By: Terry Foster
Every step of the way I’ve screamed that Mitch McGary needs to be the difference for Michigan to conquer and advance. So far he has been the Michigan difference maker.
Now that Michigan is in the Final Four about to play Syracuse my key player has changed. It is now point guard Trey Burke. He is the key to the Wolverines getting past the Orange. McGary needs to do his thing of course. But now Burke is the guy for this one game.
I personally would never have my players play a 2-3 zone all the time. However, it works for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and it has written his legacy at the school. The 2-3 zone can be broken and broke down. Now this is where Burke steps up. He has done a good job in the tournament from becoming “me first to “we first.”
He needs to probe this defense because Syracuse has length and athleticism in the back court. But there will be openings to set up his shooters. The key is can Burke find them? I talked to an NBA scout and he said Burke can make the obvious pass. But can he make the harder to find “NBA” pass? That will be the key against Syracuse.
If we are talking about Burke scoring 23 points with 3 assists then Michigan will lose. If his stat line reads 15 points and nine assists then Michigan will win. This is a game that will become a chess match. Can Burke make the right moves?
If Michigan advances and plays Louisville in the Finals then McGary becomes the guy to watch again.