Burke-Floor General and Defense

Submitted by DirkMcGurk on April 7th, 2013 at 8:39 AM
What a game. Now the stats don't agree, but he did what we needed him to do. He ran the offense and didn't force things like early in the year. He was a floor general and that is as much a reason we won as any. Love seeing him mature and understand the game. Now against Louisville he can pour in 20+. Go Blue Edit: fixed title for those with issues


Mmmm Hmmm

April 7th, 2013 at 8:45 AM ^

After watching Syracuse send two long, athletic guards to pester Burke around the half-court line, I suddenly knew what Shaka Smart meant about "heating up the point guard", but Burke did not overheat, so to speak...

That does not show up on the stat sheet but limiting turnovers was a huge plus.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:49 AM ^

I don't think he ever forced stuff.  The games where he took a lot of shots were because nobody was stepping up and he needed to.  If he didn't do that, then we lose a bunch of other games most notably Purdue, and our offense was one of the best in the country with an occasional bad game at MSU, at Ohio.  The real reason we had seven losses was defense and rebounding which have been steller in the tournament.


April 7th, 2013 at 9:02 AM ^

Agree, many times he HAD to put the team on his back due to the younger players being timid at times. I still think that is why Syracuse openly talked so much trash. They wanted that Burke to show up and instead they got a no-ego facilitator that, stats aside, was the biggest reason we won that game.


April 7th, 2013 at 9:33 AM ^

I'm not criticizing you, but I can't understand this view, which others here seem to agree with, all with the "stats aside" caveat. I watched the entire game and did not think Burke was a factor at all--apart from the undeniable fact that Syracuse paid lots of attention to Burke. Now that does mean he was a important factor in the win, and Syracuse (and everyone else) building their game plans against him is an advantage in our favor, but this continues a trend that apart from one half has occurred the entire tournament. IMO, for the player of the year (deservedly so), and accounting for the fact that he has other talented players around him, he has not looked like it for most of this tournament. I think if you never watched him in the regular season and only saw him in the tournament, most people would be like "why does he get so much hype?"


April 7th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

You make great points and I actually see why you think that/have that opinion. I actually respect different opinions when said respectfully and I cannot necessarily disagree with anything you wrote aside from what I saw. What I saw in this game and others was teams coming in with the mentality of "whatever we do we have to shut Burke down af far as points go". In the regular season we often won and lost a few games due to him clearly feeling like he had to put the team on his back. In this tourney, he hasn't shot well or much at all (aside from spurts) and yet teams still focused on him so much it allowed guys like Mitch to go to another level. Not saying it's all Burke but if he is just and good guard this is a completely different team regular season and tourney. But it is all opinion/view and I think you made some great ones. Cannot outright deny them as much as respecfully disagree. GO BLUE!!!!!


April 7th, 2013 at 8:59 AM ^

Agree 100%. Swear I said at the start of the tourney that IF we made it to the NCG, I want anyone but UL or Duke. We got UL. Burke cannot have another game where he puts up 0-4 in either half, The Canadian Sniper needs to hit shots, Mitch needs to keep his pace, THJ needs to stop with the garbage shots as when he takes his time and gets a clean look he is solid and I still think GR3 needs to stop being so timid and see he is, Freshman or not, probably the best pro prospect on our team with his tool set. He defers too much. Starters have to fire out the gate like they did against Florida.


April 7th, 2013 at 10:35 AM ^

We have established that we can win without hitting on all cylinders--Big 3 shooters 5 for 29 agin Cuse.  We have now beaten (at least) 3 different types of defenses that were supposed to shut us down.  Anyone watching the Wichita State game yesterday knows Louisville can be beaten and has its own share of limitations.  If Louisville plays great, we just got to play "greater"---if we play poorly, we just got to make them play worse.  One game---however, it gets done.  And the fact that Trey didn't do anything special last night just makes me more optimistic that he will tomorrow.


April 7th, 2013 at 11:02 AM ^

Very valid point. It's funny how yesterday in the "Syracuse team talking trash about how their zone would kill us" I mentioned that of the 3 teams left (other than us), WS would be our worst match up but Louisville would be harder to beat. WS was no joke and played ball that would have fit right in with the rough B10. Also, we are very similar to louisville and their star guards played by far their worst game of the year. If not for their bench we play WS Monday. Yet, like us, when playing well they can beat anyone in America. IMO, it's the kind of matchup we like as far as tempo but with that tempo we NEED our Guards to outplay theirs. Staus can't go cold like he did last night and MM needs to keep playing out of his mind because we have a habit of going up 10+ and then getting lazy with garbage shots/decisions. louisville are like the comeback kids this year. No lead is safe. Should we get up on them like that we can't fast break off a UL miss and toss up a contested 3 with 20+ secs still on the shot clock (looking at you THJ). Just, as you said, gotta play better than them and their is no elite team in CBB this year. Anyone can win or lose based on their play/decisions regardless of talent. Without such a wicked zone, I'm hoping for a Michigan team running to a UF game type start even if UL is hitting shots early. We need Burke driving the lane eventually allowing kickouts to open shooters that have to drain them.


April 7th, 2013 at 8:53 AM ^

If told that Burke would play just about every game in the tourney having a scoreless or very low point total in any one half I'd have bet cash we get bounced by game 2. He has had his moments scoring (Kansas!) but overall has shot pretty poorly ans not very much. Yet, it's kind of an "ace in the hole" as we're beating (some beatdowns) some good teams with players who came into the tourney ice cold and, honestly, flat out playing with a different style/mindset. Scoring totals or not, Burke is still this team's season and tourney MVP. MM has been balling out but Burke makes it happen with everything else if he isn't scoring. Naismith is announced today, right? If not Burke is would be a robbery. Not a better COLLEGE player in America.


