In the least surprising news of the day, Michigan guard Trey Burke was named Big Ten Player of the Year by the coaches and media.
He’s joined on the first team all-Big Ten team by teammate Tim Hardaway, Jr., Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas. Burke and Oladipo were unanimous coaches and media selections, with Zeller and Thomas earning that distinction on the media list.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Burke was the easy choice for all involved, pacing the Wolverines this season in all facets. The Columbus, Ohio native averaged 19.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game. He did it all and made the plays that were necessary.
Now, let’s see what he can do.
Burke has earned and lived up to every bit of hype that’s been uttered about him. But we all know that regular season awards, while nice, aren’t given with the postseason in mind. That’s where these awards are validated.
It’s a safe bet that Burke comes out for the NBA Draft in June, and he’ll more than likely be a first round pick. He’ll have a ton of pressure on him coming into a franchise at that point. But how high he’s drafted could be helped by a solid run in the Big Ten tournament.
It’d be a nice touch to make a run through the NCAA Tournament.
It’s really the perfect situation for Burke to do it. The loss to Indiana at home on Sunday made them a five seed in the B1G tourney. That’ll mean a four-games-in-four-days run for the crown. A trip to the finals might also be necessary to secure a two seed in the Big Dance.
As good as Burke is, he might need to show out to make that happen.
The Wolverines have the tools around Burke, but he’s the leader. The team follows him.
And if Burke does what he’s been doing all season, he could go down as not just one of the best in Michigan history, but one of the best guards in college basketball history.
Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten