|Burke out-dueling the opposition (w/video)|
Michigan's sophomore floor general, Trey Burke, has been the nice, steady hand John Beilein loves for his offense. Tuesday night, in a win over Western Michigan, Burke continued his efficient ways.
As Western Michigan took the floor of Crisler Center Tuesday night, with a little over an hour until tip, the Broncos were prepared to continue doing what they'd done throughout their 6 and 1 start to the 2012-13 season: play tough man to man defense. Western had every intention of throwing the kitchen sink at Michigan sophomore Trey Burke to disrupt his and the Wolverines' offensive flow. In the early going it appeared the Broncos defensive strategy could give them a chance, but Michigan punched back and left no doubt in the 73-41 win.
"They countered, and for the most part it was Trey Burke," said Western Michigan Coach Steve Hawkins. "There are some players that take a few possessions to adjust to a change in game plan against him, but Trey Burke sees it and counters it right away, and it ends up in an open shot for someone. He's a big-time player that makes everyone better."
Admittedly, Burke had an idea of what to expect out of the Western Michigan defense leading up to the game, but was able to adjust to their D quickly and attack in other areas leading, to open shots for himself,] as well as the rest of the team.
"I think they were giving me the elbow jump shot, and that's a shot I've been working on with Coach Vall," said Burke. "He told me that that shot would be there. And once they started taking that away, that's when I would kick it out. I don't ever really look for my offense."
"Our offense has enough pick and roll action in there to create plays for us."
Burke finished the night with 20 points on 8 for 11 shooting from the field along with 7 assists and, for the second game in a row at home, no sign of a turnover.
"Last two games --- 18 assists and no turnovers at Crisler," said Beilein. "Check your record books time. I don't think anybody has gone 18 straight assists without a turnover, and that's pretty impressive. But he's got an edge of toughness, and he's got a pace to him that he understands when we need him to do more and when we need him to find all these good shooters we've got around him, or a pick and roll guy."
Freshman center Mitch McGary was on the receiving end of one of Burke's needle threading passes off pick and roll action that lead to a wide open two-handed slam.
"It's vital for us bigs to have a point guard with such talent as Trey, just to find us when we're open," said McGary. "If we set good screens he's going to repay us with the ball and get an assist for him too."
Burke and the Wolverines must be ready to be pressured on both ends of the floor, as Arkansas travels to Ann Arbor Saturday for a noon tip-off on CBS.
To watch video of Coach Beilein's post game press conference, press play below.