If age is only a number, then height serves the same meaningless purpose for Michigan's Trey Burke, the national player of the year who led his team to the brink of a national title.

Whether he's 5-foot-11.75 in socks and 6-foot-1.25 in shoes (he is) or shorter, he feels his skill set and accomplishments should speak more to NBA teams than the concerns about how tall he is.

"Absolutely. A lot of teams are worried about size and too big a deal is being made of it, in my opinion," said Burke at the NBA combine in Chicago. "There's going to be some type of concern where I go and you see the big guards in the NBA. My heart, you can't measure it. That's what I've always played with."

Then he said the six most commonsense words someone in his position could utter: "I've always been a small guard."

Playing against Big Ten guards, though, is completely different than going against physically imposing NBA perimeter players.

And as the University of Detroit's Ray McCallum said from working out with NBA players through the years, the floor will be more open for small guards than the packed lanes of college, but the openings close much quicker. Burke will have to make an adjustment in a hurry.

Seeing Dwight Howard coming across the lane to send a shot into the first row is vastly different than seeing some 6-foot-8 "center" patrolling the lane for Ohio State.

"I think I'm much more prepared, just seeing the opportunity in front of me as a 19-year-old," Burke said.

The Columbus, Ohio, native began rattling off names of players he stands face to face with — or at least those who can't call him "little fella" without looking in the mirror first. Nate Robinson, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Rajon Rondo.

Rodney Stuckey spoke about Burke through the season, feeling Burke's style would translate well to the next level because of the rules and success of like-size guards.

"They're all successful and it's not because they're 6-1," Burke said. "They play bigger than their size and that's all that matters."

While that's true, each of those possess on-court qualities that make their height a relative non-issue. Paul is arguably the best little man since Isiah Thomas roamed the floor two decades ago in Detroit.