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September 04, 2012 - Image 41

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-04

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 3E

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 3E

Michigan wins first Big
Ten Title since 1986

After considering NBA
move, Trey Burke to stay

- Daily Sports Editor
MARCH 5, 2012 - With just
a few ticks left against Michigan
State on Sunday afternoon, Ohio
State guard William Buford drib-
bled right-to-left along the perim-
eter and pulled up just inside the
top of the arc for a last-second
He didn't get a good look at the
basket, fading away with Spartan
guard Keith Appling in his face,
but -the shot was pure. Buford,
who was money throughout the
contest, found the bottom of the
net to lift the Buckeyes to a 72-70
win over the Spartans in East
As the senior backpedaled with
a nonchalant grin on his face, the
team lounge at Michigan's Player
Development Center in Ann Arbor
erupted. The Wolverines had just
arrived home following their 71-65
victory at Penn State, and with
Buford's clutch bucket, Michigan,
Ohio State and Michigan State
each came away with a share of
the Big Ten regular-season title.
After beatingthe Nittany Lions
earlier in the afternoon, the Wol-
verines downplayed the signifi-
cance of the Buckeye-Spartan
matchup, noting that they did
everything in their power and
they couldn't worry about what
would happen.
"I've got a five-page paper to
write for tomorrow that I've real-
ly got to start working on," senior
guard Stu Douglass joked after
the game. "I've got to find my pri-
orities, set them straight."
But it was clear as soon as Ohio
State won what the title meant
to Michigan's players. Senior
guard and co-captain Zack Novak
immediately took to Twitter and

typed out one word: "Champs."
"I think everybody was hold-
ing their breath - the room got
quiet real quickly," said sopho-
more guard Tim Hardaway Jr. of
Buford's last-second shot. "Every-
body just froze for half-a-second,
and once the shot went in, the
place erupted."
Crisler Center will see a new
regular-season-title banner for
the first time since 1986, when
Michigan all-time scoring leader
Glen Rice finished up his impres-
sive freshman campaign. The
past 26 years have been quite the
championship drought.
Touted early-90s recruits Jalen
Rose and Chris Webber couldn't
deliver one, but the unsung duo
of Novak and Douglass - who
formed coach John Beilein's first
recruiting class in Ann Arbor -
did just that.
"First Big Ten Championship
in (26) years," Novak said on
Sunday night. "For everybody on
this team - you seethe reunions,
we've had a few since we've been
here - guys will come back, and
this is the Big Ten Championship
team from this year. This team
won this championship. We're
going to be able to do that."
Before the season, few analysts
predicted that Michigan would
vie for a title by season's end, and
after the Wolverines suffered
their first home loss of the sea-
son on senior night to Purdue last
weekend, the projections seemed
accurate. Ohio State fell on its
senior night that weekend as well,
and all Michigan State had to do
to wrap up the outright title was
win one of its last two matchups.
But in an unlikely twist,
Indiana denied the Spartans in
Bloomington on Tuesday, 70-55,
and Buford took care of the rest

on Sunday.
"The most rewarding part of
what just happened is watching
our young men's faces," Beilein
said after Ohio State took care of
business.. "When you coach this,
long, and our staff knows this, it's
not about the Ws, it's about the
journey. ... It's certainly a high-
light in this year's journey, and for
some guys, a four-year journey."
Despite the slip-up against
the Boilermakers last week, the
Wolverines will enter the Big Ten
Tournament in Indianapolis this
weekend on a roll, having won six
of their last seven contests.
In accordance with the tie-
breaker rule - how the three
first-place teams fared against
fourth-place Wisconsin this sea-
son - Michigan State (2-0) gets
the No. 1 seed in the conference
tournament, Michigan (1-0) the
No. 2 seed and Ohio State (1-1) the
No. 3 seed. The three teams, plus
the fourth-seeded Badgers, all
receive first-round byes.
Michigan will tip off on Friday
night at 6:30 against the winner
of the game between No. 7 seed
Northwestern and No. 10 seed
Minnesota on Thursday. Should
the Wildcats win, the Wolverines
will have their hands full on Fri-
day, as they needed overtime to
subdue Northwestern in both of
their meetings this season.
But for now, Michigan will rest
up and enjoy the title they right-
fully earned.
"All I know is, this is a really
good cup of coffee," Beilein
quipped. "I might have a really
good glass of wine when I go
home, and the coffee the next
morning will really taste good.
That's when it will sink in, prob-
ably tomorrow morning, when I
make my first cup of coffee."

