Oct. 25, 2012
By Morgan Bailey
Throughout his freshman season, point guard Trey Burke consistently grabbed the attention of media, fans and the Big Ten Conference. In addition to being named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by the media, Associated Press All-America honorable mention, and a unanimous selection to the Big Ten All-Freshman team, Burke was honored as Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times throughout the season. With just one week until the opening tipoff of the 2012-2013 season, Burke is already gathering recognition once again.
The Big Ten Conference announced the members of the Preseason All-Big Ten Team Thursday (Oct. 25), and Burke was one of the five players selected. Honoring the best players in the league at the beginning of the season, the preseason team is voted on by three media personnel from each conference institution. Burke is joined in this honor by senior guard Tim Frazier (Penn State), junior guard Aaron Craft (Ohio State), junior forward Deshaun Thomas (Ohio State) and sophomore forward Cody Zeller (Indiana), who was selected as the preseason Player of the Year.
"It is definitely an honor," Burke commented on the award. "Players like Tim Frazier and Aaron Craft are great point guards in the conference. Just to be in that category and to be compared to those guys and that caliber of players means a lot."
"Going into the season I know we have more important things to think about," Burke said. "As far as this team goes, I think we can go a long way. I appreciate the award -- it is a blessing and an honor, but I am focused on winning and doing what is best for the team."
Penn State's senior guard Tim Frazier led the Big Ten in assists and was second in the league in scoring and steals last season. "It is a great honor to be named to the preseason team and categorized with these guys," Frazier remarked. "To be named with these guys, it's perfect."
Aaron Craft is entering his junior year at Ohio State, where he garnered Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year accolades last season, along with being named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team in 2011 and 2012. In regards to being honored with fellow Big Ten players, Craft commented, "It's a great honor, definitely a humbling experience. Trey Burke is only a sophomore, but he has definitely established himself as one of the best players in the league."
Fellow Buckeye Deshaun Thomas is returning for his junior campaign at Ohio State after considering entering the NBA draft last season. Thomas also recognized Burke and the work he has done to deserve this preseason honor. "To be grouped with guys like Tim Frazier and Trey Burke is a great accomplishment," Thomas remarked.
After sharing the Freshman of the Year title with Burke last season, Cody Zeller begins the 2012-13 campaign as the preseason Player of the Year. "Burke is definitely a very talented player," Zeller remarked. "It's tough going from high school to college, but both of us did that pretty well. It says a lot about him, he is definitely very competitive. It was a great honor to win that award with him."
In addition to announcing the preseason team, the conference announced the Big Ten preseason team rankings. Indiana currently stands atop the list with Michigan coming in at No. 2 and Ohio State third.
"It's good that we're getting that type of recognition right now," Burke remarked. "But I know that with that type of recognition, bad recognition can come as well. We have a target on our back and we're ready to get the season started."
The Wolverines begin their season on Thursday, Nov. 1, in an exhibition game against Northern Michigan at the newly renovated Crisler Center. Michigan is entering the season ranked fifth in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.