April 7th, 2013 at 9:10 AM ^

Oh, no doubt Mitch is not even the same player he was in the regular season. Something kicked on for him or he just decided he knew he could do more so he did. Something. I'd still call Burke our tourney MVP but mainly because we lose to Kansas without him and he still facilitates in other ways when not scoring. Mitch has been soaking up teams eyeing Burke. That (and not playing in the toughest conference every other night) may be what has caused Mitch to flip a tourney switch I didn't think he had yet.


April 7th, 2013 at 10:08 AM ^

I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that McGary is gone. He probably got himself in the first round, but there's elements of his game he still needs to work on. And if he plays like the tourney over a season, then he's a lottery pick, and can have a more successful NBA career.


April 7th, 2013 at 11:10 AM ^

Win or not, I don't see him leaving. Aside from his monster tourney run he looked like a 4 year Hansborough type player during the season. After the NCG, win or lose, people and scouts will remember that he had a very undraftable regular season. The tourney play got the talking heads bringing him up going early. Now, if he keeps it going into next year he could be gone then. I think we lose TB & THJ (even he I think may come back). Next year will be youth at guard but a much more assured GR3, Staus & Mitch staring with whoever wins the guard spots. Easily a Tourney team.


April 7th, 2013 at 12:13 PM ^

Guess he took that back when we beat UF and he got back to school. Probably just a mindset of "I can NBA ball based on what scouts are saying" but those scouts will look at his regular season remember that 6 games don't turn you from undrafted to a 1st runder. Plus, if he did in fact say he is now thinking about it (as some have reported) it could just be motivation for this team to win NOW! I don't think he goes but he did say 100% "no"......and then reports came out of him saying "well, i'm going to have to think about it". I'd wager he is here for at least another year, if not more if he gets keyed on by shock jumps by GR3, bad new guard play, etc.

South TX MFan

April 7th, 2013 at 2:31 PM ^

True, but if he wasn't absent in the first half he wouldn't have had to go off like that in the 2nd half. Let's not forget that McGary had 25pts, 14reb, 3stl, 1ast, and 1blk in that game. We don't win without him either.


April 7th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

VERY TRUE and valid. Yet, don't forget the overall point that with MM's overall game and Burke's wnd half, we still were straight up outplayed and should have lost. Mitch got his numbers the entire game largely to Burke nd especially the first half. Mitch just isn't the guy who could have kept us in that game and tied with halfcourt 3s while down big under a minute. So, again, I agree we don't win without MM's play as well! I'd call him that games MVP. Just, overall, including Kansas and the others games Burke has been the biggest reason we're in the NCG. I'd call him our tourney MVP but another huge game and Mitch might win it record book, no opinion style. I'm not knocking the play of anyone but merely tossing out my opinion that is Burke was anything but the best player in America we're out of this tourney a few games back or last night.


April 8th, 2013 at 5:34 AM ^

I absolutely get your point and it is really impossible to argue against or say it's wrong. MM has been the most consistent, by far. I just think due to Kansas alone and the attention Burke gets out of fear facilitates the success of others. It's just SO awesome to be able to have different opinions and both be amazing things, lol. Like, both are valid and regardless of which is more valid.....as fans either opinion is "everyone gets a round on me" worthy. haha


April 7th, 2013 at 9:00 AM ^

Kid is a Michigan legend. If he doesnt have the greatest scoring game and others step up ( which they did) then I could care less.. I do believe we will have a better offensive game Monday. The 2-3 zone was a tough one. A lot tougher than when we got pressed all game vs. VCU.. Transition is our game so I think our chances are good.

Jehu the Damaja

April 7th, 2013 at 9:13 AM ^

Hardaway made the play of the game saving that Burke pass from going out of bounds. I still dont know how the hell he managed to do that, but that play may have saved that game for us. Not exactly a great game from either, but THE TEAM (THE TEAM THE TEAM) stepped up when it mattered.


April 7th, 2013 at 11:18 AM ^

Very very good point. Wasn't until the reply that I noticed how he somehow saved that. Being a bigger CFB fan (by far) I often look at their size:athleticism ratio and drool at the thought of guys like THJ lining at WR, lol. That save was stopping almost full sprint on a dime, stopping a momentum laden ball torching to the sideline and Tim reaching a long arm out to catch it, posess it and get rid of it. Another great play, for sure!


April 7th, 2013 at 9:20 AM ^

So tight around here, a guy titles a thread after the best player to step foot on this campus since Charles woodson and we bitch about a name of a thread. Get off my fuckingmlawn while you are at it. Jeesh! Guys like Woodson, Desmond, Trey, and a few other legends should be the exception for the title rule around here...it could be our way of recognizing them as the "greatest," they are bigger than any of us! Either way....lets win tomorrow and be Champs!


April 7th, 2013 at 9:46 AM ^

pedestrian in this tournament save for the brilliant second half versus Kansas. Sir Charles ALWAYS performed in the biggest games. You cannot say that for Burke.


Since you decided to bring in players from other sports I would have to remind you that Marty Turco and Brendan Morrison were here in 1998. I'd say both were better than Burke. This isn't to forget to mention Denard, Jake Long, Mike Hart, and a softball player or two.


Burke has had a great season, but he is behind Grant, Rose, and Ricky Green.