Tim unleashed a pretty killer crossover himself last night. Just was too tired to finish at the rim
The Massacre At Welsh Ryan
There were four of them, concerned—and perhaps a bit captivated—by Trey Burke's presence. Before the ball even reached his hands they converged, four Northwestern players ignoring the basic tenets of basketball defense in a desperate ploy to stop this whirling dervish.
Like a wide receiver coming out of his break, Burke planted, hard, exploding off his left foot. There was a man there harboring vague hopes of impediment, hopes that were dashed as Burke deftly whipped the ball behind his back. Screeching to a halt with one last dribble, he rose above the three remaining Wildcats and hit Nik Stauskas with a pass so pinpoint it seemed to initiate the Canadian's shooting motion.
Stauskas, naturally, drilled the corner three—a disturbing reminder to the Northwestern Four that, my god, Trey Burke has accomplices.
At this point, Burke had already scored 13 points on 5-6 shooting—his only miss a Kobe Assist—and recorded two steals. He'd just committed two turnovers so uncharacteristic that ESPN's cameras later caught Burke in the huddle looking less angry than befuddled. Retribution was swift, and Michigan now led 25-9.
The rest of the proceedings were purely academic.
Burke's final stat line—23 points, four rebounds, five assists, four steals—somehow belies his dominance. If he so desired, he could've scored 40; just ask Dave Sobolewski, victimized by so many Burke crossovers I'd no less blame him for quitting the game than Vincent Smith after the Clowney hit.
Instead, all five Michigan starters finished in double figures while shooting a combined 64.5%, a number that would've been even higher had Stauskas not surprisingly missed a few wide-open looks. Burke had done what he needed to secure victory with his opening foray; for the rest of the game he played the role of setup man, interspersing attacks to remind Northwestern whom they had to focus their attention upon.
2012-13 was supposed to be the Year of Prodigious Talent, the convergence of a pair of future NBA players with Michigan's best freshman class since the Fab Five. It still is, of course. But more than that, it's the Year of Trey Burke, Virtuoso. Come for the potential Final Four team, stay for the once-in-a-generation point guard.
Burke, quite literally, brought Northwestern to their knees. Ever the merciful killer, it took him a matter of minutes to put the Wildcats out of their misery. Surrounded by a fearsome gang—The Mississauga Sniper, Spawn of Killer Crossover, Spawn of Big Dog, The Big Puppy—he prepares to rampage through the Big Ten.
Consider the Massacre at Welsh-Ryan a warning.
I've been more and more impressed with Levert, did you notice his burke impression at the end of the game with his step back three that left him about 10 feet of room on his defender?
The close to this write up was awesome Ace.
That seemed forced.
Tenets, not tennants. Though the mental imagery, to be honest, amuses...
Whoops. Thanks for that.
OK. I pondered whether or not to get into that, just because the slight mishap detracted not a whit to the overall and complete destruction of our overmatched opponent.
Keep up the excellent content, young man!
1. I really like your passion and creativity.
2. It's "tenets" unless you are actually living at Welsh-Ryan.
3. I honestly found the use of the term "Massacre" in the title and the related violent metaphors used throughout your post off-putting. Particularly in light of recent events.
And yet you seem to be ok with the term "shooting" for throwing a ball into a basket.
Such words forever, or just until you and others like you, tell us it is okay to start using them again? Of course, that time will never come because there will be still another senseless killing somewhere.
Check your privilege, cis scum.
keep those thoughts to yourself....this is already a place of political correctness (sometimes too PC for my taste)
To be mean, but Vincent Smith is in fact quitting the game after the Clowney hit.
Only 5 assists for Burke? Seems like he had at least 8 or so
I have not enjoyed watching a college player like that for a while. He is so in control and aware of how the pieces work in that complex offense, I am just in awe when I see him play.
Is Sobocop lining up on the D-Line against Burke in that pic? That won't end well.
tried and failed at covering Burke a number of times in the game, that photo is just one of many instances where Burke faked him right out of his shorts.
Just commenting on another interpretation of what Sobocop is doing in that photo. Thought it was entertaining.
I hope the next player who considers going pro after a good but not great year takes a look at what Burke is doing for his draft status. The arguement for leaving last year was "he's not going to get any taller so he might as well go now" seems pretty hollow given the comparisons now to Chris Paul and his possible lottery selection. He has moved his probable income significantly simply by staying put and getting much, much better.