Daily Sports Editor
APRIL 9, 2012 - Trey Burke
was told he should stay. He was
told he should go. He was lean-
ing toward staying in school,
and he was leaning toward
going pro. He solicited his fam-
ily members and coaches for
advice, and he was given unso-
licited advice from fans and rival
athletic directors.
When he was done being
stretched every which way, the
freshman point guard decided
he'll stay at Michigan for his
sophomore season.
"I just felt like I could develop
more, and we have a great shot of
competing for another Big Ten
Championship and competing
for a national championship,"
Burke said in a press conference
After Michigan's season
ended in a 65-60 loss to Ohio in
the second round of the NCAA
Tournament, Burke started to
look at his NBA Draft prospects.
He consulted the NBA Draft
Advisory Board, and though he
didn't reveal what the board told
him, Burke said that the uncer-
tainty of where he would go in
the draft contributed to his deci-
sion to stay. He was projected
to be a second-round pick by
ESPN's Chad Ford.
Last Wednesday, rumors and
reports swirled that Burke had
decided to declare for the June
28 NBA Draft, but coincidental-
ly, that was the day Burke said he
decided to stay put. It could have
been that the reports were erro-
neous, or that Burke changed his
mind in the wake of the media
"(There) was a point where I
was considering leaving," Burke
said. "I was never really two feet
all the way in. Sometimes I was

was more coming back. After
talking it over with the coaches
and with my family ... I think
that was the best decision for me.
It was more of a risk for me to
leave (and) declare for the NBA
Burke said the main thing
he would need to improve on to
become an NBA-caliber point
guard is his strength.
For a few days, Michigan fans
thought that their prized point
guard would be gone and that
the Wolverines-would need to
find a replacement, just as they
had done the year before when
Burke took over for point guard
Darius Morris, who left for the
NBA after his sophomore year.
Burke said he consulted Mor-
ris as he made his decision, and
Morris told him to make sure he
would have no regrets about-his
choice. Burke said he ultimately
made his decision on Wednesday
during his drive home to Colum-
With Burke's return, Michi-
gan remains a projected top-
10 team in the country next
season, aided by the arrival of
recruits Glenn Robinson III,
Mitch McGary, Nik Stauskas and
recently added point guard Spike
"Losing our first game to Ohio
was one of the most disappoint-
ing times of the year for us,"
Burke said. "And I just felt like
we have some unfinished busi-
ness. With the recruits coming
in, with the returning players, I
feel like we have a great chance
of winning a national champion-
"I just saw how bright the
future was for this team."
It's the third-straight offsea-
son that Michigan coach John
Beilein has dealt withhaving his
best talent set their sights a little
higher. After the 2009-10 season,

his junior year, and last season,
Morris entered the draft after
his second year.
Burke could have continued
the trend, but he chose to go the
other way.
"It's a good problem to have,"
Beilein said. "We've got some
young men that really have
potential to play in the NBA, so
we want them to look at this,
take their time, do it the right
way.We never want them to have
any regrets."
Burke's teammates were
largely uninvolved in the deci-
"Some of us would talk to
him here and there," sopho-
more guard Tim Hardaway Jr.
said. "But we knew it was a lot of
stress dealing with this, and we
tried to stand back as far as pos-
sible because we know it was a
tough decision."
Burke defied all expectations
this season. He turned out to be
just as good, or even better, than
Morris, leading Michigan to its
first Big Ten Championship since
1986 and racking up plenty of
accolades for it. After averaging
14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6
assists, he was named Big Ten
co-Freshman of the Year, select-
ed to the All-Big Ten Second
Team and got the nod as an AP
All-America honorable mention.
He continued -to challenge
these expectations well after-the
season ended. Fans were sur-
prised when his father said that
Burke was -"seriously consider-
ing" entering the draft, and he
dropped another surprise when
he decided to remain at Michi-
gan after many outside of the
program were resigned to him
"Time will say what was the
best decision for him," Beilein
said. "I think it was a great
decision for Michigan basket-


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