Father denies report Burke declaring for draft

April 4, 2012

Trey Burke's father, Benji, has denied published reports that his son has decided to leave Michigan and enter the NBA Draft.

"Trey Burke has not declared for the NBA draft," the elder Burke posted on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. "He is still enrolled at the University of Michigan."

The tweet came after a blog post published on CBS Sports' website that said Michigan's freshman point guard definitely was leaving the Wolverines for the draft. Burke led the team to a Big Ten co-championship, but he struggled badly in the Big Ten tournament loss to Ohio State and the NCAA first-round upset loss to Ohio.

If Burke does leave, it will be the second straight year that John Beilein's club has lost its point guard for the NBA. Darius Morris left early after last season; he has spent most of the year in the D-League and on the end of the Los Angeles Lakers bench.

The Wolverines already have lost seniors Stu Douglass, Zack Novak and sophomore Evan Smotrycz off the team that tied Michigan State and Ohio State for the Big Ten's regular-season title. That will be offset by the additions of highly ranked freshmen Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary. With Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jordan Morgan all returning, Michigan could start the season as a top-10 team.

Burke's departure, though, would change everything. He led the team in scoring, assists, steals and even blocked shots, and was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the media. He was also named to the All-Big Ten second team and an Honorable Mention Associated Press All-American.

More important, he led the team in minutes played — averaging more than 36 per game as a true freshman. If he leaves, the only point guard on the roster is Eso Akunne, who played just 48 minutes all season and finished with one assist. Hardaway, a definite shooting guard, might end up having to handle the ball, but he finished with 73 assists and 66 turnovers last season.

Michigan still would be talented, with Hardaway, Morgan, Robinson and McGary, but John Beilein would need to find a new quarterback for his offense. His options are limited, and his time is running out.