Burke: Latest, Options Otherwise Comment Count

Brian April 5th, 2012 at 12:06 PM

After yesterday we're in limbo between totally boned and a two seed, which is better than life at around 4 yesterday when we were just totally boned. If you didn't see it on twitter yesterday, the (still unconfirmed) source who posted that Burke was out the door retracted that citing a "change of heart."

Unfortunately, it is the sort of change of heart that reduces the chances of departure from 100% to something less than that but certainly not zero. This was echoed by Sam Webb on Scout. They're saying that Burke wants to go and that Beilein (surprise!) and his parents are trying to talk of him out of it. That's the good news. You may have noticed it isn't very good news.

The bad news comes from a Daily reporter who twitpic'd Trey Burke's garbage-bag laden dorm room


…and, oddly, Alex Guptill, who tweeted this to teammate Andrew Sinelli:

@ASinelli17 well now we [know why] Trey hasn't shown up to move sci for the last month haha

If that bit's true it could be hard to undo what is (almost) done, and then Burke's parting gift would be be an APR hit for leaving ineligible. That's a low blow there.

I'm not feeling very confident Burke returns. Let's meet some hurried stop-gap measures…

Spike Albrecht and Amedeo Della Valle

You know the stories on these two guys, who were covered in an earlier post after the trio of transfers a couple weeks ago. Albrecht is on campus as we speak and given his other options

Ivy League schools, Davidson, Vermont, Appalachian State and others came calling, and he's since decided to close it down to others.

…it's hard to see him turning down an offer.

I took in most of Albrecht's game against Hargrave last night to get an idea of what he might bring to the table. One man's amateur scouting report: good shooter with decent quickness offensively, pass-first mentality and ability to find the open shooter. Big men had terrible hands, which makes his assist numbers more impressive. Not going to generate shots for himself often. He'll drive into traffic looking to pass. Poor defender.

Della Valle, meanwhile, was a little underwhelming as Findlay Prep's fifth offensive option in the ESPN national something something invitational classic. He had some nice plays here and there but he was an afterthought. Given the rest of the roster that's understandable. I'd still take him.

evans_10bc_nn[1]RJ Evans

Evans is the closest thing to Brandon Wood available at the moment. A three-year starter at Holy Cross, Evans missed most of his junior year with an injury. He's planning on taking his talents elsewhere for his senior year, preferably at a place with a good MBA program:

Evans would like to pursue a master's degree in business after graduating in May. He has one year of eligibility remaining due to the fact that he missed the majority of the 2010-11 season with a sports hernia.

Michigan fits the bill and can offer playing time on what should still be a tournament team. Evans previously said he was likely to end up at UConn…

Right now, his first choice is UConn.

"It's hard for it not to be (my first choice) because I'm a hometown kid and it would be a great opportunity in general and hard to pass up...," Evans said. "It would be pretty cool if I ended up at UConn."

…which is in his hometown, but you'd have to think a contributing role on a tourney team with one of the best business schools in the country would be appealing.

Unfortunately, Evans is not Brandon Wood. Wood was a massive-usage player with ORtgs around 108 in the Horizon League. He was probably the top player in that league both years he played. Evans's ORtg was 99 last year and significantly worse as an underclassman. He's never been able to shoot threes; his free throw shooting was a dismal 59% last year. So he can't shoot at all.

Arguments in his favor: he did pop up to high usage last year and had a good assist rate. At 6'3" he's got good size. And he is not dead, which makes him better than the alternative. Michigan can take him without occupying a scholarship for 2013. There is no downside.

Secret Unknowns

There don't appear to be any other unsigned point guards Michigan can pursue. The only uncommitted guy Rivals ranks is headed for JUCO; EMU commit Ray Lee has bounced through four high schools in his high school career and got booted from the prep school he attended briefly. 

