Some thought Breitbart Sports was premature in naming Trey Burke the College Basketball Most Valuable Player 43 days ago, when speculation was focused on other players. But Thursday the Associated Press sports writers agreed, naming Burke their Player of the Year. By the end of the season (see March 13 post) Breitbart Sports moved Otto Porter to No. 2 behind Burke, and again the AP voters agreed in results released today.
Porter scored only 9.7 points per game last season, but was still picked by Breitbart Sports to surprise as Player of the Year before the season started.
Burke had so dominated in Value Add that it was clear by February 20 he would end up as the most valuable player in the country. His ability to play against the toughest competition in the country in the Big Ten, and score 20 points or dish out many assists to his young teammates indicated he was way ahead of other players.
In the tournament his performance against Kansas was one of the most dominant performances witnessed in the NCAA that included a step back three-pointer from almost 30 feet to send the game to overtime, showing his true value.
He became the first player since Billy Donovan to score 20 and give out 10 assists to get his team to the Elite 8, and then he dominated now-Coach Donovan’s Florida Gators to take Michigan to the Final Four.
Miami’s Jim Larranaga was named Coach of the Year. Breitbart Sports does not give out coaching awards, but the fact that Larranaga took the Hurricanes to the ACC regular season and tournament title despite the fact that Value Add indicated there were better teams in the conference makes him a fitting recipient. As predicted by Breitbart Sports, Miami did eventually lose to Marquette in the Sweet 16.