In news that should surprise no one, Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke won yet another individual honor.
The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Sunday evening that Burke, who will lead Michigan against Louisville in Monday’s national title game, is the winner of the Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T. Burke was named winner of the AP, Wooden and Robertson awards earlier this weekend.
The other finalists for the award were Doug McDermott (Creighton), Victor Oladipo (Indiana) and Otto Porter Jr. (Georgetown).
“Trey is a selfless player who works hard to make his teammates better every day,” said Michigan head coach John Beilein. “He has provided tremendous leadership all season long and has played at an extremely high level every game.
“Trey is a joy to coach and we are fortunate to have him as a floor leader. Trey is a great ambassador for the University of Michigan and will represent the Naismith Trophy with great pride.”
In 38 games this season Burke is averaging 18.5 points and 6.8 assists per contest, shooting 45.9% from the field.
Burke didn’t have his best game on Saturday night however, shooting 1-of-8 from the field (seven points) in Michigan’s 61-56 win over Syracuse. Saturday was just the second time that Burke has failed to reach double figures this season, with the first coming in Michigan’s NCAA tournament opener against South Dakota State.
A win on Monday would give Michigan its first national title since 1989, when Glen Rice and company beat Seton Hall 80-79 in Seattle.
Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.