Point guard Trey Burke staying at Michigan
Michigan freshman Trey Burke will forgo the NBA draft, return to the Wolverines
Burke took over as Michigan's point guard after Darius Morris left for the NBA
Burke says he has "much more to develop as both a student and athlete"
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Trey Burke wavered and wondered - then put all the speculation to rest.
He's staying at Michigan.
"I felt like it was the best decision for me to stay my sophomore year and compete for a national championship next year," Burke said. "It was a point where I was considering leaving, (but) I was never really two feet, all the way in."
Burke was weighing his options after a superb freshman season in which he led the Wolverines to a share of their first Big Ten championship since 1986. Nearly three weeks ago, the star point guard's father confirmed that Burke was contemplating leaving for the NBA draft, and the process that followed was agonizing at times.
"You just give them information and rely on their family, their education, the information you give them to make a good decision," coach John Beilein said. "He went up and down and up and down."
Burke took over at point guard after Darius Morris left early for the NBA following the 2010-11 campaign. Michigan tied for the Big Ten title last season, but the Wolverines have to replace senior starters Zack Novak and Stu Douglass, and sophomore Evan Smotrycz is transferring. Burke would have been a major loss. Michigan has no experienced backup at his position.
"That was a big piece that was going to be missed," guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said. "Happy he's back now, and we just concentrate on the future."
Beilein said time would tell if the decision works out for Burke, but having the standout point guard back should certainly help the Wolverines.
"I think it's a great decision for Michigan basketball," Beilein said.
Michigan (24-10) was upset by 13th-seeded Ohio in its NCAA tournament opener, a disappointing ending after the euphoria of the Big Ten regular-season title. Smotrycz, Novak and Douglass were mainstays in the rotation, but Michigan is adding some size in its next recruiting class. The Wolverines have signed 6-foot-10 Mitch McGary of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire. Michigan will also welcome a pair of 6-6 forwards - Glenn Robinson III, son of the former Purdue star with the same name, and Nik Stauskas.
Hardaway and forward Jordan Morgan have played significant minutes the past two seasons, and Burke's return gives the Wolverines a good chance to make a run in 2012-13.
"That's really good to have high expectations," Beilein said. "It means you have a good team. Now I do think we're going to have some freshmen that are freshmen."
Burke looked like anything but a freshman for most of this season, which is why he could entertain the possibility of entering the draft. He said he decided he should stay in school last Wednesday. That was around the time reports were swirling that Burke was about to leave Michigan.
"It was more of a risk for me to leave and declare for the NBA draft," Burke said. "It was definitely stressful at times. When it got to that type of point I just relaxed and decided just to look at it as a positive."
At one point, after Burke lamented on Twitter how much unsolicited feedback he was getting, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis tweeted Burke a message, telling him to believe in his heart and mind. Hollis later said he regretted directing his message at Burke.
As much as the stress weighed on him at times, Burke realized a lot of players would like to be in his position.
"I really tried not to look into social media and things like that, or worry about what other people had to say," Burke said. "I knew it would be my decision at the end of the day."
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