As far as other grad-year guys go, there are no other immediately-eligible guards who seem like plausible fits on Goodman's transfer list… yet. It's possible graduating guys at lower-level schools see an opportunity after the NBA draft is settled. For instance, Colorado State just lost its coach and has two starting guards entering fifth years: Wes Eikmeier and Jesse Carr. (Eikmeier already transferred from Iowa State, so I'm not sure he would be immediately eligible.)

There are other guys out there who might want to try their hand at a higher level. Michigan would be a logical landing spot.



April 5th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

1. I don't understand how someone took a picture of his dorm...isn't that kind of an invasion of privacy there? Also, if his bags are "packed" that's a horrible picture because I only see trash bags which could be make shift laundry bags. 

2. I wouldn't be surprised if Burke and Sullinger end up on the same team...some how.


April 5th, 2012 at 12:33 PM ^

Burke is only a future superstar if he can stay in the league long enough to improve to an NBA level point guard, which Darius Morris was unable to do despite probably being more of an NBA style player.  When I think of 1st round players in college I think of guys who I EXPECT to make the key play every time (kind of like how I EXPECTED Mattison's defense to make a stop on third down every time this year).  With Burke, even at the end of the year I was only confidently hoping he would make that play.  This is such a huge mistake on his part.  Part of me wants him to succeed and become that superstar because he brought us the Big Ten Championship, but another part of me wants him to go the way of DMo, so that hopefully the next raw talent we get will wise up and learn from the mistakes of his predecessors.

Jon Benke

April 5th, 2012 at 12:44 PM ^

My sarcasm gun is pretty low on all this, so forgive me if this was a joke ... if it's not, well, you're seriously confused.  Sullinger and Burke aren't future All-Stars let alone SUPERSTARS, so I can't see a GM wanting to muck up their entire draft to get these two together.  I still think Burke goes undrafted and Sullinger will be a huge bust.  Both should have returned, but getting bad information is nothing new for kids thinking about entering the NBA draft.  Heck, I could "ENTER" the NBA draft, doesn't mean I'll get drafted.


April 5th, 2012 at 12:13 PM ^

looking back, it probably would have been hard to accept at 19 - or even 22 for that matter - that there are some decisions, like this one, where adults really do know best and know more than we do as kids.  that's probably the situation trey finds himself in.  he doesn't know any better and it isn't really his fault.


April 5th, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

Tony Tolbert, 30 ppg scorer in high school - not so much at UofM, lived on my floor one year. He roomed with Michael Talley. IIRC, Tolbert was constantly ironing his clothes. Some guys just want that clean look. The other thing I remember about Tolbert is that he called everyone "Chief."


April 5th, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

That tweet about missing class is certainly ominous, and supports the idea that maybe academics is playing a larger role in his decision making process than people have thought.  Not to suggest he can't hack it here academically, but maybe he just doesn't want to.  And maybe he's backed himself into a corner by slacking off academically a while ago when he was thinking about leaving, and now it would be a hell of a struggle to catch up if he decided to stay.

/baseless speculation


April 5th, 2012 at 12:17 PM ^

It seems likely that he's pretty screwed in terms of this semester's grades (I'm assuming, perhaps wrongly, that it's too late to withdraw).  Would there be a way to clean that up, so to speak, in a non-shady way so that he would be eligible if he came back?

Young John Beilein

April 5th, 2012 at 12:31 PM ^

With an athletes curriculum and still 3 weeks left in the semester?  Shit I spent like 1 night cramming semesters worth of lectures I skipped for most of my classes.  Not that I got good grades or anything.  Write some extra papers, get some tutoring before the exams and he should be fine if he wants to come back.  This guy can probably help:

Young John Beilein

April 5th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

I'm just drawing parallels between Trey's and Billy Madison's situations.  Billy Madison had the entire Madison hotel empire just waiting for him, but proceeded to piss it away.  Only to take his one chance at redemption and win it all back, and get Miss Veronica Vaughn in the process.  Trey could have the entire Michigan fanbase, and own Big ten basketball next year, but has found himself (purportedly) in a precarious position academically.  He can't do it alone, will he take advantage of all of his available resources and emerge as the U of M floor general we all hope he can be?  Well, you'll have to watch how the plot unfolds.

