Showing posts with label Trey Burke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Trey Burke. Show all posts

A Question for Trey Burke

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Chris Paul or Tony Parker?

No, I’m not asking who you would rather be, or even play like. I honestly wish you a special and unique career, and hope to someday hear your name mentioned along with these men and other point guard greats.

And let me make one more thing clear to those of you who are reading this: I am not comparing Parker and Paul, or comparing either to Burke. I am simply thinking from the standpoint of fame, success, and accolades.

These two players specifically are dominant players in today’s game who can put their teams on their back and lead their squad to victory night after night. They are both successful point guards and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Let me note a few things about both players. 

Chris Paul has always been baller. He was named North Carolina Mr. Basketball coming out of High School and attended Wake Forest where he soon became the ACC rookie of the year. He came back for his sophomore season, had an All-American year, and catapulted himself into the Wake Forest record books.

Sound familiar at all? 

He was drafted 4th overall by New Orleans and went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Paul became a superstar fast and remains one today. He is a six-time NBA All-Star and has been on both the All-NBA First Team and Defensive Team three times.

Tony Parker, on the other hand, is a breed of his own. The Frenchman played a few years in the French league before being noticed by NBA scouts and eventually drafted by San Antonio in 2001. Parker didn't create much of a buzz at first, but quickly made a name for himself after gaining the starting point guard job midway through his first season. Since then, Parker has “quarterbacked” the Spurs and made 5 All-Star appearances as well as made the All-NBA Second Team twice. 

Sounds pretty nice too, right?


However, it’s time to get to some of the more serious stats. Let me bring up a few differences. According to hoopsworld.com, Chris Paul gets paid over 6 Million dollars more a season, and also has endorsements most athletes could only dream of. He’s been on the cover of NBA 2K, been a poster boy for Powerade, and is apart of Nike Team Jordan with his own signature shoe style. Tony Parker obviously has no worries when it comes to popularity and making money, but I also think it’s safe to say his endorsements aren’t as fancy. Parker recently left Nike to sign a deal with PEAK, a Chinese sports brand, where he also has his own shoe.  I am not trying to downplay PEAK, but in my opinion it doesn’t compare to Jordan branded gear, at least in terms of basketball. Both players are filthy rich and live celebrity lifestyles, but I would say Chris Paul has more fame. I believe he is better received and more popular in the NBA.

On the other hand, the most important stat is that Tony Parker is a 3-Time NBA Champion and has even been named the NBA Finals MVP once. He has also just missed out on two other NBA titles, which may be forgotten as we live in a world where runner-up doesn’t matter. Tony Parker has been a part of the Spurs organization his whole career. Chris Paul has never made the finals, and is now apart of his second  NBA organization. Even though he just re-signed a new deal with the Clippers, I do not think he will stay with them in the long run. Longevity will give you the greatest potential of winning a Championship, just ask John Stockton. No, he doesn’t have a NBA Finals ring, but he helped give the Jazz a chance. It just so happened that they ran into Michael Jordan a few too many times. Which actually reminds me of Tony Parker being one LeBron James away from winning a championship this year. Cue the debate…

You see, Chris Paul might get the majority of attention year after year, but Tony Parker usually finds himself deep in the playoffs, getting rings.

And when it comes to sports, to be "The Guy" you need to win the Championship.

Trey Burke, you are not only following the footsteps of Utah point guard greats, but also entering a league where the talent level at point guard is of great abundance. Time will only tell where your career will take you. I wish you complete success, as do many other Michigan faithful, much of Columbus, and now all of Utah.

But here is my question to you:

Will the success come from winning championships, or will it just come from being another dominant player year after year in the league? 

Sincerely,

Derek W. Devine

A Team Known ‘Round The World

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Photo Credit:
Brenda McGadney 
This May, I spent time on a cross-cultural trip to Uganda, Africa, and had the time of my life. During the trip I worked a health clinic, visited a poverty struck village, played fútbol with hundreds of kids, roamed the big city, hiked up to waterfalls, and went on a three day safari; to name a few.

