Michigan coach John Beilein is finding it increasingly difficult to explain just how rare it is to have a season like the one sophomore point guard Trey Burke is having. Peppered with questions leading up to games and afterward, the consistency Burke is showing game after game in the toughest conference in the country, the Big Ten, Beilein just tries to keep it simple.
"There's tremendous growth right now in just, like a freshman to a sophomore year," said Beilein. "That's all I'm going to say."
But much like a proud father or even a fan sitting on the bench in Beilein's position, the coaching veteran couldn't stop himself. 19 points per game is one thing, nearly seven assists per game another -- even the near four-to-one assist to turnover ratio jumps out. Yet Beilein insists its not just about running out onto the court and performing.
There's more than what meets the eye.
"Just making sure you take care of what you have to take care of and he's done a tremendous job of that," said Beilein. "That's allowed him to -- for his body to really be rested more, be in the training room more, lifting weights has been tremendous. There's just been a growth in every area of his life.
"He comes from great stock. His family really has their stuff together and it's just been a great nurturing process for him."
Forced to wear a leadership cap in just his second season in Ann Arbor, a role Beilein said Burke "fell into" after the departure of Zack Novak, the Ohio native has the Wolverines on the cusp of capturing back-to-back Big Ten championships with a win over Indiana Sunday afternoon. Not only would the win give Michigan a title, the same will be said for Ohio State and Michigan State if they continue their winning ways, leaving Burke with more fans from odd places than he's ever had.
"It's really weird," said Burke. "You never see those guys in green or Ohio State rooting for us. You never see that."
Even Burke's old high school teammate, friend and former Buckeye center Jared Sullinger is going above and beyond his normal approach.
"He roots for me either way it goes but he never roots for Michigan so that's weird too," said Burke laughing. "That's a first and I'm looking forward to that."
Burke and the No. 7 Wolverines host the No. 2 Hoosiers Sunday at 4pm/EST fully understanding the implications.
"That's the beauty of this game," said Burke. "We know it's do or die. We lose and they win it outright. We win and we get at least a share of it. There's no room for error, really."
To watch video of Burke, press play below.
"Do or die" for Burke and Michigan Sunday
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