For the record, I don't think he is pissing away his life if he goes pro, quite the opposite.  But for our purposes, I would like him to stay obviously.

Naked Bootlegger

April 5th, 2012 at 12:20 PM ^

As Brian states, the true negative for the Albrecht option is his defensive abilities.   But offensively, he seems to fit the bill as a pass-first, run-the-offense point guard.   I see JB moving back to the 1-3-1 as his defensive staple if no decent on-the-ball defender emerges to lock on opposing guard-types.   I think this defensive transition would occur even if Burke stays.   We won't have a Stu available next year, and we'll be adding a lot of long athletes to our roster.   An active 1-3-1 with wingspan to disrupt passing lanes may be best defensive recipe.

Blue in Yarmouth

April 5th, 2012 at 12:21 PM ^

For the last (almost) 20 years I have pretty much ignored UM basketball. I fell in love iwth the fab five and after Webber and rose left I just lost my emotional attachement to the team. Football was always my first love and so I simply concentrated on that. 

I started following BB again for the first time two seasons ago. I started to get that feeling back that was there during the fab five years. I was pissed when Morris left (not at him, just at the fact that one of my favorite players was no longer going to be on the team). Still I stuck with them and witnessed a great season this season. Burke was a big part of that...and now he might be gone as well! 

I won't have any hard feelings toward him at all, one way or the other, but I will be pissed that when I finally started to take BB seriously again my two favorite players left early in two successive seasons. Maybe I should just go back to football and leave it at that. 

Good Luck Trey...whatever you decide. 


April 5th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

As much as I love Michigan sports, men's college basketball is a difficult sport to follow.  All college teams cycle through players.  You have them around for five years at the most.  But men's basketball, of course, now loses most of the players that show even a glimmer of pro potential.  I don't blame the players for leaving at all, but it's hard to get attached to a sport when you get to see guys have one good year and then leave.  It's the free agency problem of pro sports (I also don't blame those players), only worse.  

I'm sure I'll watch every televised MBB game next year and end up swearing at the TV like I always do, but men's college basketball does make one swallow a lot of bitter pills. 

Darth Wolverine

April 5th, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

This is why I don't follow college basketball as much as football. I absolutely hate the one and done thing with basketball and believe that the NCAA should require three years (or at least two) like football. There is just too much turnover in college basketball and I can't imagine how much more difficult it is to recruit in basketball compared to football.


April 5th, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

The one and done is not the NCAA's doing at all. Like the NFL's 3 years past high school rule, it's a function of the collective bargaining agreements between the leagues and their players' unions which control the terms by which people can be employed. The NCAA has no power to mandate how long someone remains as a "student-athlete." 


April 5th, 2012 at 12:25 PM ^

Given the desperate nature of the situation, I'd totally take Ray Lee. Give him a super short rope and a shot at the starting PG position. Kid is gonna light up the MAC and is a high level talent.

Mr Miggle

April 5th, 2012 at 4:57 PM ^

Desperation might push Beilein to recruit less talented players, play guys out of position, play walk-ons. I don't know that much about Ray Lee, so this is a general comment.  I just don't see Beilein recruiting guys that need to be put on a short leash because of serious character or academic issues. He's got a pretty long track record, don't think he's going to suddenly change.


April 5th, 2012 at 12:26 PM ^

it indicates that Burke isn't enamored with the "student" part of "student-athlete."

If that's an accurate picture of the situation, then Burke should leave. Why somebody wouldn't want to take advantage of a largely-free education at one of the world's preeminent public universities puzzles the hell out of me, but not everybody belongs in college.


April 5th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

That seems so out of character for the guy in those videos he was making last summer.  He seemed like he had all his shit together and was willing to work his ass off at both aspects of the student athlete role.  Sucks for us, but I predict it's also going to suck for him.  I just don't think this is going to end well for him.