WN: An Open Letter To Trey Burke

Submitted by Mr. Yost on April 5th, 2012 at 9:07 PM

I did a site search to make sure this hasn't been posted, but I'm sure it could've been in the thread with 300+ posts.

Nonetheless, it makes some GREAT points to Burke and not everyone is going to sift through 300 posts to find the article if it is in there.

It's supposed to be unbiased --- it's by one of the editors on ESPN's WolverineNation (Bob McClellan).




April 5th, 2012 at 9:17 PM ^

I really really really hope burke sees this... can someone tweet it to him, or something? Regardless I think he'll see it, I hope he takes the advice to heart.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:18 PM ^

I appreciate the sentiment of the letter obviously as I want Trey to stay, and he makes a few valid points, but at the same time, it's not too convincing.

First off, I doubt how far Michigan went in the tourney will play any role in Trey's stock.

Second, he doesn't mention where those 11 PGs went in the draft. If they all were top 10 picks, then it looks a little different. Obviously odds are Trey will not be a top 10 pick so that may be a little moot, but still, if he's going to use that as a basis for his arguement, context would be nice.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:31 PM ^

"First off, I doubt how far Michigan went in the tourney will play any role in Trey's stock."

Disagree-- the tournament was his best chance for wide-spread exposure thusfar in his career.



At the very least, the further we went in the tournament would directly related to the number of people that watched a Michigan basketball game last seaon (including media and NBA executives).


Hopefully, Trey realizes the opportunity he has next season, and unless he's planning on slacking in the off-season, his situation is nothing like Jared Sullinger's

Stephen Hawking

April 5th, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

He was co-freshman of the year in the Big Ten - the best conference in college basketball and one that features regularly in national broadcasts, was an honorable mention All-American, and every reputable scout would tell you that Michigan goes as far as Trey Burke takes them. In other words, his skills have been recognized already. Further exposure is only necessary for mid major players, not those from a power conference from the Big Ten, and not for a player on a team that was ranked the entire season.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:45 PM ^

His skills have been recognized, but that doesn't mean his skills can't get a lot better.  He's just not at an NBA level.  Saying Michigan goes as far as Trey Burke takes them tells me that he has a lot of improvement to make since you know.. we didn't win a game in the tournament.  When he got to the national stage, he was not one of the best players in the tournament.  He probably wasn't even in the top 25 players in the tournament, and that's being generous.  He just doesn't look like a pro level player yet.  When you're 5' 11" you better be the by far the best player on the court against a MAC team if you want to be big time in the NBA.


April 5th, 2012 at 10:00 PM ^

It could also be argued that in a do or die situation he came up short. Going 5-15 for FG's, 2-9 on 3 pointers, and getting outplayed by DJ Cooper isn't the best way to show off your NBA skills.

Rational and real fans know that judging Trey off of the NCAA Tourney is a joke since he's done so much for this team. However, to an NBA scout who didn't know he was coming out until a week ago, I'm guessing the NCAA Tourney would be the first place he'll look, and not some game against Minnesota/NW


April 6th, 2012 at 7:49 AM ^

This is just ridiculous.  So you believe that NBA scouts and executives gather no more information on potential draft picks than casual college basketball fans?  I mean if you honestly believe that Trey needed to go further in the tournament in order to gain "exposure" to scouts and executives then that must be what you believe.  

I suppose they just go into the draft blind when they pick all the Euros, then.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

Well that article had nothing but logic and facts in it so it obviously wont be a factor in his decision.  Seriously though I heard today that one of the biggest reasons Burke's going to come out now is because of what happened to his BF Sullinger.   Last year everybody had him as a top 3 pick and now his projected to go between 10-15 tops.  My friend says the person whose in Trey's ear the most right now is Sullinger and his family and they are all telling Trey to come out now....that the downside of year two is far greater than the upside.

That's the word down here in Ohio anyways.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:29 PM ^

That is a great point, but I hope he (TB) sees that Sullinger made a mistake bc he was a top3 pick last year. Trey is at best a late pick (20-30) and at worst a late second round pick. In regards to that letter, I also think Trey will be measured below 5'11 since most college rosters are slightly inflated, which will hurt his draft stock. 

Overall, the risk reward equation is more risk (coming out early) than reward (staying at school), which is entirely different than Sullinger.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:33 PM ^

I 100% agree it's crazy to compare the two but that's what the word is down here.  That Sully and his family are telling Trey and his family to not make the same mistake he did and to come out now.  And that Coach B is trying like Hell to convice Trey that the two situations are not similar and for him to stay but that the person who has Trey's ear is not an agent or a scout or even a coach.

It's his best friend from childhood and trust me that's a hard voice to overcome.



April 5th, 2012 at 10:52 PM ^

We will agree to disagree at this point then and wait to see what Trey decides and what he says when he does.  I still believe when Trey makes his formal announcement that he is leaving (yes i believe that is forthcoming) he will point to Sully's drop in draft positioning as one of the reasons why.

