Burke settling into leadership role (w/video)

Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke didn't take long to baptize himself as a frosh in Ann Arbor last fall. This year, the Co-Big Ten Freshmen of the Year is in a different position, as a veteran and leader.

In a year most Michigan basketball fans expected John Beilein's offense to struggle without an experienced point guard leading the way, the 2011-12 Wolverines had a feather in its cap that no one on the outside could see in true freshmen point guard Trey Burke.

Burke, who averaged nearly 15 points and 5 assists a game as a freshman, was so productive on the court the NBA became a distinct possibility and one that Burke and his family were forced to at least take a peek at.

Ultimately deciding to stay in school one more year, Burke used the off-season as one giant training camp, working to improve his game for his own future but also for what he hopes to accomplish in his time at Michigan.

"It was a hectic process, but I've been settled for a couple months now with the team," said Burke at the team's media day Wednesday. "And I've been able to adjust. We're just trying to get better every single day. We're working harder everyday and we're ready for practice to start."

"I'm definitely ready for this season," Burke went on. "I'm pumped. I'm really excited, and the level of talent we have --- I'm excited to see how far we can go."

After spending a significant amount of time at basketball camps during the summer run by names including Deron Williams, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, Burke worked tirelessly to improve his own game and smoothly settle into a leadership role for the Wolverines.

"A year ago it was kind of forced," said Burke. "Zack and Stu were here so I didn't really have to step up as much as I do now. But now it's kind of more natural. I've been watching a lot of film on our offense and things like that. I'm just trying to teach the freshmen at a faster pace."

The summer practices were a big help to Burke in this regard. "It helped me be more of a vocal leader," Burke said. "I realized how much they stressed the fact of how important it is for a point guard to be vocal and to lead his team."

Adding a few nuances and tweaks to his game throughout the summer, Burke also spent his fair share of time in the weight room, tacking on a few extra pounds of muscle that should benefit him especially come Big Ten season.

Head coach John Beilein, said, "He weighs 190, and it is a good 190."

"Trey has really worked his body stronger," added Beilein. "If you watch the game right now, he is involved in so many ball screens ,and he has the ball so much. The point guard has to be in a similar type of shape as a middle linebacker (or) a running back that is running it 40 times a game."

Burke and his new frame will enter the season with through-the-roof expectations that may include a top five preseason ranking nationally. With all the talk of a possible final four appearance and the added love the Wolverines are receiving, inside the William Davidson Player Development Center the focus is on anything but the press clippings.

"That's another thing I love about this team," said Burke. "All the preseason accolades and awards --- we're not getting caught up in that. We have grounded and humble players, and I think that's a good thing. That's a good sign, and I think that'll help us out and keep us grounded when we have our highs during the season and when we have our lows."

To watch video of Burke from media day Wednesday, press play below.

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