Michigan Wolverines: College Basketball

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Every Thursday our writers sit down to discuss a few topics in and around Michigan sports. With Tom on vacation this week, WolverineNation editor Bob McClellan joins the conversation to look at The Opening, freshmen and other varsity sports.

1. Of the 2015 offers, which prospect do you think should be No. 1 overall in Michigan's war room?

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- As former Michigan guard Trey Burke moves on to the NBA, he’ll be keeping part of his life close to home. He has decided to be represented by his family.

Burke told ESPN.com he would be represented by his father, Benji Burke, and his cousin, Alonzo Shavers. Shavers primarily has been an NFL agent and is the founder and president of Infinite Sports Concepts.

“I think it’s the best decision for me,” Burke said. “Alonzo is my cousin and also been a football agent for years. He has the experience. My dad is new to the game. I felt going with them would be the right fit and I think we’ll still have the same resources we would have with a bigger firm, just because I feel like I’m marketable enough to get those types of endorsements and things like that. I just felt like it was the best decision for me.”

Burke, the national player of the year for the 2012-13 season, is projected as a lottery pick, perhaps as high as the top five in June’s NBA draft. He set Michigan’s single-season assist record last season with 260 while averaging 18.6 points a game.

The 20-year-old will attend next week’s NBA draft combine in Chicago. He said there were other agents inquiring about signing him before he chose to stay within his family.

“It was a business decision for me and one I felt I had to make,” Burke said. “There were a lot of big-time agents that were really interested and wanted me to sign with them. I just feel like I made the best decision for me.”

WolverineNation mailbag 

May, 8, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Replacements and leadership are topics which come up during every offseason for every sport.

We'll examine those topics in this week’s WolverineNation Mailbag, featuring your questions. Have questions for next week? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or at jenningsespn@gmail.com.

Now, on to this week’s queries.

M2go4blue from The Den asks: How well can we expect Michigan basketball to continue the success from the last two years, with the lack of upperclassman leadership this coming season? From last year, five seniors and a three-year starter in Tim Hardaway Jr. are gone. That's a lot of leadership missing.

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Michigan is headed to the Final Four for the first time in nearly 20 years following Sunday's 79-59 annihilation of Florida in the Elite Eight at Cowboys Stadium.

Freshman Nik Stauskas scored 19 of his game-high 22 points in the first half to spark the Wolverines, the No. 4 seed in the South Region. Trey Burke added 15 points and seven assists. Will Yeguete and Kenny Boynton led Florida with 13 points each.

Michigan hardly looked fatigued from Friday's 87-85 overtime win against No. 1 seed Kansas in the Sweet 16. John Beilein's squad rallied from a 14-point deficit to win that game, but it certainly didn't need any second-half heroics to get by the Gators.

The Wolverines led by as many as 24 points before taking a 47-30 lead into intermission. Stauskas made all six of his field goal attempts in the opening stanza. Five of them were from 3-point range. It'd be inaccurate to say that Michigan caught Florida on an off night or that it built its big lead mainly because its opponent played poorly.

The Gators were simply out-classed in terms of talent.

By losing, No. 3 seed Florida became the first team in NCAA tournament history to fall in the Elite Eight three consecutive seasons. Michigan, meanwhile, advances to play Syracuse in the national semifinals Saturday in Atlanta.

Turning point: Florida, which trailed by scores of 23-5 and 41-17 in the opening half, put a bit of a scare into Michigan after intermission. A jump shot by Boynton shaved the Wolverines' lead to 50-38, but Michigan was quick to respond with a layup from Mitch McGary. Seconds after McGary's basket, Spike Albrecht stole Florida's inbounds pass and scored on a hanging layup to make it 54-38. It was never a game after that.

Key player: Stauskas was the main reason Michigan was able to separate itself from Florida in the first half. But freshman forward McGary was the player who set the tone early by scoring eight of his team's first 11 points in game-opening 11-0 run. McGary finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Burke had 15 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals.

Key stat: Michigan went 10-of-19 from 3-point range.

Podcast: Beilein on Mike & Mike

March, 25, 2013
Michigan coach John Beilein weighs in on the Wolverines' win over VCU, preparing to face Kansas in the Sweet 16, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III and more. Listen here Listen

OSU-Michigan: One Day, One Game

March, 5, 2013
In its latest issue, ESPN The Magazine went inside the Michigan and Ohio State men's basketball programs as the teams prepared for their primetime showdown on Feb. 5.

Elena Bergeron writes about how Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke grew up in Columbus and became one who got away from the Buckeyes.

Ryan McGee writes about at the relationship between college hoops and football recruiting, noting that Michigan football coach Brady Hoke's job is made a bit easier by the Wolverines' success on the court.

Tim Keown writes that in a season so unpredictable that the weekly rankings have been knocked around like pool balls, Michigan coach John Beilein's game plan remains the same: You can never be too prepared.

Getting the banned back together: For the first time in a decade, Chris Webber will soon be allowed to reunite with the Fab Five at Michigan. Steve Wulf asks: What's stopping him?

Wayne Drehs examines whether it's Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft's defense that enrages opposing fans -- or if it's something else entirely.

Sarah Turcotte writes that Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas may drive his teammates crazy, but when the Buckeyes really need a bucket, everyone looks his way.

Jay Bilas answers the question: Where did the Big Ten's seemingly sudden power surge come from? Insider

Podcast: Trey Burke on 'SVP & Russillo'

February, 25, 2013
Michigan guard Trey Burke chats about who he models his game after, the advantages of having the sons of NBA players as teammates and what will make a successful season for the Wolverines this year. Listen here Listen

Journey to the Tourney Live

February, 2, 2013
Join us starting at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday as we discuss and debate the primetime games, including Ole Miss-Florida, Baylor-Iowa State and the Big Ten showdown in Bloomington between No. 1 Michigan and No. 3 Indiana. Send in your comments and questions and we’ll post as many of them as we can. See you there.



Michigan C Cites Concussions In Decision To Quit
Joe Schad discusses how concussions and a concern over long-term health have helped Michigan center Jack Miller decide not to play football his senior year.