On Saturday, when no.1 Michigan travels to no. 3 Indiana there will be an abundance of talent on the court. Both teams have multiple players destined for NBA careers. But, there are going to be two players that are above and beyond their peers. Trey Burke of Michigan and Cody Zeller of Indiana are two of the best players in the country, and both will be high draft picks this summer.
But, who has had a more impressive season: Burke or Zeller?
Zeller came in to the season as the favorite for player of the year. However, with such high expectations, he has had a relatively disappointing season. His numbers are still good, both on offense and defense (16 PPG on 58.5 FG%, eight rebounds and over a block a game). Zeller is the best big man in the Big Ten still, but he has not shown as much improvement from last year to this year as many would have hoped. Zeller has not shown the absolute dominance that so many believe he is capable of. After scoring single digits in consecutive games for the first time this season, against Penn State and Michigan State, Zeller bounced back with a 19 point, 11 rebound double-double against Purdue Wednesday. Though Zeller’s player of the year hype may have been slowed down, he is still one of the best players in the Big Ten and in the country.
Burke, on the the other hand, has surpassed his expectations this year. He has gone from fringe All-American to player of the year favorite. He is clearly the bes point guard in the country, leading the top team in the country. Burke is putting up huge numbers: 16 PPG, six APG and three RPG. Even more impressive has been how efficient Burke has been, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of four. That is more than double his A/T ratio of last year (1.7), and is best in the Big Ten and fourth best in the country. All of his shooting percentages have also increased this year from last season. Burke leads the best offense in the country as a facilitator but can also turn it on and score himself when he chooses to.
Both players are clearly fantastic. Right now, Burke has probably had the better season, as he has shown that killer instinct while taking over games for Michigan. Saturday should be really fun, watching Burke and Michigan battle Zeller and Indiana. Not only will two of the best teams in the country be playing, but also two of the best players in the country.