It took Michigan‘s best effort on Wednesday night to take down the lowly Purdue Boilermakers in what looked like a trap game. The Wolverines went down to the wire with one of the conference’s bottom-dwellers and came out on top.
The reason for their victory can’t be pinned on one sole person, but a majority of the praise should go to point guard Trey Burke. The sophomore sensation scored an astounding 26 points and dished out seven assists to lead the Wolverines to a comeback victory 80-75.
This was Burke’s 11th 20-point performance of the season and it marks the 31st straight game where the point guard has scored in double figures.
Many times this season, Burke has bailed the Wolverines out of trouble, including Sunday’s tight win over in-state rival Michigan State. During that game, he made clutch shot after clutch shot and made the free throws down the stretch to ensure a Michigan victory. His stat line at the end of the game was also impressive as he racked up 21 points and eight assists.
Though many people are talking about an early departure for the guard, that doesn’t mean he’d be leaving college without some accolades and awards.
Burke looks to be a top draft pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and will likely take advantage of the high praise by leaving early. He is undoubtedly the most valuable player to his team, more so than any in the Big Ten.
In four of the five Wolverine losses, Burke has scored under 20 points and in three of the losses, he has turned the ball over three or more times.
These stats make one thing clear: the Wolverines run just as Burke runs. He has taken this team over and there is no doubt he is this team’s captain and leader.
Another impressive statistic: since conference play began, he has not scored less than 15 points and only dished less than four assists once.
This is a man on a mission and if Burke has it his way, the Wolverines will win a national title, but for now, he may have to settle for a Big Ten Player of the Year award and an ever-improving draft stock.