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.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.