Michigan coach John Beilein knows that if his Wolverines are going to win their final four games in hopes of grabbing at least a share of the regular season Big Ten title, or share any kind of success in the post season, they’ll need to get production out of everyone.
“As we retooled this week, we talked about that,” said Beilein. “There’s going to be some of you out there -- we talked with the staff -- we know that Tim and Trey are terrific players. There’s some other guys out there that need to step up for us to continue in the direction we want to go.”
Knowing this, a week of practice provided the opportunity for freshman guard Caris LeVert to assert himself after recovering from a minor ankle sprain against Penn State. In Sunday’s win over Illinois, LeVert sparked Michigan’s second half surge and finished with eight points, two rebounds, an assist, a steal and no turnovers in 16 minutes of action.
“I think I’m just getting more comfortable as I’m getting more reps,” said LeVert. “Trey and Tim are just getting me in the right spots.”
On Sunday, Burke’s awareness and ability to inject confidence into LeVert on the floor, came in handy.
“I got on Caris early in the second half cause he had a wide open shot and he pump faked and took a dribble into the defense,” said Burke. “I told him just shoot the wide open shot.”
Once he just stopped thinking about the game and just played off natural instincts, he hit some big shots for us. He made some very big defensive stops for us and he was a buzz off the bench -- he allowed us to open the lead up.”
LeVert, known for his offensive exploits and ability get two feet in the paint offensively, continues gaining trust from Beilein on both ends of the floor.
“I think he felt comfortable and of course the shots he made were huge,” said Beilein. “And Caris’ defense is huge for us. He really does a great job.”
To watch video of LeVert, press play below.