ATLANTA -- Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke is picking up more hardware of late than the incessant, tool hungry 90's sitcom character,"Tim the Tool Man Taylor" from "Home Improvement."
But Burke isn't pounding his chest, grunting, clamoring for, "more power."
First Team All-American, AP National Player of the Year, John R. Wooden Award and U.S. Basketball Writers Oscar Robertson trophy for Division One National Player of the Year -- Big Ten Player of the Year is almost a forgotten honor at this point. To Burke, the awards should have 14 other players and four coaches names right along side his own.
"Great accomplishments," said Burke Friday. "But my teammates and coaching staff -- they put me in this position. I wouldn't be able to receive those awards without them. I wouldn't even be in that talk.”
Burke's teammates haven't noticed a difference in his approach either, marveling at his ability to put all of the attention aside as the Wolverines continue their Final Four run Saturday night at 8:49pm/EST against Syracuse.
“That’s obviously a little surprising because you think, anyone winning that many awards and getting all of that attention -- you would think it goes their head a little bit,” said freshman Nik Stauskas. “Trey’s just another part of this team, he acts like everyone else, he doesn’t put himself above anyone, he’s out there, he’s a team player, and he’s working hard.
“At the end of the day, he wants to win the national championship and he would take that over any of the awards any day.”
Most players might succumb to the expectations and pressure that come with such historic individual honors, but Burke embraces the pressure, unfazed by the hoard of interested and critical eyes that will be glued to the television with every dribble. He, along with his team, is just trying to reach the goal they set from day one.
“The first couple meetings, that was one of our goals, was to get to Atlanta and compete for a national championship,” said Burke. “Now that we’re here, we just have to take full advantage of it -- just be focused.”
Syracuse sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams doesn’t agree that Burke can completely set aside all of the pressure, come Saturday night. During Friday's media session at the Georgia Dome, Carter-Williams brushed off any notion that his 'match-up' with Burke will cast any sort of added pressure on his own shoulders.
"It's going to be a great challenge for me," said Carter-Williams. "There's no pressure on me. He's got a lot of pressure on him to come off Player of the Year and hold up expectations and such.
"I have no pressure, so I'm just going out there, playing freely and enjoying myself."
Burke wasn't taking the bait when it was his turn in front of the microphone, simply stating, "If you're not confident in the Final Four, then you shouldn't be here."
Freshman center Mitch McGary hopes Burke feels a little bit of pressure, after all it took an unbelievably pressure packed shot to save Michigan's season just one week ago in Arlington.
"He might feel some pressure when Aaron Craft’s guarding him on the ball, but I think Trey is going to do just fine this game,” said McGary. “He’s one of our leaders on the team, he stays poised no matter what -- he came back and hit that big three versus Kansas.
“I don’t think he freaked out once.”
Sticking to the on the court evaluation, Burke see's the obvious NBA potential Carter-Williams possesses.
"He's definitely a game changer," said Burke. "At 6-6 at the point guard position, definitely tough to defend. He does a great job of getting his teammates involved and scoring when he can. He's also really good on the defensive end.”
To watch video of Burke from Friday, press play below.