ATLANTA (97.1 The Ticket) The University of Michigan’s Trey Burke — who took home numerous prestigious playing honors last week, including the AP, Oscar Robertson, Wooden and Naismith awards, took time in the locker room after his team’s NCAA championship loss to heap praise on someone else.
Spike Albrecht, who seemed to come out of nowhere to hit 17 points in the first half of the game against Louisville, earned Burke’s kudos.
“He played his tail off today, he’s a really gutsy player, a guy that can come in and control the tempo, handle the ball and make shots when he’s open,” Burke said. “We expect that out of him. I think a lot of people were shocked, we were a little shocked, but we weren’t as shocked. We’ve seen him make crazy plays in practice. I thought his play would lead into momentum going into the second half, and it did, but they had more momentum.”
Burke praised his team for playing through the bad times this season, getting through adversity and staying positive even after the big loss. The locker room was somber, but calm after the game.
“After the adversity, we grew from it, we all matured, not only as a team, but as people, and it allowed us to grow into one family and get to this point,” Burke said.
What are his plans for next season? “I don’t know really,” Burke said. “It definitely hurts and I haven’t made a decision. It’s a tricky question, I don’t want to say something I would regret, but this loss definitely hurts, we wanted a national championship so bad. We just didn’t get it done.
“Louisville is a really good team and they deserved it.”
He also praised coach John Beilein, saying it’s important that he’ll be able to put a banner in Ann Arbor’s Crisler Arena with “national championship runner-up” on it. “He was doubted about his recruiting, doubted about his ability to coach … He proved all those doubters wrong,” Burke said.