either. I think this is a similar situation with Denard this past offseason. By putting his name in to NBA evaluators, he’s now elevated his stock by putting himself in the “first round” conversation. His family keeps saying they’re getting first round comments from GMs, which seems inaccurate based on every evaluator out there. But it only takes 1 team.

    Keep this in mind. We WANT kids going pro right away sometimes (except when we don’t have a backup). It makes Michigan a year in year out contender for top talent if we’re a springboard.

  • Mac

    @umhoops:disqus So for 2012 is Amadeo the only possible guy? What about Marquis Mondy or even Jacoby Bledsoe?  Just to get another guard?

    • SamGoBlue

       I can promise that Mondy is not an option; I had to watch him play just one AAU game before realizing he is a complete headcase with major attitude issues.

  • Wayman Britt

    Losing Trey would be huge, but I trust the coaching staff could fine another PG for next season, wouldn’t be the same level but I bet good enough.

    Even though we have Walton coming in 2013, I would still pursue Monte Morris – love his game.

    • Alan Hardy

      good enough?  I don’t know about you but I was hoping to compete for a Big Ten title and possibly Nat Championship next year.  Losing Burke isn’t something that could make that possible. 

  • Loukmas21

    Anyone have any thoughts about Ray Lee PG  from Romulus?  He is committed to Eastern but I think Michigan is so vulnerable at the PG position even if Burke stays.  I guess Amadeo is more highly thought of but when I saw a write up on Tremendous I was definitely intrigued.

    • sane1

      Got kicked out of Huntington Prep. Not gonna happen.

  • Budamberjunk

    Has any one got an update on Austin Hatch?

  • MarcO

    If I’m betting, Trey Burke is a goner. 

  • Guest

    The most recent mock draft from Draft Express doesn’t have Burke Listed in the first 2 rounds

  • Oak Park Dave

    The NBA is strongly biased against shorter guys. They have to be spectacular under pressure to really make an impression.  I think that he’s going to need a marquee season to go first round.  If he leads Michigan to the final four, he might be able to go first round.

    Of course, I hope that Burke stays, and my reasons are selfish.  I really do think that staying would be in his best interest, though.

  • Mpartington

    In all honesty, I’m kind of glad to see Smot go. I hope him the best, but he frustrated me so much throughout the entire season. His attitude was horrible. He forced up the worst shots and committed the dumbest fouls. I think he brought the entire mentality of the team down and it was evident when he made such mistakes. I really hope he can revitalize his career, but I can’t say I’m disappointed by the fact he won’t be wearing the maize and blue next year.

    • Scott1222

      I do agree…he always committed those stupid fouls and prob fouled out of most games he played..he hurt us on defense and got burned on switches and back door cuts way too often…At times he just didn’t seem to understand what was going on…he seemed lost at times…at 6’9 u should be able to dunk it…case in pt at the end of the Ohio game…throw it down big fella….we r simply moving toward a more athletic type of basketball at UM….I wish Smot the best wherever he may land…cause if that shot is falling he does create matchup nightmares…he just lost the heart and desire and unfortunately it was quite evident to the fans and viewers alike…GO BLUE, STAY TREY!!!

  • Jalen Rose

    I expect Burke to leave because nothing good ever happens to me