The compliments were flying at Michigan’s Trey Burke from all directions Thursday. People telling him he is great. People telling him he is the best point guard in America. Then, someone asked Burke if, after Friday’s NCAA South Regional semifinal against Kansas (6:37 p.m. on TBS), this will be the moment the entire country knows his name. Burke smiled, tilted his head back into the TV lights and answered carefully. “When I hear that I think, well … that’s just really high praise,” Burke said. “I try not to listen to talk like that because I think it’s just too much. I think I want to capture the moment for what it is.” The moment could define Burke’s time at Michigan if the 6-foot sophomore and Big Ten player of the year can take down the top-seeded Jayhawks by doing what he’s done all year — making big plays at the most opportune moments. A run to the Final Four could also hasten his exit to the NBA. “(Burke) has had some great challenges this year and he’s fared really well, as well as could be expected,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “He’s only a sophomore, he’s only 20 years old and he’s learning by the moment … but what a competitor he is. If he has that competition in front of him, it drives him to be the best.” Burke, also a national player of the year candidate, leads the Wolverines with 18.8 points and 6.7 assists. Michigan hadn’t advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1994 before Sunday’s win over VCU at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich. “Making it to the Final Four would mean everything to us,” Burke said. “It’s what we’ve talked about since our first practice.” Early in the season, Burke bounced back from a scoreless first half with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists, leading Michigan to a win over Big 12 co-champion Kansas State in the NIT Season Tip-Off in New York. He had 18 points — all in the second half — and 11 assists in a win over No. 18 North Carolina State days later.
Trey Burke has Michigan’s sights set on Final Four
Kansas City Star | May 5