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Utah Jazz notes: Ex-Wolverine Trey Burke picks Michigan over Ohio State

Published November 29, 2013 10:58 pm

Jazz notes • Point guard picks his college team over his hometown team.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Michigan is a 16-point underdog against Ohio State on Saturday in one of college football's great rivalries.

Trey Burke doesn't care.

From a truly unique perspective, the Jazz's rookie point guard is picking the Wolverines to upset the Buckeyes.

Burke attended Michigan, of course.

He was also born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.

"I'm going with Michigan," Burke said before Friday night's Jazz-Suns game. "Obviously we're the underdog and everybody at home wants me to root for Ohio State. But I want the Big Blue to win."

Burke spent two years at Michigan, meaning he was in Ann Arbor for one football visit by Ohio State.

"It was crazy," Burke said, laughing. "There was a lot of craziness going on, so I had to make sure I was away from it."

Ever since he signed with Michigan, Burke has dealt with Ohio State fans who can't imagine anyone wanting to play for the Wolverines.

"At first, being from Columbus and going to the rivalry school, I got a lot of junk for it," Burke said.

Now, however, Ohio State most fans just tease Burke about playing for Michigan and his loyalty to the Wolverines.

Said Burke: "I have a lot of people say, 'We know you're a Buckeye at heart,' and when I was growing up, I was a diehard Ohio State football fan. But it's kind of like the total opposite now. … I'm going with the Blue."

Happy for Hornacek

Former Jazz star Jeff Hornacek returned to EnergySolutions Arena for the first time as coach of the Suns on Friday night.

Along with John Stockton and Karl Malone, Hornacek anchored the best teams in Jazz history. His jersey No. 14 has been retired and hangs from the arena's rafters. The Suns were 8-7 going into the game against Utah, where Hornacek was an assistant coach for two years before taking the job in Phoenix last summer.

"I'm extremely happy he's had some success early," said Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin. "It shows what a great understanding of the game he has and his ability to get the most out of guys. … He's done a good job."

Said Utah's Gordon Hayward: "He was instrumental in my development as a player. He's a good coach. I haven't played under him. Usually it's a little different being the head coach and an assistant. But I loved having him here. He was really good to me."