Is Burke the Leader of Michigan?
After a stellar summer for Team USA, many analysts predicted a breakout season for sophomore wing Tim Hardaway Jr. of Michigan. With the loss of All-Big Ten guard Darius Morris, who led the team in points and assists per game last season, Hardaway would be counted on not to handle a bulk of the scoring load, but the playmaking as well. With four returning starters, Jim Beilein surely wouldn't just hand the reins to the team over to a freshman point guard, would he?
That's exactly what he has done with first-year Wolverine Trey Burke and things could have worked better thus far. Michigan is 12-2 with a 7-point loss to Duke in Maui and then a loss to now-ranked Virginia on the road in Charlottesville. Meanwhile, Burke's numbers are very similar to that of the 2010-11 team-leader Morris with 14 points per game, second on the team behind Hardaway Jr. and 5 assists per game.
While Burke is not as dynamic of a playmaker as Morris, nor as explosive, he is still getting his shooters the ball in drive-and-kick situations and most recently, Coach Beilein is letting Burke dominate the ball in the half-court setting, asking him to run the offense as well as pick-up even more scoring.
First 8 Games: 11.3 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 41.9 field-goal percentage
Last 6 Games: 17.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 50.0 field-goal percentage
By President Corey Ruff - 1 - 5 - 12