Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. impress on summer camp circuit

Dylan Burkhardt

Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. have both taken to the national camp circuit to improve their games this spring. Players return to campus for summer classes, and team workouts, later this week but the spring term is a chance to improve individually.

Michigan’s top two returning players grabbed that opportunity, participating in a few of the nation’s most prestigious summer camps for college players. Burke took part in Chris Paul’s Elite Guard Camp in early June along with the Nike Deron Williams Skills Academy last week. Tim Hardaway Jr. is participating in Kevin Durant’s Skills Academy which tipped off on Sunday night and runs through Tuesday. Both Wolverine guards have more than held their own to this point.

While Hardaway just arrived in Chicago for Durant’s Skills Academy on Sunday, early returns from Sunday night’s session (which was open to the media) are encouraging. One writer in attendance reported that Hardaway played well and might have grown an inch or two (he measured in at 6-foot-6). Another NBA Draft writer in attendance tweeted about Hardaway’s strong showing:

Burke has also put forth an impressive effort on the summer circuit. ESPN’s Reggie Rankin named Burke as one of four standouts at the Deron Williams and Amare Stoudemire Skills Academies. Here’s what Rankin had to say about Burke, the only point guard (of a group of 16) in his top four:

At 6-foot and 185 pounds, Burke has continued to improve. He has a great command of the ball and is a terrific open court passer. He can also knock down open jumpers on the break or when reading the defense as he comes off ball screens, can nail ball-reversal spot up 3s and make a play when the offense breaks down.

Burke has worked to become a complete point guard and his improvement is easy to see, along with his improved strength.

“I had to learn how to read the way teams were guarding me and then adjust to score and get my teammates involved,” he said. “I had to get in the film room and learn all the reads off pick-and-rolls and it has really paid off for me.”

Michigan’s returning stars also received official measurements in Chicago. Burke measured 6-foot, 185 pounds, with an impressive 6-foot-5 wingspan while Tim Hardaway Jr. is 6-foot-6, 193 pounds, with a 6-foot-7 wing span.

Burke was no less impressive at Chris Paul’s Elite Guard camp earlier in June – drawing praise as one of the most impressive college players in attendance. That camp group featured a number of opponents Michigan saw last seaason including Aaron Craft, DJ Cooper, Victor Oladipo and many others. Roger Bohn, of Slam Magazine, was in attendance at Chris Paul camp and named Burke to his top list of college players, citing an impressive array of moves:

AwLwVSACAAAJQfL[1]Camps provide valuable opportunities for college players to receive quality instruction and competition against some of the best players in the country. Burke has faced off against star college guards like Aaron Craft, Isaiah Canaan, DJ Cooper, Tim Frazier, BJ Young throughout the last month. Hardaway will workout with an impressive group featuring names like Michael Snaer, Adonis Thomas, Otto Porter, Elias Harris and potential 2012-13 opponents such as Rodney McGruder, Lorenzo Brown, Laquinton Ross, and Rodney Williams.

That competition is great for personal improvement, but is also vital for NBA Draft scouting. Skills Academies and summer camps are closed to college coaches, and even to the media at times, but are open to NBA scouts.

Preps: A pair of important Michigan recruiting targets are also participating in the the Kevin Durant Skills Academy: 2014 guard Devin Booker and 2013 forward Reggie Cameron. Booker measured in at 6-foot-5, 186 pounds with a 6-foot-6.5 wingspan while Cameron is 6-foot-7.5, 221 pounds, with a 6-foot-7 wing span.

  • TKWolverine

    We need to prepare ourselves for the fact that both of these guys are likely gone after this year. The good news: there’s going to be room for Reggie Cameron. :)

    • Guest

      I agree. Trey Burke is pretty much a 100% for sure will declare after this coming season. THJ is likely to declare after this season because of the fact that JR year is basically a SR year in NCAA BB where SR player’s stock always take a hit. Throw in GRIII and McGary possibly be a 1 and done players, that’s 4 potential players declaring early for the NBA draft.

  • GregGoBlue

    Really pleased with the news of Burke’s improvement. His leadership will be vital to the team’s success this year, and all the work he’s putting in in the offseason should really help him in that respect. Teammates see that stuff.

  • Kenny

    Is THJr projected to play 2G at NBA, I thought that his handle needs some improvement for playing the 2 position, maybe attending Hardaway’s backyard skill camp at home helped.

    It would be a significant development for the next season if Hardaway plays 2, which leaves room to play GRIII at 3, McGary 4, and Morgan 5.

    • geoffclarke

      I was thinking about this potential lineup yesterday. With it, it seems like Michigan would have the advantage at every position in almost every game. Between McGary and Morgan, whoever is being guarded by the opposing 4, they could just take that 4 on the low block and go to serious work. And however they saw the best advantage, they could just set a low post to high post back screen and get the matchup they see as most favorable. All they would need are some good post feeds, which I see as not a problem with the talent we’d have on the wings.

    • MGoTweeter

      that lineup sounds great and certainly offers some nice matchups on offense, but the bigger question to me is not whether or not hardaway can handle the ball to play the two, but can that lineup guard anyone.

      Hardaway was one of the worst defenders on the team last season on the ball and closing out on shooters, that is only going to be more difficult if he has to guard two’s. McGary is a good athlete for a guy his size, but he would have to face off against a lot of better athletes at the four. For instance, I just dont see McGary being able to guard a DeShaun Thomas or Rodney Williams.

      Certainly the team could go 1-3-1 with that length, but it has been awhile since we have seen the 1-3-1 really be effective as more than just a change of pace. The greatest thing about the team next season though, may be the ability of the team to change looks with ease. A lot of different small lineups and big lineups they could throw out there.

      • Kenny

        Our other options at 2 are Vogrich and Stauskas, neither necessarily better than THJr on defenses. On McGary at 4, despite potential difficulty against some of the opponents, it is more likely than not an improvement over Smotrycz and Novak. We might loss some one-on-one battle on defense with this line-up but can be easily compensated from better rebounding and blocking. But that said, it all depends on if Hardaway improves his handle to play 2.

        • geoffclarke

          Vogrich might be a better defender at the 2, but it’s hard to day. it has a lot to do with effort and studying player tendancies – so I guess it depends on who puts more effort in preparing and hustle on the floor. Regarding McGary in this lineup, it’s quite possible he guards the opposing 5 while Morgan guards the opposing 4 – sure it might be a tough matchup for Morgan, but then again, if he proves he’s better at it, good for Michigan and good for his future career…

    • suavdaddy

      I think his handles are terrible, especially for having a NBA PG father. If he is leading the fast break, it was almost a certain tunrover if he had to drive through traffic.

  • geoffclarke

    Call me ignorant, but what is the benefit to the NBA stars to have these types of camps?

  • DeathReau

    I absolutely love this line from the freep article re burke..
    “Burke told Rankin that his biggest improvement came in learning to read the pick-and-roll and adjust to teams guarding him.”

  • Daniel

    Also, somewhat unrelated to the article, Burke’s pose in that picture oozes swagger.

  • Jay

    You can see Aaron Craft in the far background of that picture. Only one of two white guys featured.

  • geoffclarke

    Looks like Hardaway can do a little recruiting (Booker, Cameron) at the Durant camp. Good for Michigan!

  • Odera

    How do you join these camps?