Q & A With Trey Burke

Trey Burke

Trey Burke (Brian Babineau/NBAE)

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — Trey Burke was the biggest star of the NCAA Tournament and the first point guard selected in the 2013 Draft. So he should have been one of the best players at the Orlando Summer League. Instead, Burke shot just 13-for-54 (24 percent) and made just one of his 19 3-point attempts. It was a rough start to Burke’s NBA career, at least in terms of his shooting.

Still, Burke will likely be the starting point guard when the Utah Jazz open their season against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 30. With the departures of Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Mo Williams, the Jazz are going young. The 23-year-old Gordon Hayward should be their oldest starter.

Earlier this month, I spoke with Burke at the annual Rookie Photo Shoot, where his fellow rooks voted him as the best playmaker in the class:

NBA.com: How would you grade your summer league performance?
Burke: I’ll say D+, because I feel like I did good in all my other areas, but I just shot poorly. Why? I don’t know. I’ve never shot that poorly before. I think I lost a little bit of confidence after the first game, not shooting well and then trying to adjust to the new system, new players and stuff like that. Besides the shooting part, I think I did pretty well. But I still don’t think it was any higher than a C.

NBA.com: What kind of feedback did you get from your coaches?
Burke: The coaches felt like I did good. Honestly, my shooting percentage wasn’t what they were expecting, watching my play at Michigan. But as far as running the team, getting the team into sets, picking my spots out there on the court, they think I did a really good job at that.

NBA.com: What do they want you to do before camp starts?
Burke: Just continue to stay consistent with my shot, which, in my opinion, isn’t a problem with me … as well as making that play right when it’s there, not taking that extra dribble … getting the ball up the court with a certain amount of time on the shot clock. I think that’s a big adjustment for me, the time going from 35 seconds to 24 seconds. That’s a lot of time.

NBA.com: Do you watch a lot of film?
Burke: I watch a lot of film.

NBA.com: Yourself or other players?
Burke: I watched a lot of myself last year. This summer, I watched a lot of Tony Parker, a lot of Chris Paul and how they’re so successful in pick-and-rolls. I felt like I was really good at Michigan. Now I’m trying to take it to that next level.

NBA.com: With the moves the Jazz have made, it’s your show. You ready for that?
Burke: Absolutely. I love challenges and this is one of the biggest challenges of my life. I’ve prepared for this challenge. I’m definitely looking forward to going in there and making an impact right away.

NBA.com: Is there a lot of pressure because you’re the starting point guard or not so much because expectations are low for the team?
Burke: I think it’s both. But with my mind set, I love to win, so I plan on winning. As bold as that sounds, I just plan on winning. I think it’s only pressure if you put the pressure on yourself. If I go out there trying to please the fans, trying please the coaching staff, rather than just playing my game, that’s where the pressure comes. But I think I’ll do just fine.


  1. #1KobeH8R says:

    Trey was great in summer league…!!! He’s stronger than Lillard so he doesn’t have to hog the ball and score as much, but needs to be able to create space for his awesome jumper…!!!!

    Did you see his block in the NCAA Title game???? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=db9zG9zzPJw

  2. Zeak says:

    He’s confident and that’s important. Burke and Burks should be a solid backcourt in the future. Add that with Hayward, Favors and Kanter… This team could be solid for years to come. Time will tell though. Tough to say if all 5 will pan out in the long run. Having 2 picks in 2014’s stacked draft should be big for Utah. If they have these guys, add a few more young players out of the 2014 draft and add some solid vets in next years (very flexible) summer, this team could be a serious contender in the next 3-4 years.

  3. Johnny says:

    I think Alec Burks should be the starter. He played terrific on both sides of the court last season, better than Mo Williams in my opinion. unless the lineup would be Burke at PG, Burks at SG, Hayward at SF, Favors at PF, and Kanter at Center. I honestly think this team can win 35-40 games, which isn’t horrible.

  4. Gary says:

    His learning curve will be steep,starting at the get-go. But, it will benefit him greatly. John Stockton didn’t start until his 3rd season, of course Ricky Green was pretty good then, and look where he ended up. Not saying Burke will be like Stockton, but, by his 3rd season, he could be pretty dang good. There will be plenty of downers for him this season, but he will learn from his mistakes, and grow into a very good player for the Jazz. His maturity level seems pretty high. I expect great things from him over the course of his career.

  5. Jon says:

    I think he’ll be fine. A lot of great players struggled in the summer league and their first year in the league. He and his young team will definitely have some growing pains, and it will be a rough season, but it will help them in the long run to get some experience under their belts.

  6. Randall says:

    I like how the Jazz got rid of all the old players who aren’t going anywhere. When we gave AK a max k was the beginning of a decade of mediocrity in Utah (2007 season notwithstanding- we got lucky to get where we were. Imagine if we had some free cash to get some depth on the team. AK was ok and all.. but what a head case post 2003). We need a veteran presence to steady the ship and win games, so i’ll take these off-season moves as our official entry to 2013’s Great Race To The Bottom.

  7. Chris says:

    I like how he was honest about his Summer League performance.