Found March 20, 2013 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
Glenn Robinson III
Tim Hardaway Jr
South Dakota State Jackrabbits
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Michigan point guard Trey Burke isn't just the team's best player; he's also the Big Ten player of the year and a finalist for the John Wooden Award, presented to the national player of the year.
South Dakota State point guard Nate Wolters has almost identical credentials, albeit in a lesser conference, the Summit League.
As a result, the matchup between Burke and Wolters is getting a lot of attention heading into Thursday's NCAA tournament game between the fourth-seeded Wolverines and 13th-seeded Jackrabbits (7:15 p.m. EDT tip-off). And their coaches know it.
Burke and Wolters will both be running the offense on one end of the floor and guarding one of the nation's best players on the other end.
"We're going to put Nate on Trey because Nate is a tremendous defender," Jackrabbits coach Scott Nagy said. "We're also going to rely on him to play 40 minutes and handle the basketball.
"He's a huge reason that this program is here right now, and we're going to let him do what he does."
Michigan coach John Beilein thinks Burke and Wolters might cancel each other out to some extent.
"These are two teams with terrific point guards, and when you get the ball into those two young men's hands, anything can happen," Beilein said. "Both of them are very good at getting their teammates open, and this game will probably come down to those guys making their shots."
Wolters has put up incredible numbers -- scoring a combined 89 points in back-to-back games, including 53 in a win over Indiana UniversityPurdue University Fort Wayne -- and he's done it outside the weak competition of the Summit League. He scored 28 in an upset victory at New Mexico and had 30 in a close loss at Alabama.
"I'm trying not to focus on just one matchup, but I obviously know he's a really good player," Burke said. "I think 30 percent of their offense runs through him, and it is my job to slow him down."
Burke hasn't had the same numbers, but that hasn't stopped him from being recognized as the best player in the country's best conference. He's already won several All-America and player-of-the-year awards and is the favorite for the Wooden Award.
"He's probably the national player of the year," Wolters agreed. "I've watched him multiple times on TV this year, and he's a great player. I try to learn things from him, because he's really good on the pick-and-roll and he's a good shooter.
"He's going to be tough to guard."
This is where Michigan has a huge advantage. The Wolverines boast future NBA players such as Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr., along with a 3-point specialist in Nik Stauskas and college basketball's most excitable player in Mitch McGary.
The Jackrabbits, on the other hand, have surrounded Wolters with good Summit League players. Instead of leaving early for the NBA, players such as Jordan Dykstra and Tony Fiegen will play four years at South Dakota State before playing in Europe or getting normal post-college jobs.
On the court, that translates to more speed and size for Michigan. The Wolverines will be nearly unstoppable in transition, so South Dakota State will need to hit a ton of outside shots to have a chance.
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Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke talks about his confidence in his teammates, how he feels physically after the nasty fall against SDSU, and bouncing back after a rare subpar performance.
Trey Burke versus Nate Wolters is the sort of guard match up that jumps off the page. Two of the top four most efficient players in the country, head-to-head in a game where defense is something of a footnote on the statistical resume of both teams.
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During the lead-up to Thursday’s game between Michigan and South Dakota State at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the two players who have commanded the most attention are also the two players who command each team’s offense: Trey Burke and Nate Wolters.
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Nate Wolters will need to deliver a huge performance for South Dakota State to upset Michigan on Thursday. (Photo via ESPN991.com)
With the Michigan Wolverines taking on South Dakota State on Thursday in Round 2 of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, The Detroit Sports Site asked Terry Vandrovec of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D., to help us learn a little more about the Jackrabbits...
Trey Burke versus Nate Wolters is the matchup everyone is waiting to see.
Turns out Michigan and South Dakota State have more in common than just their star point guards.
''They don't turn over a lot, we don't turn over a lot,'' Jackrabbits coach Scott Nagy said. ''They don't foul, we don't foul. There are a lot of similarities, so I think...
After the highs and lows of a 34 game season, Michigan’s year will remembered by its NCAA tournament performance. The Wolverines will hope to avoid a repeat early upset tonight as they battle South Dakota State in a round of 64 tournament clash. Nate Wolters vs. Trey Burke will grab all of the headlines but both teams feature their fair share of offensive talent and shooting accuracy...
Terry Vandrovec is the South Dakota State beat reporter for the Argus Leader and he agreed to answer a couple of questions about the Jackrabbits and Thursday’s upcoming NCAA tournament game. You can find his work at the paper, on his blog or on Twitter. Terry wouldn’t go as far as picking an upset but does think that the Jackrabbits have what it takes to give Michigan a fight...
Throughout the first half of Michigan’s 71-56 defeat of South Dakota State on Thursday, Trey Burke simply did not look like the National Player of the Year candidate Michigan fans have watched all season. The Jackrabbits were shutting down the middle and Burke was seeing jumpers rim out left and right.
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John Beilein, Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. were on the podium Wednesday afternoon at the Palace of Auburn Hills to discuss Michigan’s Saturday afternoon NCAA tournament matchup with VCU. Read their comments in the full transcript below.
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The fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines and fifth-seeded VCU Rams will open Saturday’s Round 3 action in the NCAA Tournament with a 12:15 p.m. ET tip. The game will be the first of two at The Palace of Auburn Hills, with Michigan State and Memphis doing battle in game two, 25 minutes following the conclusion of Michigan-VCU.
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