Burke, Spike, Spike, Burke

Submitted by Brian on April 9th, 2012 at 11:04 AM


How was your Easter? Mine was lovely apart from the multiple quizzes about Trey Burke's future I had to answer with a vague negativity precisely calibrated to imply a 73.2% chance of departure. Not because of the quizzes necessarily. It was more the repeated consideration of next year's basketball season without Mr. Burke.

As this was happening the Trey Burke zeitgeist—he's got his own now—shifted away from the razor wire and urban warfare towards the bunnies and butterflies. First Keith Langlois tweeted this:

FWIW. NBA personnel guy in Miami for #Pistons game says he believes Trey Burke is headed back to Michigan. Would go in 30s, he said.

And then a young lady who goes to Burke's church tweeted this after noting that the Burke family was at their service:

report from church. The Burke family is telling members of our congregation that Trey's staying another year. We'll see!

Apply grains of salt as you will. My internet spidey sense says legit (30k tweets is a hell of a sockpuppet) and better than hearing about it from an NBA guy in Miami, but still not certain. It has the whiff of a real thing that will be the turning point in internet PANIC about losing Burke a year early.

I am fully aware that blind hope is capable of autopiloting me to this belief; find your own Bayesian estimate. Mine… it moved.

ALSO: Please note the excellent form of mgouser Jivas's post on this stuff:

Trey Burke Twitter rumors [Good]

This is a headline we should all strive for. Concise, informative, and non-stomach-churning.

Now Please Please Please Let Me Introduce You To Your Backup This Time


As seemed ordained from the moment Sam Webb caused Spike Albrecht's name to pop up on the Michigan internets, the Crown Point Guard [HIKM!] committed to Michigan on his official visit. UMHoops has a commitment post and this site covered Albrecht a couple weeks ago.

Albrecht committed to Michigan over… uh… Appalachian State* and interest that may or may not have resulted in a scholarship offer from various Ivies, Vermont, etc. You get the idea. As Beilein recruits go this is more Colton Christian than, well, Trey Burke, but if you're busy making lists of the late Beilein pickups that didn't go so well don't forget to include Stu Douglass and Zack Novak and feel VERY BAD ABOUT YOURSELF.

If Burke comes back Albrecht doesn't ever have to be a big-time player to be a good idea. He just has to be a heady guy who hands out assists, shoots decently, and doesn't turn the ball over in 15 minutes a game. He'll give the point guard spot some desperately-needed stability even if he never ends up starting.

He's a 5'11" kid from Indiana who took a post-grad year in the same league Mitch McGary and a bunch of other high-level recruits idled in this year. He led his team to the title and garnered MVP honors while doing so. This quote Dylan gathered seems like the quickest path to an understanding of his game:

He’s an old-school style pass first point guard.  He’s very cerebral with a high basketball I.Q.  His best physical attribute is his endurance – he can play all day – but he isn’t especially explosive.  He’s a threat with the three-point line but not a great shooter.  He takes care of the ball, makes very good decisions, and knows how to run a team.

You can check out one of his games from the NESPAC playoffs on Youtube and get the same impression. Albrecht will get into the interior of the defense a lot and fling passes to open guys either on the perimeter or inside. Every once in a while he'll take the shot himself. He's clever, which allows him to overcome some of his physical limitations, and he seems to have a plan whenever he gets into the lane. Heady, smart, etc.

If Burke does go they will have to devolve a lot of usage from the point guard spot and find a way to cope with what looks like some pretty bad defense, but they'd survive. The coach quotes are encouraging about his ability to step in immediately. Por ejemplo:

"We played a very similar offense to what Michigan runs, and this kid is designed for this offense," Carroll said. "He was years ahead of other players when it came to understanding where this offense could go, and that's what you hope your point guard is.

"And I think he'll be the same for Michigan. I think (Beilein) will have a blast coaching this kid." … "He was our tournament MVP, and one thing (Michigan can) expect was what we saw, is that he makes the right decisions.

"He is absolutely clutch."

So he'll come in a lot closer to his ceiling than most kids after a postgrad year and his AP-level understanding of stuff. Also, his coach points out that the league he plays in is overflowing with D-I guys. His transition won't be as harsh.

Hopefully he won't have to step right in, though. Keep running in that circle.




April 9th, 2012 at 11:13 AM ^

Two additional things:

(1) Sam Webb added a bit of legitimacy to the positive Twitter rumors on Michigan Insider this morning.

(2) "Mine… it moved." Are we still talking Bayesian estimates here?


April 9th, 2012 at 11:20 AM ^

@TreyBurkeFans also tweeted "Something Crazy will happen tomorrow! #MichiganWillBeHappy" late last night and then quickly deleted it. So there's that. 


April 9th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

1) YMRMFSPA: poor man's Steve Nash? 

2) If this very quick reversal means Trey is back I will be happily wrong and stick to my one year voluntary posting ban from one of the previous "OMGZ BURKE" threads. 


April 9th, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

I certainly don't mean Nash-level of production, that's completely unrealistic expectations. I mean more in terms of playing style. If he can do what Nash does (albeit to a much lesser degree) then he'd be a very valuable player in this system. With the amount of talent at other positions on the court we really just need a distributor with great ball security.


April 9th, 2012 at 11:54 AM ^

I thought I saw him listed as 6'1".

What is with the BB height listings, anyway.  Do schools think they are fooling or intimidating anyone with over stating actual heights?  Can't we all just go with the facts?


April 9th, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

I have a friend who is an nba/international scout.  One of his friends is an agent who is friendly with Benji Burke and the word is an announcement, possibly as early as tomorrow, will announce Trey will be back.  I trust this - but move your bayesian estimates as you wish.