Trey Burke will return to Michigan for sophomore season
Trey Burke isn't going anywhere.
After roughly three weeks of contemplating his future, the co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year announced Monday that he plans to return to the Michigan basketball program for his sophomore season.
"Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time thinking and praying about my future -- not just about next year but many years down the road," Burke said in a statement released by the school. "After gathering information, I am excited to be continuing my education at Michigan as we look to accomplish even more in our 2012-13 season."
Burke led the Wolverines with 14.8 points per game last season, set the school record for assists by a freshman and became Michigan's first Associated Press All-American since 1998.
Following the conclusion of the Wolverines' 2011-12 season, Burke's father, Benji, announced that his son would explore his options with regard to the 2012 NBA draft, saying he'd been given information that his 5-foot-11 son could be a first round selection.
Last week, both CBSSports.com and the Detroit Free Press reported that Burke was expected to leave school early in favor of the NBA.
That, however, didn't happen.
And now, the Wolverines have their point guard back officially.
"I have so much more to develop as both a student and athlete, and there is no better place to do that than here at Michigan," Burke said in a statement. "I love my Michigan family and am really excited about playing with my teammates and our incoming freshmen.
"I want to thank my parents, my teammates and my coaches for the patience and guidance they gave me since this process began a few weeks ago."
The NCAA-imposed NBA draft deadline is set for Tuesday. However, prospects have until April 29 to enter their name into the draft. Meaning, Burke can technically still change his mind.
But, for now, Burke's announcement Monday markedly improves Michigan's prospects for next season, as his absence would have created a large void at the point guard position.
Now, Burke will be expected to be the team's centerpiece, alongside returners Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan, as well as incoming freshmen Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas.
And, unlike last season, the Wolverines will also have a true backup for Burke, as Michigan received a verbal commitment from Northfield Mount Hermon point guard Spike Albrecht, who can officially sign a letter of intent when the spring period begins Wednesday.
With Burke back in the fold, Michigan will be expected to compete for a second straight Big Ten championship, and possibly more.
The news of Burke's decision quickly spread via social media Monday afternoon, and at 1:14 p.m., "Trey Burke" was trending worldwide on Twitter.
"We tried to provide Trey and his family with the best information possible and as much time as possible to make an informed decision," Michigan coach John Beilein said in a statement. "We wanted him to think this through carefully so he was 100 percent certain of what he wanted to do moving forward."
Michigan's roster moves may not be over just yet, though. The transfers of Evan Smotrycz, Colton Christian and Carlton Brundidge left the Wolverines with open scholarships for next season.
Albrecht is expected to take one, leaving two more spots available.
But, as of Monday, none of that seemed to matter as much as it did a week ago.
Trey Burke says he's coming back.
And Michigan basketball's future just became much more clear.
"We loved coaching Trey this season," Beilein said. "It is very unusual to have a freshman point guard play with such poise and confidence all year long. He is a clutch performer with a great work ethic and a brilliant future in front of him.
"As our team leadership changes hands, I know Trey will join the other returning players as we strive to be the leaders and best in all we do."
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