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Posted on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

Michigan basketball team insists everything is 'all good' with Trey Burke heading into NCAA tourney

By Nick Baumgardner

B10 Ohio St Michigan_Burke.jpg

Although Michigan's Trey Burke (3) had his worst game of the season against Ohio State and Buckeyes' guard Aaron Craft during the Big Ten Tournament, the Wolverines feel no reason to be concerned about their freshman point guard's mindset heading into the NCAA Tournament.

AP Photo

Trey Burke admitted he was pretty down after his latest performance.

"I beat myself up all (Saturday) night," the Michigan basketball point guard said a day after the Wolverines suffered a 22-point loss to Ohio State in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal.

Now, fully removed from Indianapolis and completely focused on the NCAA Tournament, and an opening-round matchup against Ohio on Friday (7:20 p.m., TNT) in Nashville, Tenn., the Wolverines need their best player to, well, be just that.

After a spirited workout Monday, Michigan players and coach John Beilein said there's no need to pick up their rookie point guard or offer him any special words of encouragement heading into the tournament.

Because he doesn't need it.

"He's as solid as they come. I have no doubt he'll bounce back. I haven't said anything to him since, probably, Maui about getting ready for an environment," Michigan senior captain Zack Novak said, referring to the team's early-season trip to the Maui Invitational.

"He's not fazed by anything."

Burke had the worst performance of his young career Saturday against Ohio State, going 1-for-11 from the floor with eight turnovers, just one night after going for 30 points in an overtime win against Minnesota.

He seemed to hit a perfect storm of struggle in the Wolverines' final game before the NCAA Tournament, falling short on jumpers, struggling to turn the corner off the dribble and even picking up two early fouls.

But Michigan says it's not worried, not after what it's seen from the co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year all season long.

"You're not going to have the best day every day, especially when you compare it the night before, when he was the best point guard in the country that night," Beilein said. "It's all good. He really understands the game, he understands the ebbs and flows of his performances."

In his last outing, Burke was matched up against a familiar face in Ohio State point guard Aaron Craft, the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year.

On Friday, he'll get another familiar face when he stands across from Ohio junior point guard D.J. Cooper, the Most Valuable Player of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.

Cooper averages 14.6 points and 5.7 assists per game and, like Burke, is very capable both off the dribble and from behind the 3-point line.

But, again, teammates say there won't be any need for a pep talk heading into Burke's tournament debut.

Michigan wouldn't be heading to Nashville without him.

And with the season now on the line, the Wolverines' feelings about their freshman floor leader hasn't changed.

In Trey, they still (very much) trust.

"He's experienced," Michigan senior co-captain Stu Douglass said. "The whole needing experience thing (with Burke) has kind of gone out the window.

"It started with a playoff-type experience against Minnesota, and he basically carried us the whole game. He had a rough game against Ohio State. He's had a wide range of experiences already, and it'll only help him. We don't need to say anything to him."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 4:01 a.m.

Trey is gone, second team all american makes him a first round pick. It was fun while it lasted.


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

If he got exposed by Aaron Craft, what do you think Rose, Nash, Wall or Kidd would do to him?


Wed, Mar 14, 2012 : 12:16 p.m.

You think? I don't agree, he has one more year with us. Same for Tim Hardaway, neither of them were consistent enough this year to really step right into the NBA. not saying they wouldn't get drafted, just that they shouldn't . But we know how Darius chose.... so...

jeff blue

Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

I like Trey Burke -- he is the best player on our team. OSU has an extremely good team and it will surprise nobody if OSU winds up winning their region. It is hard to play a team three times. OSU finally figured out how to stop Michigan; and Trey said that, "we have been exposed". But other teams will be playing us for the first time. Watching tape is one thing, but playing the same team three times is something else. I believe that we will have a great tournament and I am looking forward to NC vs Michigan. JEFF, GO BLUE!!!