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Is Trey Burke A Good Fit?

2013 April 11
by Andrew Melnick


The lottery isn’t for another month, but that won’t stop MBO from discussing potential Magic draft picks.

(We’ve already taken a look at Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart and Kansas guard Ben McLemore.)

Today, we’ll take a look at a player most of the country has become familiar with over the last few weeks, Michigan point guard Trey Burke.  Burke was recently named the Naismith Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year. During his sophomore season, Burke averaged 18.6 points, 6.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He shot 46.3% from the field, 38.4% from beyond the arc and 80.1% from the charity stripe.

Although Burke is mostly viewed as a mid-to-late lottery pick, a few highly regarded experts view Burke as a potential top pick.

“For whatever it is worth, I see Burke going #1 overall,” tweeted David Thorpe. “Unless the top pick already has a prime time pg.”

ESPN’s Amin Elhassan explains that Burke is a great fit for the Magic.

“The Magic have established a culture of character, hard work and effort (necessary in a rebuild), but lack a motor for their offense, which struggles to shoot efficiently (49 percent team eFG%) and doesn’t get easy scoring opportunities (23rd in corner 3-point attempts and 29th in FTA rate),” writes Elhassan.

Besides winning the Naismith award, Burke also took him the Wooden award, was named AP Player of the Year and was a first team All American.

Burke also led his team to the National Championship game where they were defeated by Louisville.  During Michigan’s tournament run, Burke scored six, 18, 23, 15, and seven points, then went for 24 points in the title game.

In other words, he was college basketball’s best player.

Below you can see Burke’s numbers:


39/39  35.3 28.7  18.6 53.0 56.9 38.4 80.1
776 1.9 8.6 11.9 37.3 2.8 1.9 123.4


Clearly, Burke deserved all the accolades and praise he received. Not only are there gaudy numbers, but Burke improved in every statistical category outside of rebounding rate. With freshman center Mitch McGary and freshman forward Glenn Robinson III joining the team this season, there simply wasn’t a need for Burke to grab as many boards. Plus, Burke is a point guard and although it’s nice to see a guard grab rebounds like Jason Kidd (on the pro level) or Marcus Smart (on the college level), it’s certainly not necessary.

Not only did Burke shoot better from the field, but with his usage rate slightly increasing 26.4% to 28.3%, his turnover rate when way down (16.7% to 11.9%).

Burke’s improvement in just about every category is great to see and bodes well for him on the next level.

Burke is listed at 6’0 and 190 lbs. Obviously, that isn’t ideal size, but as a point guard, he should be big enough to get the job done.

With the Magic showing signs of a bright future behind second-year pros Nikola Vucevic and Tobias Harris and rookie Maurice Harkless, point guard is one position they have a need for. 31-year old Jameer Nelson is signed through the next two seasons (Nelson can be bought out after next season), but is far from a superstar and is showing signs of age, having missed 23 games so far this season. Nelson, despite a reputation that says otherwise, has been relatively healthy leading up to this season, missing just nine games last season and six in the previous season.

The point guard position does need to be addressed and Burke looks like a good fit.

Mock Drafts:

Draft Express:
Burke Pick: Seventh overall to Sacramento
Magic Pick: Kansas guard Ben McLemore

NBA Draft.Net
Burke Pick: Sixth overall to New Orleans
Magic Pick: Kentucky center Nerlens Noel

Hoops World (Yannis Koutroupis):
Burke Pick: Fifth overall to Detroit
Magic Pick: Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart

ESPN (Chad Ford):
Burke Pick: Sixth overall to New Orleans
Magic Pick: Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart

CBS (Jeff Goodman):
Burke Pick: Sixth overall to New Orleans
Magic Pick: Kentucky center Nerlens Noel 

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