- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
Trey Burke is contemplating whether or not to leave Michigan for the NBA. At least one former Wolverines point guard with experience in pro basketball would like to see him stick around for at least one more year.
“Absolutely, for so many reasons,” said former Michigan guard Jalen Rose, now an ESPN NBA analyst. “Number one, to play at a high level and play some meaningful games and to make a run in the NCAA tournament and put the school and team in a position to get to the next level.
“It was great that we were tri-champions of the Big Ten, but 32 teams in the NCAA tournament win their conference. As much as we care in Big Ten country, people in the Pac-12 don’t care because Washington won their conference and didn’t make the NCAA tournament.”
It goes beyond team aspirations for Rose, who left Michigan after three seasons and went on to have a 13-year career in the NBA. Rose sees parts of Burke’s game that can transition well to the NBA.
But Rose said Burke isn’t quite there yet. Rose said he thinks Burke could benefit from more development on the college level before making the jump.
There were multiple things Rose rattled off when asked where Burke can improve.
“Playing off pick-and-roll, knocking down 15-to-18 foot shots consistently, breaking down his defender and finishing at the rim or dropping it off to a big for a layup or a dunk,” Rose said. “Defending his position and closing games and developing into a leader I know he can be.”
Rose, too, knows what Michigan might have next season when Michigan could have a team led by Burke, junior swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. and a highly-touted freshman class featuring forwards Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III.
Burke is contemplating this decision after leading Michigan in scoring and assists this season -- a rarity in the Big Ten over the past 30 years. He also set a school record for assists by a freshman with 156, breaking a record set by Gary Grant 27 years ago.
“I hope he comes back and plays another year or two,” Rose said. “I do see some traits that show he can perform at the next level but hopefully he comes back and continues to develop. As with all young players, there are definitely things he can improve on if he comes back to school for another year or two to do that.
“He and Tim Hardaway Jr., those are the two players that can lead the next wave. They have a very good recruiting class coming in here. Hopefully, he stays to be a part of that.”