Jan 2, 2012, 10:50 PM EDT
The future is now with Trey Burke.
Michigan’s point guard is defying conventional wisdom surrounding freshmen point guards. Most have uneven seasons, accompanied by occasional flashes of brilliance. Burke’s pretty much been the opposite. He’s been fantastic with occasional missteps.
“His poise is really good,” Michigan coach John Beilein told the Ann Arbor Times. “There are times he gets flustered and disappointed with himself, but it’s very brief and he moves on.
“He’s one of the rare guys, because usually that’s an acquired trait.”
That’s been crucial for the Wolverines (12-2). They sorely needed a point guard to run Beilein’s offense.
Burke stepped into Darius Morris’ role and done so seamlessly with a 2-1 assist-to-turnover ratio while playing the most minutes of any Wolverine. (No small feat given Zack Novak and Stu Douglass rarely step off the court.) His 14.0 points a game are second on the team, just behind Tim Hardaway Jr.
If not for Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Burke’d be the Big Ten’s brightest freshman star. Though after a few more games like Sunday’s 27-point outburst against Minnesota and Burke will blow right by Zeller. Expect nothing less from the “fearless” freshman.
When everyone else struggled against the Gophers, Burke delivered with a much-needed offensive burst that was an impressive mix of jumpers and getting to the basket. If his offensive game opens things up for Hardaway, forward Jordan Morgan or any of the outside shooters, Michigan may very well contend for the Big Ten title.
And a freshman will lead them. Even his teammates know it.
“We just sit there and smirk whenever he hits a tough shot,” Douglass said. “If you ever see Trey get down, it’s rare.
“Confidence is the best part of his game, and we completely trust him.”
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
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