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Trey Burke is returning to Michigan

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Ohio v Michigan

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 16: Trey Burke #3 of the Michigan Wolverines takes a shot against D.J. Cooper #5 of the Ohio Bobcats during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 16, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Michigan’s freshman point guard Trey Burke has announced on Monday that he will return to school for sophomore season.

Burke averaged 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists in his first season in maize and blue while leading the Wolverines to a share of the Big Ten regular season title. It was a performance that earned him Big Ten Freshman of the Year and second-team All-Big Ten honors. In a year with a weak point guard class, that may have been enough to get the 5-foot-11 Burke into the first round.

But as of now, he’s coming back to school.

“I have so much more to develop as both a student and athlete, and there is no better place to do that than here at Michigan,” Burke said in a statement. “I love my Michigan family and am really excited about playing with my teammates and our incoming freshmen. I want to thank my parents, my teammates and my coaches for the patience and guidance they gave me since this process began a few weeks ago.”

This news is not official yet. Remember, with the new rule that the NCAA has implemented regarding entering the NBA Draft, the kids have to announce their return prior to April 10th. The NBA allows them to declare for the draft until April 28th, however, which gives Burke almost three weeks to change his mind. Every report since the Michigan season ended with a first round loss to Ohio has said that Burke was heavily considering entering the draft. His father was quoted extensively back in March on the subject. Press release aside, I wouldn’t count out the possibility of Burke entering the draft.

Assuming that he does return to school, Michigan all of a sudden looks like a Final Four contender and a challenger to Ohio State and Indiana at the top of the Big Ten. Tim Hardaway Jr. returns alongside Burke, as does starting center Jordan Morgan. While John Beilein lost a number of players to transfer and graduation, he does bring in arguably the best recruiting class of his career. Forwards Glenn Robinson Jr. and Mitch McGary are blue-chippers and five-star prospects, while Nik Stauskas is another top 100 recruit.

The Big Ten looks like it will, once again, be the best conference in college basketball next season.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.