Souhan: Gophers couldn't handle Burke no matter his uniform number

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 18, 2013 - 11:59 AM

The singing was as loud as it was incongruous. It echoed down the hallways underneath the court, commanding attention like bad karaoke.

The Michigan basketball team belted out "The Victors" on Thursday night in the visiting locker room at Williams Arena, and then Trey Burke emerged wearing a Wolverines jersey for the last time.

At least, he may never wear this particular jersey again. In the biggest game at The Barn in 35 years, the Gophers were so intent on stopping Michigan's point guard that they ripped holes in two of his uniform tops, his usual No. 3 and the No. 12 he was still wearing after all that singing. The jersey bore a gash the size of a smaller melon.

"This is the first time that's ever happened," he said, poking his fist through the hole. "I was kind of shocked. I heard a 'sssstt' and looked down and it was all ripped."

What the Gophers did to his jerseys, Burke did to their grandest ambitions. The sophomore led fifth-ranked Michigan to a never-in-doubt 83-75 victory over the ninth-ranked Gophers in front of a sellout crowd that, by the end of the night, was reduced to griping about meaningless foul calls.

The Gophers planned. Burke laughed.

The Gophers figured playing their biggest home game in 35 years would give them a decided atmospheric advantage. Burke controlled the flow of the game, and thus the crowd, from the start.

The Gophers planned to slow Burke with their own outstanding point guard, Andre Hollins. Burke had Hollins on the bench with foul trouble before seven minutes had elapsed.

The Gophers planned to use their loss, and second-half comeback, at Indiana as an emotional springboard. Burke frustrated them by shredding their half-court defense and setting up uncontested three-pointers and dunks for his teammates.

The Gophers planned to use their press to come back in the second half. Burke either beat it singlehandedly or cleared out, taking the Gophers' best defender with him.

The result was a loss that left the Gophers with a clear understanding of their place in college basketball. They're a good team in an excellent conference. They're not as good as Michigan. Few teams are.

Burke ranks among the elite, as well. Does he have a chance to become the best player, period? "Definitely," he said. "Just because of my level of confidence and the guys surrounding me. I'm always willing to learn. Sometimes I'm a little defiant, but I'm always willing to learn."

Burke produced 18 points, nine assists, a block and a steal. He could have had a few more assists if his teammates had finished layups. He played 36 minutes, committing just one turnover. He made three of his six three-point attempts.

Although he missed 10 of his 15 shots from the field, Burke dictated the pace of play. His coach said he took charge on the sideline, too.

"Trey Burke was tremendous in the huddle," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "He was saying, 'What would we think if we were down 19 right now? We'd be ready to battle back.' That was Trey Burke.

"He's expanding his game and exploring his game, and it's really important that he do that. At the same time, he's making the right play at the right time."

Modern television technology, from the cameras to the HD sets that bring the game to life in your living room, offers the illusion that watching a broadcast is like watching a game in person. Burke is one of those players you have to see in person to appreciate his quickness and court vision.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led Michigan with 21 points, making seven of eight attempts from the field. Thanks to Burke, he didn't have to work hard for his points.

With Burke, Hardaway and Glenn Robinson III, the Wolverines are much tougher than the tearaway jerseys they wear.

"When my jersey tore and I got the No. 12, Coach said, 'That's John Stockton's number,'" Burke said. "Now, I know I've got a long way to go to get there. But I just wanted to represent it the right way."

