A cursory glance doesn't reveal many similarities between Michigan basketball and Michigan hockey these days. After all, one team took the court this weekend with a share of the B1G title on the line and fans that lined up something like 22 hours before tip-off. The other team took the ice this weekend with no title on the line and not even a live televised feed of their games.
Take a closer look, though, and some broad similarities appear. Basketball and hockey are both games of runs. It's just the way the game goes when there are no pre-established offensive and defensive turns. You hit and you'll get hit back. You exert pressure and that pressure will eventually be exerted on you. Michigan basketball ended on the wrong side of a run, suffering a knockout punch that was one part bad luck and two parts missed opportunity. Michgan hockey, on the other hand, survived the inevitable pressure Northern Michign exerted after Michigan took a 3-0 lead.
A 3-0 first period lead wasn't something the Wolverines could rest on. Too many times this season they've taken an early lead only to be swept away by the undertow of another team's run, late goals and late pressure that were too much to overcome. With their postseason hanging in the balance Michigan responded on Friday, doing what was sufficient and holding serve in the third period to weather the storm and in the process made that dim glimmer of hope we hold that Michigan can extend its NCAA tournament streak to 23 consecutive seasons a little brighter.
I'll try to get a GBGA of Saturday's game up....sometime. Not sure when, but I'm working on it. Look forward to more pictures, more laughs, and most importantly moooooooooore goals.
(Burke photo cred: Julian Gonzalez, Detroit Free Press)
Since we're on the brink of TB's last days in a UM uniform (barring his talk with Lewan) I thought I'd like to remind everyone of the journey. Belein took him as a lowly-rated 3* steal from PSU after his decommitment. Then, we got The Journey to Ann Arbor, where he showed his skills. Prior to this point, Michigan was sitting on a scholarship to Carlton Brundidge, a previous 5*, who was now rated as a 4*. To say the least, before these videos came out, I assumed Brundidge would be the starter. However, the videos soon surfaced:
(you'll find the rest on the links)
And then, his freshman year:
And then the Chris Paul Camp, the LeBron James Camp, etc. We knew he was poised for a great return, and boy was he ever. Gentlemen, I present The History of Trey Burke, perhaps the greatest Wolverine PG ever. I hope this little jaunt through history will remind us all of how blessed we are to have gotten this kid.
Congrats to Trey Burke for being named first team All-American by Sporting News. The others: Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga), Otto Porter (Georgetown), and Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State).
Also, reports on Twitter are that Burke will be named Big Ten player of the year tonight:
Hearing from several sources that U-M PG Trey Burke, one of five finalists for the Cousy Award, will be awarded Big Ten POY tonight. #bookit— Chris Balas (@Balas_Wolverine) March 11, 2013
The other five finalists on the list are: Syracuse's Michael Carter-Williams, Saint Mary's Matthew Dellavedova, Miami's Shane Larkin and Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart.
The Cousy Award will be announced during Final Four weekend.
EDIT: It seems likely that Burke will eventually gain consensus first-team All-American status. According to the Michigan record book, here's the select company he would join:
Cazzie Russell 1965
Cazzie Russell 1966
Rickey Green 1977
Gary Grant 1988
Chris Webber* 1993
Many of you probably also follow UMHoops.com. They recently posted UM PG commit Derrick Walton's senior year highlights. He's the favorite for Michigan POY.
If you haven't watched this video yet - watch it. It is hard to find a better highlight video for a true point guard. *
First, I hope Trey Burke comes back next year. Second, if I were his father, I would tell him to get his butt to the NBA. He is ready. Assuming Trey is gone....
I think UM reloads with Derrick Walton - I'm really excited about Derrick Walton next year. His game is amazing and in many ways closely resembles that of Trey Burke. His vision is outstanding. He not only finds the open man, but can find them in a lot of traffic and delivers the ball at the best location for the shooter. His jump shot looks more than smooth - very Burke smooth. Great handle on the ball. Oneof the things I was most impressed with was his ability to play under control - something that Burke has really improved this year. He has a very nice little bunny floater that Trey has utilized all year - it might be Trey's best shot this year. His body control while driving to the basket is phenominal.
I love true point guards - those that really can control the game, have high assists, and make their teammates better. We've had plenty of good point guards lately, none better than Trey Burke. We might be getting spoiled, in fact, but I don't mind. Looking at Derrick Walton, I feel that we will have another point guard who will be able to equally measure the quality we've been expecting from that position. Assuming only Burke leaves, next year should be a great year for UM basketball:
1. Walton / Spike
2. THJ (B1G POY candidate) / Levert / Zac Irvin
3. Stauskas / Levert / Zac Irvin
4. GRIII / McGary
5. Morgan / McGary
Am I really talking about next year? Better than watching that painful MSU / Wiscy game. But I'm not bypassing this year. This Sunday is the biggest regular season game we've had in decades.
*disclaimer: highlight tape viewed / lowlight tape not viewed.
Nice piece over on ESPN.
Edit: Also some good Burke fluff. They are loving us this week:
So the pic on the front page, now attributed to Melanie Maxwell, seemed like it needed better captions than just welp X 4. So I did this instead.
And yes, the colors on Trey's text blurb are the acceptable Michigan hues.