Michigan Player Spotlight: Trey Burke
Basketball hasn't always been the main source of the rivalry between Penn State and Michigan. When Trey Burke decided to switch his commitment from Penn State to Michigan after the departure of Ed Dechellis, State College took note of that.
Since November 14, 2011 when Burke was first plugged into the starting lineup for the Wolverines, the tension between the two schools only grew.
Growing up in Columbus, Ohio and attending Northland High School, Burke has been around elite talent his whole life.
In third grade, Burke’s father Benji coached Team Reebok out of the Columbus area, and there was an overweight fourth grader named Jared Sullinger that joined the team. Since then, a bond between two of the best players the Big Ten has seen in the past ten years at their respective positions has been formed.
The two had always dreamed about playing college basketball, but not necessarily together.
"When we were young, Trey loved Duke and Arizona and really the Pac-10 and the way they played, that it was a guard type of conference," Sullinger said in an article on ESPN's Wolverine Nation.
"He talked about Duke and how they played. I always talked about UConn when I was younger, so we always had a sense that we were going to break from one another.”
So when Burke was at Northland playing for a state championship, Sullinger was at Ohio State playing for a national championship. When Aaron Craft emerged as point guard, head coach Thad Matta didn’t feel the need to bring in Burke.
Ohio State seemed to be more interested in Shannon Scott and did not end up pursuing Burke at all.
After receiving offers from Butler, Cincinnati and Providence among others, Burke decommitted from Penn State and there was not a place on the Buckeyes for him.
"I understood that they had already had Aaron Craft and they were looking at Shannon Scott," he said in an article on Mlive.com. "In high school, it fueled me. It made me work harder. But now, I feel like I'm in the best situation I could have been in. I'm happy here.”
So as Penn State struggles to find a win in Big Ten Conference play, there will more than likely be no mercy shown on Wednesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center by any of the Nittany Lions towards Burke.
The injury to Tim Frazier has brought up a lot of questions in State College about how good Penn State could be had Burke stayed committed.
Whether the transitive property could be applied and plug in Burke’s 18 points per game and seven assists per game had he been in State College or not, he would have provided an upgrade.
However, for No. 4 Michigan, with number three running the show, they are poised to make a deep run into March.
Ryan Stevens is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.