Trey Burke, John Beilein, Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan were all available to the media on Sunday afternoon to discuss Trey Burke’s decision to enter the NBA Draft. We pulled together some highlighted quotes regarding Burke’s decision, his teammates’ upcoming decisions and his impact on the program.
Trey Burke – Watch the press conference
- “It was definitely a tough decision. After making it all the way to the National Championship and coming this close to winning a National Championship, it’s a tough decision to forgo your last two seasons at a great university. To not be able to play with these guys anymore, to not be able to be coached by this coaching staff, it’s real tough. But I feel like it was the best decision for me.”
- On if there was one moment he would pick out that cemented his legacy: “I don’t think it’s just one moment. The times that I’ve had with my coaching staff and my teammates, it’s more than just one moment. This season, definitely, and how we ended up coming together at the right time because we love each other on the court and off the court. It’s a bond that will never be breakable, between the coaching staff and my teammates. … We call ourselves Team 96 because we’re a special team. I’ll love these guys forever. They’ll be like brothers to me, the coaching staff are like father figures who I can call when I need some advice and things like that.”
- On his teammates’ decisions: “It’s not going to come down to Trey left, so maybe I should leave. Trey left, so I should stay now. It’s going to come down to what they honestly believe is best for them and best for their future.”
- On Michigan’s role in his development: “Growing up as a kid I’ve always wanted to play in the NBA. I knew Michigan was a perfect opportunity to come and get a great education and someday have that opportunity to play in the NBA. I didn’t know coming in how long I would be here but now that the opportunity is here I think it’s best for me to take it.”
- On the hardest part of his decision: “Leaving this family, man. It’s tough. This is an atmosphere that has helped me grow into the young man that I am today. When I first came in here I was just a skinny freshman walking on campus that didn’t really know a lot. I’ve learned a lot just from being here for two years and I’m just thankful for everything.
- On the feedback he got from coaches: “Last year they said they were nervous because they didn’t know what was the right decision. This year either way was the right decision. Coming back or leaving, they just felt like I deserved to take that opportunity if I wanted to.”
John Beilein – Watch the video
- “Little did we know that he would provide such great leadership and talent at such an early age. He filled a great void, and he did it as well as anybody here ever has done it. It’s been a huge part of the success we’ve had. It’s pretty darn good, our record since he’s been in the starting lineup.”
- On what it will be like filling the void Burke leaves: “We feel really good about Spike Albrecht and what he’s done and Derrick Walton coming in as a freshman. But a lot of guys will have to step up in many ways and we have no doubt that they will. Big footsteps to fill, but we feel strongly that we have the guys who can assist us in that.”
- On his changing feelings on early entry: “Now that I’ve been at Michigan and a place where if you recruit well enough and develop players well enough this is inevitable. Unless something changes with the NBA (early entry) rules, this is inevitable. So we embrace it and try to guide young men through it. We treat everyone like you would your own child. Everyone is different. Their goals are different, their academic potential, their needs, their desires are all different and that’s how you come to these decisions.”
- On the other three early entry decisions: “I have no timeline other than I expect to get some reports in very shortly, so that will help guide us.”
- On the effect on recruiting: “I think [Class of] ’14 recruiting it would be affected. [Class of] ‘13 is really late but you never know. Last year at this time Spike Albrecht was making his first visit and we didn’t even know about Caris LeVert at all. You never say never and this does free up a scholarship for next year.
- On making the next decisions: “We’ve been really apart from the team except for one team meeting (because of traveling to the Wooden award gala). My staff has talked to some of the players and Trey and I go to Oklahoma City tomorrow for the Oscar Robertson Award (presentation). Tom Izzo, myself and Trey Burke all on the same plane to Oklahoma City in fact, and Oscar Robertson. That will be another time that I’ll be away from my team. It’ll happen in due time.”
- On recruiting potential one and dones: “If they are pros at the prom. They have to be guys that are going to come in and do what Michigan does – go to study hall, work through things and say I’m at Michigan because I want to win college basketball”
- On an ideal NBA Draft rule: “Very much like baseball. If there is a Kobe or LeBron coming out of high school that can get the big contract and go. But if not, then go for three years and make an educated decision. That’s probably ideal in my mind, it may not be in others’ but it may be a one fix.”
Bacari Alexander – Watch the video
- “Trey never wavered on his dedication to the program – 100%. From the time he walked through the doors to today’s press conference. Here’s a young man who has demonstrated what poise personified is. He plays the game with such grace, he interacts with others with great humility. It’s almost as if he’s destined for greatness on some level. when you look at how he approached the entire process with regards to the information gathering that he did with the coaching staff and his family you can’t do anything but feel a sense of joy for a young man like that because he went about it like that.
- On what the decision says about Michigan: It’s a top down environment. coach Beilein has done a tremendous job during the time I’ve been on staff of letting our guys know how you do things, when you do them and the whole process that it takes to evolve to get to that decision point. Whether it is a decision in a basketball game or a life decision like Trey Burke made today I think is one of those things that speaks to the culture here at Michigan.”
LaVall Jordan – Watch the video
- On coaching Burke: “He’s been a joy to coach just from the standpoint of he’s been coachable, he listens and then he has the ability to actually go out there and do the things you talk about pretty quickly. A lot of guys are coachable but they can’t do it and it takes them maybe a year to develop into being able to. Other guys that can do it don’t listen.”
- On selling Trey’s success: “I think we’ve got a track record with Darius and now Trey, Spike’s success at the end of the year and Derrick coming in. I think at any position, when kids are looking at Michigan whether it’s Manny, Darius, Trey or Tim or whoever, see that coach Beilein allows you freedom as long as you are responsible .Some guys get that part earlier than others but as long as you do you can really flourish here at Michigan.”
- On Derrick Walton or Spike Albrecht starting: “We’re going to have somebody start at point guard. I think there will be a healthy competition between Spike and Derrick coming in and the other guys who become better ball handlers. But I think one of the things that made us hit the stretch run at the end was the competition at the beginning (of the season). There were days when Spike got the better of Trey and you knew how Trey was wired he wasn’t going to let that happen for long. Across the board there was this everybody making the other guy better. I think we’ll see that again in the summer and fall.”
- On Derrick Walton: “Derrick sees the game extremely well. He passes and makes other guys better and then he can score the ball as well. With that freshman adjustment it’s all about how quickly you adjust to speed of the game and the length of the players on the court. You know he’s got good vision, passing ability and can score.”