However, in Africa you start to miss some of the first-world concepts most of us Americans enjoy everyday. For instance, unlimited data and access to the Internet anytime and anywhere. Sure there were a few wireless modems around, but not the kind that allowed me to do the browsing and reading of articles that I am used to. So along with missing those closest to me, I missed keeping up with The University of Michigan, and all of the wonderful sporting news involving the Wolverines. Sure, I was able to see that Jabrill Peppers committed, but unable to watch how he rapped his decision, or check out his blazing 200-meter speed on YouTube. It was hard for me to keep up with the recruiting race for both basketball and football, and almost impossible to follow Denard in Jacksonville, and Hardaway Jr. and Burke as they prepare for the NBA Draft. Of course, these are all little problems, but sometimes I believe it’s the littlest problems that can be the most bothersome.

However, I realized all of these problems could be fixed with some work and some looking around. For me personally, bringing Michigan apparel to wear was enough to cover some of the bleeding. What I didn’t expect is to see a bunch of Michigan apparel (a lot of Nike gear), meet Michigan Grads, and have random conversations about Michigan teams. Heck, at one point of the trip, I even stayed at the same guesthouse as a mission’s team from “Ohio.” Talk about a bitter rivalry. My team made sure to grab all of the American beverages before the Buckeyes came down to eat, because they knew I would love to watch my rival suffer through bitter sodas. They must know me well. I met a guy at a café who came up to me and asked if I played basketball at Michigan (I guess my Adidas shoot around shirt was enough to convince him). I thought about saying yes, but told the truth and mentioned that I was just a passionate fan. He then asked me the name of the short guy with multiple tats that could shoot from mid court, and I kindly replied, “Trey Burke.” He mentioned watching the National Championship game and how many Ugandan’s pulled for the team whose jerseys were “flashy and yellow” just like the National Ugandan Fútbol team wore.  At a resort in Northern Uganda I met a couple that graduated from Michigan, moved to the Netherlands, and still donate to the University today. In an airport in Brussels, Belgium I was asked if I knew “Shoelace” and if I thought he would make a National Team. I informed the young gentleman that I had only shaken Denard’s hand, and that the Jacksonville Jaguars had already drafted him. When we landed in Newark, New Jersey, I passed through customs wearing a Michigan football shirt, and the man who scanned my passport asked me how upset I was that the Michigan vs. Notre Dame rivalry was being discontinued.  I mentioned being upset, but told him that Notre Dame will need a break after two more tough losses against the Wolverines. Go Blue.

You see, I learned a lot on this cross-cultural experience. Mostly about the culture and lifestyle of Uganda, which is why I enrolled on the trip. However, I learned a few other things as well. All of these conversations I had about Michigan, and sightings of Maize and Blue apparel, actually made me feel a little closer to home, as well as make up for everything thing I was missing with my lack of Wifi. I learned that even far away in a third world country, I could still reminisce about my favorite team. But most of all, it allowed me to realize that the Michigan Wolverines are much more then a National team, but a Team Known ‘Round The World.

Trey Burke's Draft Stock

Monday, April 15, 2013

I'm no betting man, but you can bet on your favorite NBA team on Topbet, I'd put money on the fact that Trey Burke is going to be drafted fairly high in this years NBA Draft. I know you wanted expert analysis, and you just got it, Trey Burke is good at basketball.

In all seriousness, Burke wanted to come back to have one last shot at a national championship. He was close, but his legendary play this season has all but secured himself a top-ten ranking on the big board.

Let's see what the writers think:

- Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com:
Even while struggling with his shot in the tournament, he used a standout sophomore season to become a candidate for Player of the Year with a well-rounded game and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.3-1. Also made 47.9 percent of his attempts and showed good range.
-  Mike Schmitz, DraftExpress.com:
All things considered, it's difficult not to consider Burke the best point guard in this year's draft class when evaluating how much of a complete package he brings to the table offensively. Athletic, intelligent, competitive point guards who can create, distribute and score are incredibly rare and coveted assets, and despite his defensive limitations he should have no issues carving out a long career as a NBA starter, as long as he's able to stay healthy.
- Chad Ford, ESPN.com:
He led his team to the NCAA championship game, won the Naismith player of the year award and pushed his draft stock from bubble first-rounder to top-10 pick. While Burke doesn't have great size or the athleticism of some of the other elite point guards in the NBA, he has an incredible basketball IQ, can really shoot , rarely turns the ball over and makes those around him better. He should go somewhere in the top seven and will be the first or second point guard off the board.
- Chris Mannix, SI.com:
It wasn't a perfect NCAA tournament for Burke, who was so-so in Michigan's opening-round win over South Dakota State and terrible in the Wolverines' Final Four victory over Syracuse. Still, Burke's consistent play over the course of the season has a lot of GMs believing that he is an eventual starting point guard. A 24-point effort (in 26 minutes) against Louisville's swarming defense in the national title game didn't hurt, either.
 - Tom Dienhart, BTN.com:
All agree that Burke is ready for the next level. He’s one of the nation’s quickest players, a force off the dribble and a deadly marksman from the perimeter who also has underrated strength. Plus, Burke has developed into a gritty, tough leader who isn’t afraid of the big shot or big moment.
The consensus feels that Trey Burke is one of the best, if not THE best, point guards in the draft this year. But, the real question is, where does he land? It is very possible that Burke could push himself into the top-five with a strong summer workout in front of the scouts considering he's on the cusp.