Jim Souhan can be heard Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and weekdays at 2 p.m. on 1500-AM. His Twitter name is SouhanStrib. •

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Tennessee 7:25 PM
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Atlanta 127 FINAL
Cleveland 98
Phoenix 111 FINAL
Charlotte 106
Dallas 117 FINAL
Detroit 106
Utah 105 FINAL
Miami 87
Orlando 92 FINAL
Boston 109
Brooklyn 89 FINAL
Toronto 105
Memphis 117 FINAL
San Antonio 116
Milwaukee 97 FINAL
Portland 104
Houston 115 FINAL
Denver 111
Indiana 100 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Ottawa 2 FINAL
New Jersey 0
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 72 FINAL
St Francis-NY 64
James Madison 72 FINAL
Ball State 52
SIU Edwardsville 65 FINAL
Campbell 70
St Francis-PA 67 FINAL
Duquesne 52
North Florida 77 FINAL
Florida State 93
Catawba 69 FINAL
George Mason 99
Ferrum 48 FINAL
High Point 106
Hampton 55 FINAL
Illinois 73
Gardner-Webb 65 FINAL
Jacksonville 68
Longwood 60 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 71
Arkansas State 69 FINAL
Miss State 55
Tennessee 72 FINAL
NC State 83
Ohio State 97
Manhattan 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 65
Robert Morris 57 FINAL
Toledo 83
Char Southern 58 FINAL
Wofford 64
Kennesaw St 90 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
Barber-Scotia 52 FINAL
NC Central 108
Detroit 70 FINAL
UCF 75
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 73
Denver 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 61 FINAL
Houston 56
UT Martin 54 FINAL
Illinois State 64
Milligan 76 FINAL
Louisiana 115
Abilene Christian 44 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 83
USC Upstate 73 FINAL
Memphis 83
Alcorn State 56 FINAL
Murray State 94
Central Mich 80 FINAL
Northwestern 67
Georgia State 54 FINAL
Old Dominion 58
TX-Pan American 69 FINAL
Saint Louis 75
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
SMU 67
Texas State 60 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 66
SC State 39 FINAL
Texas Tech 101
Missouri State 70 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Chicago State 60 FINAL
Western Ky 75
Morehead State 50 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Northern Colorado 82 FINAL
Nebraska Omaha 92
Winthrop 62 FINAL
Auburn 80
New Mexico St 55 FINAL
Baylor 66
San Diego St 62 FINAL
Cincinnati 71
Eastern Mich 46 FINAL
Michigan State 66
Loyola Marymount 58 FINAL
Stanford 67
Incarnate Word 82 FINAL
Grand Canyon 80
Northeastern 58 FINAL
Cal Poly 60
Central Arkansas 55 FINAL
New Mexico 76
Howard 45 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Portland 73 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56 FINAL
Oregon 79
Grambling St 38 FINAL
Washington 86
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 77 FINAL
Campbell 51
Akron 73 FINAL
UCF 64
Richmond 77 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 67
Montana 70 FINAL
Seattle 64
(7) Stanford 46 FINAL
Chattanooga 54
Florida A&M 69 FINAL
Southern U 80
Oklahoma 72 FINAL
(13) Duke 92
Savannah State 56 FINAL
Auburn 62
Northern Colorado 43 FINAL
South Florida 84
Youngstown St 73 FINAL
Robert Morris 65
Siena 75 FINAL
Sacred Heart 65
Vermont 63 FINAL
St Francis-NY 61
(1) South Carolina 69 FINAL
Hampton 49
Fla Gulf Coast 91 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 46
Texas Southern 92 FINAL
Houston Baptist 80
Northwestern 88 FINAL
Appalachian St 72
NC Central 52 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 67
Drexel 50 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Cincinnati 52 FINAL
Northern Ky 66
Alabama State 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 77
Morehead St 69 FINAL
USC Upstate 75
Arkansas State 59 FINAL
Kent State 44
American Univ 60 FINAL
Manhattan 52
UNC Greensboro 60 FINAL
St Bonaventure 78
Arkansas-Monticello 56 FINAL
Northwestern St 61
Prairie View 70 FINAL
Sam Houston St 51
McNeese State 59 FINAL
(3) Texas 76
Yale 90 FINAL
Wagner 65
Oakland 61 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 54
Eastern Kentucky 62 FINAL
Alabama A&M 56
SIU-Edwardsville 47 FINAL
Northern Ill 69
McMurry 25 FINAL
TX-Arlington 82
Portland 65 FINAL
Eastern Washington 72
North Texas 42 FINAL
San Francisco 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question