Is it your contention that the family and Jared are NOT encouraging Trey to come out now or are you claiming they are telling him to come out for a different reason?  


April 5th, 2012 at 11:09 PM ^

Not really.  I have just heard this now (the Sullinger-Burke connection) from WAY too many people down here with connections to OSU to discount it as simply being a crazy rumor.  It may in fact be just a crazy rumor (time will tell) but it is all over the place here in Ohio anyways and sometimes where there's smoke there is fire.

Here's the thing.  I personally think Burke has lost his mind if he comes out now and will definitely cost himself a boatload of money if he does.  I myself grew four inches in college (6'1 graduating high school - 6'5" graduating college) so i know it is very possible for some kids who mature late.  And the notion that Satch is purposively steering Trey to do something not in his best interest is just as crazy.  He watched his son's draft stock drop significantly from year one to year two and it is not out of the relm of possibility that he would be concerned about it also happening to Trey.

That's all i got.



April 5th, 2012 at 11:57 PM ^

Not taking a side in this prediction battle but you realize you're talking about the same ohio that gave us 11W and drove Kirk Herbstreit out of the state for being rational?  Additionally, they happen to hate us even more than they hate modern thought?  Ohio fans have been starting rumors about us for ages and rolling with them, why would they stop now?  Sometimes where there's smoke, there is indeed fire, but sometimes you're just in Ohio.

Mr. Yost

April 6th, 2012 at 8:47 AM ^

My credentials for such a statement...

  • I've known the Sullinger's for 12 years
  • I've been coached by Satch Sullinger
  • I've played with both JJ and Julian Sullinger
  • I coached Jared Sullinger when he was in middle school (terrible, by the way, clumsiest player you'd ever see)
  • I won't claim to "know" the Burke's, Jackson's or Griffin's...but I've been around them enough to know that they are typically on the same page along with the Sullinger's

With that said...I know Mr. Satch Sullinger would never tell Trey to go pro. Would he point out what happened with Jared? Maybe...but he wants both of those guys to get their degree. He values education.

Could TREY himself seen what happened to Jared --- THIS is the more likely scenario. I mean the guys are brothers. Why would Trey need to listen to ANYONE else? It was his brother/best friend who was a top 10 pick last year and is now borderline lottery. He saw that himself...he doesn't need, me, you, Mr. Sullinger or Barack Obama to tell him that.

Also, Trey is a little different than all of the 4 guys in that "group"...Jared was never going to come out last year. He just loves college, he's too goofy, he's loveable and enjoys being a student. IMO, he thought about coming back another year - but it just didn't make sense.

As for Trey, he's a little harder, he's more serious, we've all seen the difference in the two on the basketball court. Trey has never and will never have the time in college that Jared has had. He's just not the same type of personality. He reminds me of Derrick Rose personality wise --- I remember during this year's all-star game Rose commented how he was about all the dancing and goofing off during the starting lineups...Jared would be dancing, Burke would be standing there stone faced like Rose.

So if Burke comes back, it's a business decision, pure and simple. Now if you ask me...it's the SMART business decision. I think he can honestly make his way from the 2nd round to borderline lottery/definite 1st rounder, he's THAT good. But he needs another year.

In closing...the Sullinger's would never tell him to go pro. IMO, Burke's family doesn't want him to go. I just think it's a kid who really didn't enjoy college, doesn't feel like working and going to class another year, and saw his brother take a hit in the draft by returning. It's that simple.

With that said, a chance to go in the 15-25 range of the first round NEXT year should trumph all of those reasons.


April 6th, 2012 at 10:25 AM ^

Good post thanks for the info.  I also agree coming back is his strongest business decision.  And, if it's true that Trey really dislikes the Michigan experience that much it's a shame because it really is a nice place where a lot of fun can be had.  I remember back in the day when Jamal Crawford was going to leave and caught a lot of flack too.  So this isn't really a Trey specific phenonmenon.  I think his pro opportunities are limited though.

Mr. Yost

April 6th, 2012 at 3:16 PM ^

I think it's college in general. And I didn't mean that he didn't "like" it...I meant that I'm not sure he thinks it's for him. The attention, the celebrity along with the work, the class, etc. I use the Derrick Rose analogy again. The personalities are SO much alike.

If Burke had to choose any college again, I think he'd choose Michigan or OSU out of every school in the nation. But it's college that I don't know is "for him." He's a pro at heart, personality wise.

He's not Tim Tebow or Tyler Hansbrough or Jared Sullinger...Trey is way more professional in his approach, way more introverted in his personality, and just not a "college basketball star" type person.

But like I said, it's just the smart BUSINESS decision. It wasn't terrible (attending college), it's not punishment, it's not torture. So suck it up, refocus, get after it and go accomplish more than you did this year. And this time next year announce you're going pro after you've lead Michigan to the Final Four and you're a First or Second Team All-American.

