Michigan freshman Derrick Walton not asked to be next Trey Burke

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Trey Burke will walk across the podium during Thursday night’s NBA Draft and shake the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern as a likely lottery pick. The former Michigan point guard led the Wolverines to the title game as a sophomore this past season, but two years ago, Burke was tasked with replacing Darius Morris after Morris left Ann Arbor early for the NBA.

Now that incoming freshman Derrick Walton has set foot on the Ann Arbor campus this past weekend, his journey as Michigan’s next point guard begins.

Thankfully, Walton — the runner-up for Michigan’s Mr. Basketball in 2013, slightly behind Iowa State commit Monte Morris — isn’t being asked to fill the gigantic void left by the early departure of Burke.

Michigan head coach John Beilein wants Walton, a pass-first 6’0 point guard, to be his own player and not focus on comparisons  as noted in a story by Nick Baumgardner for MLive.

 John Beilein doesn’t expect Walton to be the next Trey Burke. He expects him to be the first Derrick Walton.

“We’re very limited on comparisons,” Beilein said last week. “Other than the things we know about work habits. Just have the work habits and focus. Unpack your bags, you’re here for eight weeks. Unpack your bags, you’re here for four years unless something happens that’s really extraordinary — like what happened with Tim and Trey.

“We’re not a stopover, we’re a destination. And that’s the approach we use.”
While Walton isn’t currently projected as an early NBA draft candidate at this current point in his career, it will be interesting to see how Walton develops not only as Michigan’s potential starting point guard next season, but also as a potential pro prospect after a few years of seasoning.

Michigan coach John Beilein has done a great job getting point guards like Morris and Burke to the NBA even though they didn’t have the best pro potential entering college so Walton will be the next one to watch as his career begins with his summer session in Ann Arbor.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)