With conference play in full effect, the weekend’s schedule is slated with several top-25 matchups, one of those being No. 15 Ohio State hosting No. 2 Michigan.
The game will be a homecoming for Michigan’s sophomore guard and player of the year contender, Trey Burke, who is a native of Columbus, Ohio. Burke hopes to avoid repeating his last appearance in Columbus against the Buckeyes. In a 64-49 loss last season, the freshman guard was held to 13 points and had as many turnovers as assists, five.
Something Burke said Friday was due to taking the rivalry personal, according to MLiv.com’s Nick Baumgardner.
“I think last year, I kind of made it a personal matchup, at times,” said Burke. “I think that was a sign of immaturity. But now that I know what it takes to win, I’m going to try to do that and get the win.”
The 6-foot Burke played better in the rematch in Ann Arbor against the Buckeyes, but had arguably the worst game of his Michigan career in the rubber match in the Big Ten Conference semifinals. Burke shot 1-of-11 for five points to go along with four assists and a career-high eight turnovers.
“I think I just wanted to beat Jared (Sullinger) so bad, and have bragging rights on him,” said Burke, who is friends with the Boston Celtic rookie.
According to Baumgardner, Burker said he only made it personal by returning to his hometown and playing against his friend, Sullinger, and not a way to get back at Ohio State head coach Thad Matta for not recruiting him. However he did tell reporters in a conference call he was nervous last January.
“Last year was new, so it was some jitters,” said Burke Friday.“Now I have a year under my belt in college basketball; I won’t be as nervous.”
Even though Sullinger is no longer in Columbus, or Burke has learned from last’s year’s mistakes, he will still be involved in one of the best point guard battles this season against Ohio State junior, Aaron Craft.
While Craft holds a 2-1 edge on sophomore, Burke has the Wolverines rolling at 16-0, one of two remaining undefeated teams in college basketball. Burke is averaging team-highs in points (18.2) and assists (7.3), while becoming arguably the best floor general in college basketball this season with his ability to run Michigan’s high power offense, whether it be running the break, getting the ball inside for easy buckets or finding shooters out on the perimeter.
Michigan and Ohio State tip 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.