Now, it's time to get hypothetical.

Let's say the Pistons, Hornets and Kings get the 5-7 spots as predicted. There is no way Burke falls beyond seven, barring something catastrophic happening. All three teams have needs at the point guard position.

Pistons:
Expiring contract of Jose Calderon

Hornets:
Lack of depth behind Greivis Vasquez

Kings:
Depth move behind Isaiah Thomas

It's possible Burke would be drafted to promote competition with the point guard position in New Orleans or Sacramento. OR, considering how many needs the Pistons have, they could bring Burke into the fold. Considering the Pistons SHOULD have the fifth pick of the draft, they may need to weigh greater needs.

Either way, Burke is going to make his future NBA team very happy and they will be drafting one heck of a basketball player.

An Open Letter to Trey Burke: Thank You, Trey

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Trey Burke,

You have no idea who I am, or even have any clue that this website exists, but I took a picture with you a year ago. You had just announced you were coming back for a second year and had campus buzzing about it. The first time the Michigan fan base had been buzzing about basketball since we had a special group of five players in the '90s.

Alfonso!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kudos to Josh, our fearless leader, for expanding The Big House Report to include Michigan Basketball. After all, there is much more to the Leaders and Best than football.  Fresh off their opening two wins in the B1G, John Beilein (to whom I owe an apology) and the Men's Basketball team are firing on all cylinders. Michigan deconstructed Northwestern Friday.  On Sunday, Iowa opened with 7-0 lead, but Michigan outscored them 95-60 the rest of the way.  In a season that finally saw Coach Beilein recruit the players needed to run the hybrid Princeton offense, the team is enjoying the type of success that we are unaccustomed to seeing.

One player stands out as essential to the team's success: Alfonso Clark Burke.  When Trey decided to leave Ann Arbor after last season, I could not blame him. He was head and shoulders above everyone on that team, and having Zack Novak, Stu Douglass, and Evan Smotrycz shoot the team out of so many games had to be very frustrating.  Making the right decision, Burke decided to return and has grown into, arguably, the best player in the United States, and a favorite to win the Naismith Award.

With Junior Smooth (thanks, Radford) a.k.a. Tim Hardaway, Jr. improving his ability to put the ball on the floor, and the additions of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson, III, Burke is the straw the stirs the drink at Crisler, and it is absolutely a treat to watch.  As I watched him patiently wait to score and dish ten assists, with only one turnover, I thought that the scout who did not think to offer him a scholarship at Ohio is probably kicking himself in his rather dull posterior.

At the Ohio game last year at Crisler, Trey Burke was introduced as, "The Pride of Columbus, Ohio."  In Columbus, every time he touched the ball, the crowd showered him with a chorus of boos.  But what the Buckeyes do not know, or possibly, cannot comprehend, is that Thad Matta was confident in Aaron Craft's ability to lead his team.  To be fair, Aaron Craft finishes a Rubik Cube in under one minute and will probably be a very good insurance salesman after this March.

Make no mistake, Trey Burke did not play in some obscure town in Ohio.  He was, "Mr. Basketball" in 2011, at Northland High School, in Columbus, OHIO.  This was not a case of Hakan Andersson finding Henrik Zetterberg in Njurunda, Sweden.  Ohio did not even offer him a scholarship.  Thanks, Thad.  I know you went to the Final Four last year, but thanks for not recognizing what was RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
 

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