After an incredible season, Trey Burke has taken home college basketball's highest individual honor. The Michigan guard was named the 2013 Naismith Men's Player of the Year.
Nick Baumgardner of Mlive.com reported the news:
Michigan's Trey Burke wins 2013 Naismith Trophy ... Clean sweep of Wooden/Robertson/Naismith awards.— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) April 7, 2013
Burke was widely regarded as one of the top players in the country all season long. He finished the regular season ranked second in the Big Ten at 19.2 points per game and first with 6.7 assists per game.
Which player most deserved the Naismith Men's Player of the Year award?
He finished 24th and 11th nationally in these categories, which are impressive marks in an outstanding defensive conference. Additionally, he scored double-digit points in every regular-season game throughout the year.
These statistics, plus finishing among the top 10 in steals per game, free-throw percentage and three-point percentage, made him the Big Ten Player of the Year.
However, the point guard did not stop there. In the NCAA tournament, he helped lead his team from a No. 4 seed to the championship game against Louisville after a number of impressive performances.
Not only has he averaged admirable points and assists numbers leading all the way to the finals, but he also hit the game-tying three-point shot against top-seeded Kansas in the Sweet 16 with only seconds remaining in regulation. The Wolverines eventually won in overtime to move on to the Elite Eight, and Burke earned the South Region's Most Outstanding Player award.
While this is a regular-season award, his heroics in the postseason further show why he was the best player in college basketball this year.
The other finalists for the award—Victor Oladipo of Indiana, Doug McDermott of Creighton and Otto Porter, Jr. of Georgetown—were all deserving of recognition after outstanding seasons. However, none of them had a bigger effect on the national scene than Burke.
Throughout the year, the sophomore showed consistency, versatility and playmaking ability that helped his squad become one of the top teams in the country. It is hard to argue that anyone earned this award more than Burke.