ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Trey Burke’s statistics jump off the page.
“His numbers right now are borderline ridiculous when you look at them,” Iowa basketball coach Fran McCaffery said of No. 2 Michigan’s gifted point guard.
Those statistics do not favor Iowa in Sunday’s 11a.m. Big Ten Conference game at Crisler Arena. Burke, a sophomore, is averaging 18.1 points. He’s shooting 53.8 percent from the field, including 40.9 percent from 3-point range. He’s eighth nationally with 7.2 assists per game, and has turned it over just 27 times all season. He also has a team-high 19 steals.
McCaffery was newly minted as Iowa’s coach when he saw Burke on the recruiting trail the summer before his senior season. Burke backed out of a commitment to Penn State that summer and put himself on the market again.
“Every time I watched him, he was the best player on the floor,” McCaffery said. “He had the ability to run an offense, make plays in transition and make plays at half court. And he was a tremendous scorer. Those guys are hard to find.”
McCaffery has no doubt where Burke’s career is headed.
“I knew Trey Burke would be an all-league player,” McCaffery said. “I knew he’d be an NBA player. And that’s what he’ll be.”
Burke doesn’t dominate all the gaudy numbers on coach John Beilein’s team. The Wolverines are 14-0 after Thursday’s 94-66 dismantling of Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. Michigan has shot better than 50 percent from the field in 10 games this season and ranks second nationally at 51.7 percent.
Michigan has four double-figure scorers, including the sons of two former NBA players. Tim HardawayJr., is averaging 16.2 points. Glenn RobinsonIII is averaging 11.9 points. Robinson and Nik Stauskas, averaging 13.6 points, are both freshmen. Stauskas is second nationally in 3-point accuracy at 53.9 percent (41-for-7
Iowa has won just four of its last 13 games at Crisler Arena, and hasn’t been closer than 14 points in any of the last three. The Hawkeyes, 11-3 overall, haven’t played since a 69-65 loss at home to No.5 Indiana in the Big Ten opener on New Year’s Eve.
Iowa’s four victories over Top25 opponents last season included a 75-59 home triumph against No.13 Michigan. Burke picked up two fouls in the first 7minutes and spent the rest of the first half on the bench. The Wolverines’ offense sputtered without him. Iowa took a 10-point halftime lead and never relinquished it, even though Burke finished with a team-high 19 points.
“Obviously, this is his team,” McCaffery said. “He’s got terrific players around him. I think he’s shown an amazing ability to engineer victory every time out. There are games where he shoots a lot more than others. Other games where he passes more. He knows exactly what to do, depending on what type of game they’re in.”
SUNDAY’S IOWA MEN’S GAME
WHO: Iowa (11-3, 0-1 Big Ten) at Michigan (14-0, 1-0)
WHERE: Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Mich.
TIPOFF: 11 a.m.
TELEVISION: Big Ten Network.
RADIO: WHO-AM (1040) and Hawkeye Radio Network.
STAT LEADERS: For Iowa — Devyn Marble 15.6 ppg; Aaron White 6.4 rpg; Anthony Clemmons 3.9 apg; for Michigan — Trey Burke 18.1 ppg; Glenn Robinson III 5.9 rpg; Burke 7.2 apg.
ABOUT THE HAWKEYES: Iowa last defeated the nation’s No.2 team on Dec.5, 2001, an 83-65 victory at Missouri.
ABOUT THE WOLVERINES: Michigan is off to its best start since the 1985-86 team opened 16-0.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Michigan ranks second nationally in field-goal percentage (.517) and fourth in 3-point field-goal percentage (.421). Iowa ranks 16th nationally in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.279) and 18th in field-goal percentage defense (.442).
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes men's basketball