January 30, 2013
Carmody: Burke is a beast
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody proved more than willing to spread the credit around to a number of Wolverines after his team got pummeled, 68-46, at Crisler Center. But he kept coming back around to one particular performer.
Sophomore point guard Trey Burke forced Carmody's hand, just like he had all night. Burke piled up 18 points, eight assists, four rebounds and two steals while committing just one turnover during the rout.
Whatever else was on his mind, Carmody couldn't pry Burke out with a crowbar.
"Burke was very, very good," Carmody said. "He makes all those guys better, and they're pretty good on their own.
"It's tough. He's a very, very good player. You can try to concoct defenses to stop him, but he's not greedy. He finds guys. He shows a lot of maturity out there as a player, and as a kid, and as a teammate.
"You help too much and
[Jon] Horford and [Mitch McGary] reap the benefits of his passing. I don't want to take anything away from [Tim] Hardaway and some of the other guys, their passing ability, but he helps a lot of those younger guys."
The Northwestern coach has seen Burke grow from last year, mostly in his ability to score when he's not taking it to the hole. That aspect of his game makes him a nightmare, Carmody noted.
"He's shooting the ball," Carmody said. "He's not shooting with reluctance. He used to drive the ball hard, and was tough getting in the lane. Now, if you give him room, he shoots it. Before, it seemed to me, he forced it. That part of his game has really improved.
"We played them the first time, and we were going under the high balls screens, and he hurt us on that. But if you go over the top, he gets in the lane. We were trying to say, 'Well, give him some twos,' but a couple of our younger guys came off guys in the corner and they got threes out of it. It's hard to figure out how to play them."
Burke wasn't the only Wolverine distributing the ball, by any means. Michigan racked up 14 assists to only two turnovers, giving the Wildcats coach another reason for a headache.
"I thought we executed decently, but you have to do more than decent against a team like that, especially at home," Carmody said. "They had two turnovers, 14 assists
it's a very good passing team, especially with Burke. Hardaway, all of those guys pass the ball pretty well. They don't make mistakes. It's a good team, and they can make you look pretty bad sometimes."
The bad part for opponents, he cautioned, involves Michigan's youth and inexperience getting even better.
"You're playing two or three freshmen in there, and even Horford hasn't had that much time," he said. "They're going to get better because they get used to each other a little bit. Their roles become more defined
they're getting better because they're getting to know each other."
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