It's a no brainer, you make money, you secure a better future, and most of all you continue to play the sport that you love.

(sidenote…in my OP it was supposed to be *wasn’t* when referring to Derrick Rose and dancing at the All-Star game.)


April 5th, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

That's a very good point I haven't seen yet.  THJ grew something like 2 inches over the summer didn't he?  That would make a huge difference in a PG.  And I'm pretty surprised that Sullinger's dad is telling Burke to go if that's true.  He always seemed pretty reasonable, and this certainly is not reasonable.  You can't compare Burke to Sullinger.  Very different players and very different situations.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:53 PM ^

Sorry, but Satch Sullinger does not sound like the type of guy to get in Burke's ear about leaving early, and Jared seems like the kind of friend that would want the best for Burke either way. Doesn't make sense that they'd be pushing one way or the other.


April 5th, 2012 at 9:21 PM ^

When you consider all of these points, its almost preposterous that Trey would leave and not develop his skills, or at least develop physically one more year.

El Fuego

April 5th, 2012 at 9:52 PM ^

People are pointing to Sullinger's fall in draft stock after staying another year.  I don't think it really compares with Burke's situation.  In Sullinger's freshman year, he was the best player in the nation on the best team in the nation (before the tournament).  There was really nowhere to go but down for Sullinger and Ohio.  Plus, this year there are so many great big men unlike the year before.  Obviously that last part could be an arguement for Burke leaving, but guards are generally going to be taken lower in the draft than the amazing big man class this year.

With Burke and Michigan, they are most likely to go up.  Michigan has a top 5 class coming in AND (would be) returning 3 key starters.  Burke has All-American and Final Four potential.  He could be considered the best guard, potenially, in the country next year and that will only raise his stock.  Sullinger WAS the best big man last year and like I said, had nowhere else to go but down.  For Burke and Michigan, there really isn't anywhere to go but up.  They haven't even come close to their ceiling...

EDIT: When I say last year, I mean the 2010-2011 season


April 5th, 2012 at 9:48 PM ^

Rational thinking here says the family and Trey Burke have to be aware of his draft stock. It's not hard to use the internets. Still, if he wants D League money then he'll be leaving.

I'm hoping for common sense to prevail but I have serious doubts.


April 5th, 2012 at 10:05 PM ^

It doesn't make any sense that the Sullingers would be pushing for Trey to come out.  If anything, after the Final Four run that OSU had, Sullinger would be encouraging Trey to come back because Michigan would have a chance to do something special as well.

Satch Sullinger was telling his son he wasn't ready for the NBA last year (when he was a vritual Top 5 lock), but now you believe he would be telling Burke, someone who he sees as another son, that he is ready for the NBA despite there being little chance he would be a 1st round pick?  Makes absolutely no sense.

If Burke decides to leave, it will be 100% his decision.


April 5th, 2012 at 10:04 PM ^

I just don't think it's a good investment into his future to leave now. I graduates with a cell and molecular biology major. I could found a crappy job with that major and avoided another round of schooling. But it's just not smart. Instead, I suffered through more grad school and can now make good money.


April 5th, 2012 at 10:32 PM ^

it's quite conceivable that Trey could fall on his face next year and everyone here knows it. He was B1G player of the week how many times? Second team All-American? Killing OSU with an amazing layup? 

By the end of next year he could be the fourth-most NBA-worthy guy on his own squad. With all of the holes in his game including troubles with the high pick completely anatomized by every two-bit analyst in town.

I know we want him back but people. . . it may well be the OPPOSITE of him having an over-inflated view of his prowess. . . worrying instead that he'll be the same height, buried by the weight of crazy expectations, and sunk in homework that he just can't put his mind to. 

Personally, I sympathize. And I guess I'm not as well-off as some people here, but eight or nine years doing the thing you love in Europe for very good money just doesn't sound like failure to me. The only failure is not trying as hard as you can to do the best with the gifts you were given. 

It baffles me that some people are so sure of themselves about this one, or could possible be angry at a 19-year-old who brought the team so much glory this year.  


April 6th, 2012 at 1:38 AM ^

you think he should jump because he may regress and this past year was flukish?  is that what you're writing?  yet, you say he can play 8 or 9 years in europe.  if he can't play, he's not going to last anywhere; not the nba, not europe, not the D league.  even now, he's a likely second rounder with no guaranteed contract.  what is he going to regress to next year?

panthera leo fututio

April 6th, 2012 at 10:20 AM ^

"if he can't play, he's not going to last anywhere; not the nba, not europe, not the D league."

Do you really mean to imply that any returning college player who doesn't maintain his draft stock is therefore unlikely to cut it in any high-level professional league? So Kyle Singler isn't currently playing in Spain? Da'Sean Butler isn't playing in the D-League? Dominic James isn't still playing in Europe?

I'm sure there are strong arguments to be made that Burke's expected draft status/skill development/career earnings will benefit from returning to school. It just seems that many people here are unaware of what a strong argument would actually look like.