Sentiment aside, Trey Burke must declare for the 2013 NBA draft rather than return to Michigan for another season with the Wolverines.
"For myself, I'm not sure," Burke said. "I haven't made a decision. I'm not really thinking about it, honestly. I'm thinking about a loss. It hurts to be here."
You have to believe Burke would love to have another chance to bring home a national title to Michigan. The Wolverines came so close to attaining that goal this year, and it will take a long time to get the foul taste of losing out of their mouths.
If Michigan were to somehow keep all its young players for next season, it would certainly be one of the heavy favorites to get back to the Final Four.
Along with Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary represent one heck of a starting lineup that would theoretically only get better with one more season under its belt.
That said, nothing in life is guaranteed—just ask Matt Leinart and Matt Barkley, two quarterbacks from USC who made the decision to stay in school for one more year just to see their draft stock tumble in their final year at school.
Burke has nothing left to prove at the collegiate level besides winning a championship. He swept every major national player of the year award, according to Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press, who wrote:
Michigan’s star sophomore guard closed out the awards tonight by winning the Naismith Award... That gives Burke all the major national player of the year awards—the Associated Press announced Thursday, the Oscar Robertson from the USBWA and the Wooden.
As of April 3, 2013, Burke is the No. 7 player on Chad Ford's big board on ESPN.com (Insider protected). He is an all-around excellent point guard who knows how to run an offense and get his teammates involved.
Nobody will be surprised if Burke ends up getting drafted in the top five in this year's draft, should he declare. He needs to take advantage of the positive momentum he currently has and take his talents to the NBA in 2013.
Nobody will fault him for any decision he makes—it's his to make. Whether he stays at Michigan or leaves for the NBA, there is no "wrong" choice.
That said, a decision to stay at Michigan could backfire. Burke could get injured and/or have a down year statistically, potentially costing himself money at the next level.
No matter how much he'll be tempted, Burke would be smart to take his exceptional talents to the NBA in 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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