It will be interesting to see the difference in guarenteed money and career length between Morris and Burke given that one left after his one good year and one stayed and became great.
Just positing a theory...would Darius have shown the same learning/growth curve by staying? My sense is it's hard to say/confirm with any semblance of certainty. We know M definitely could have used his talent, fo sho. Sometimes, the player needs to buy into his coaches direction, rather than his own teenage knuckleheadedness (see BWC for a prime example)...and Jake Long for the other end of the spectrum. Different strokes for different (or diff'rent) folks!
an outsider, to control for here. Sorry, but this meme should be put out of its misery.
In case we need to repeat--Darius has been starting for the LA Lakers recently. He had a million issues to deal with, including family and advice from the pros. Stop being silly.
But you correctly point out that everyone who said "he can't get any better, he can't get bigger, he can't increase his stock" aren't really any more in the know than people who say "he should come back." But in this case it's readily apparent that coming back was a good idea.
...who's to say Burke would be this good without the experience he gained being "forced" to play after Morris left? He would've gotten a year of learning the offense behind Morris, but doing beats watching 9 times out of 10.
Just my 2¢.
Many like to make fun of Mitch McGary's so called clumsiness. I ain't buyin' it. Think of the number of times he has taken the ball away out on the perimeter; McGary has more steals at the top of the key in 14 games than Jordan Morgan has in his career. He is either quicker than he looks, blessed with great anticipation, or both. Every game this guy gets his hands on a couple of balls, proceeding to ignite a fast break opportunity. The kicker is he is getting his steals using bad fundamentals. McGary's steal at the top of the key last night was a good example. He should be using his left arm to bat the ball away, instead, he consistently reaches for the ball across his body with his right hand. Watch out if he gets his fundamentals down.
was how we came out for a B1G road game and played seriously throughout the game.
That's what championship level teams do, they put the gauntlet down and never look back.
I really, really like our chances against anyone we face. This might go down as my favorite M B-Ball squad ever and that's saying something.
Ace - awesome game write up. Just wanted to say I love your writing. Keep up the great work!
Just wanted to log in for the first time in over a year to complement Ace on the post game writeup. Great read, thanks for giving me goosebumps.
I have attended every game aside from this one this year. It seems that we lose a step in the 2nd half but regain our lead in the last 5 minutes. Did NW go on a run at all in the 2nd half?
ESPN full play by play lives here:
The closest thing to a run was the first 1:05 of the 2nd half, when NW outscored Michigan 6-2. At the 18:55 mark of the 2nd half, NW got to within 17 points (53-36). Michigan scored the next 10 points and the lead never got below 20 points the rest of the game.
taste, but if you're going to be this flowery you usually want to leaven it with a little irony, not just worship at the shrine of all things UM. The scary thing about this team for me is that they can still get so much better.
With a team like this, how ironic can you be? The ESPN announcers gushed even more during the game. It may be time to leave the snark aside and just enjoy the moment.
If flowery pose and hero worship were a normal occurrence on this blog, I'd agree.. but one of the reasons I enjoy reading this blog is the healthy perspective Brian, Ace, and company share. Michigan just won a road Big Ten game by its largest margin in over 40 years. If you're a Michigan basketball fan and you can't get excited by that, I'm not sure what to tell you.
Sure, the defense is imperfect, but the offense just rose to #1 in KenPom's efficiency ratings, and Ace is hardly the only person who noticed that this was the most complete game the team has played all season. And, yes, the team can get better -- but, with the possible exception of the CMU game, they have gotten better, pretty much every game. If Stauskas's open looks went down at his normal rate, and a couple of other shots rimmed in instead of rimming out, this game could easily have been a 40+ point win, on the road, in under 70 possessions, in a gym where Michigan has struggled over the past several years.
I say, let the hyperbole fly -- but it's tough being hyperbolic about Burke. He's just been that good.
[Edited for pronoun referential integrity]
Ace is not being flowery. Burke and this team are THAT good.
This team says all the right things, but their eyes growl "bring it" and their game backs it up. Cannot wait for Sunday noon.
I got Goosebumps a couple times while reading...
Exclusive slow motion in-game footage of Michigan's starting 5:
but trey burke reminds me so much of isiah thomas. keep in mind what isiah did his soph year at IU.