Burke & Co. say "We Have to Attack" (w/ Video

Burke & Co. say "We Have to Attack" (w/ Video

Michigan's Trey Burke, Mitch McGary and Tim Hardaway discuss the challenge of facing an elite shot-blocking presence like Kansas' Jeff Withey, the Jayhawks' guard play, McGary's development, expectations, and much much more. **Locker room video interviews included.**

Q.  Trey, you faced a number of different defenders this year, including Victor Oladipo of Indiana.  Do you find different ways to attack tall defenders, short defenders, and do you have a preference who you get covered by or do you just figure it out?

TREY BURKE:  I try to play off what the defense gives me.  Just watching a lot of film on Kansas I see that they're really a good defensive team.  I'll have to just try to find ways to attack their defense and try to find ways to get into the paint and hit the open defenders.

Q.  Trey and Tim, I'd like each of you to explain how your chemistry has developed, what you look for from the other guy and how you kind of work together to be so effective?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  Well, it's just playing off of instincts, really, and playing with each other on the court in the summer in open gym and practice, whatever the case may be.  You've got to read off what the other guy is doing, make it easy for your partner.

That's basically what you look for in your teammate, and that's what we've just been doing all season long.

TREY BURKE:  And we trust each other, really.  Like you said, we know each others' tendencies, that all plays a part from playing with each other all the way back since I came in as a freshman in the summer and things like that.  And I think since then we've just continued to grow on and off the court.  And it's just allowed us to play as well as we do with each other.

Q.  Mitch and Trey, when you get to the rim you're going to be facing Jeff Withey, you've probably faced big shot blockers before.  Is that something you consciously have a game plan to go into when Jeff is on defense to try to score, to try to adjust to his height?

MITCH McGARY:  I think so.  I think offensively just going through our offense, we're going to have to use shot fakes a lot and try to get him up in the air and maybe try to get him in foul trouble.  He does a great job of staying out of foul trouble.  So I think we have to get him in the air sometimes.

TREY BURKE:  Just like he said, just try to get as deep in the paint as possible.  When we get down there, just making wise choices.  I know he's one of the best shot blockers, if not the best in the country.  My job is just to try to hit the layup when I can and hit the big man when I can.  It's all off of reads from Jeff Withey, really.

Q.  Tim, is it hard at all with your famous last name, your famous dad and your name?  Is your game at all comparable to your dad at all or is it a totally different animal?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  It's not hard at all to play.  It actually gives you confidence to go out there and just do what you do.  It's great just to go out there and play not only for yourself and for your family and for that last name.  It's all about heart when you're playing. He just tells me to go out and have fun, don't worry about it, try to make a name for yourself.  And our games are not comparable, really.  I'm 6-6, he was 6 foot.  He's a point guard, I'm not.  That's basically it, he could tell you that straight up.

Q.  Trey, you have three teammates who are sons of NBA players.  Is there anything they have in common in terms of basketball IQ or do you think your game is more comparable to Tim Hardaway, Sr. than Tim Hardaway, Jr.'s is?

TREY BURKE:  I think with the athletes that we have that are sons of NBA players, what they have in common is they're really athletic.  And obviously that comes from their genes.  It's natural, really. But as far as the Tim, Sr. question, I think maybe his game is kind of comparable.  Like Tim said, Tim is 6-6 and his dad was 6 foot and could really handle a ball at a high level and was a point guard.  That's a tough comparison.  But I would say so.

Q.  Trey, some people believe that the Big Ten has been the toughest conference this year.  There's four Big Ten teams still alive, conceivably could all get there.  How do you think that's prepared you for this game, going through that level of competition all year?

TREY BURKE:  I think it's prepared us all, really.  Because, like you say, I think the Big Ten is one of the, if not the best conference in the country.  Night in and night out we've seen some of the top talent, whether it's a top 5 team or a team not ranked in the top 25.  I think that's prepared us for the postseason and allowed us to come into this tournament with a lot of confidence.

Q.  Trey, you guys have got some good offense numbers, averaging 75 per game, shooting 48 percent, you lead the nation in fewest turnovers.  Is that one of the biggest keys for those other numbers, the fact that you take care of the ball so much?

TREY BURKE:  I think that's a big key.  Coach B always stresses the fact that the more turnovers we have the less chance we have to win.  We try to take care of the ball as much as possible, try to take the best shots that we can, and just go out there and play within our offense.  We trust our offense.  And I think our offense allows us to get into a rhythm and allows us to play better defense.

Q.  Tim, have you had a chance to talk to your dad much about NCAA tournament experiences, like what he went through and can he relate it to you and have you given him a hard time about going farther in the tournament than he did?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  About that, I don't think he made it this far.  I don't think he really tell me -- he tells me to go out and have fun, play with heart, play within your game.  Don't do anything crazy and just trust your teammates and just trust what the coaches are telling you.  So that helps me feel comfortable when I'm out there playing with my teammates and that's what I'm going to continue to do.

Q.  Mitch, maybe you're part of this, the team went 6 and 6 down the stretch of the season, but then bounced back with really two really fine performances in the tournament.  What do you think has turned it or getting out of the Big Ten?

MITCH McGARY:  A little bit is getting out of the Big Ten.  We tried to regroup as a team and just, I guess, make a better bond through a season that was a tough season, enduring our bodies and minds through the season.  We needed to get fresh legs and make a better bond as a team and try to make a run at it.

Q.  Mitch, I remember you had a big AAU tournament in Lawrence, Kansas.  If I recall correctly, Kansas was recruiting you.  Did you ever seriously consider them?

MITCH McGARY:  Yeah, I did.  Coach Self and Joe Dooley and Danny Manning talked to me, I took an unofficial here after that Jayhawk Invitational tournament.  It was a good unofficial visit, but it wasn't the best fit for me.

Q.  Trey, who would you say is the best defender and the toughest defender you've had to face this year and what made that the case?

TREY BURKE:  I would probably say the toughest overall defender would probably be Oladipo from Indiana.  As far as on ball, I have to give it to Craft.  Both of those guys are very deserving on the defensive end.  They work so hard on defense. It was really hard to say who is better than the other.  They're both really good at moving their feet, anticipating.  I honestly had fun playing against them.  They make me work and they make me better, and that's all this is about.

Q.  Trey, who do you think changes your job more as a point guard, whoever will be guarding you tomorrow or Jeff Withey on the second line, there?

TREY BURKE:  I think Jeff Withey, just because our offense is set up on the guards getting into the paint.  There's going to be times when we get into the paint.  When we get into the paint when you have a 7 footer there, you have to make the right decision or you'll have a bad shot or a blocked shot. I think our biggest area tomorrow is just trying to make the right decision when we get to their front court, get into the paint, just making the right play.  I think our offense will be successful as our decisions in the paint.

Q.  Trey and anyone else who wants to chime in, it's been a while since Michigan has been this far in the tournament.  Do you feel like you're reestablishing something here?

TREY BURKE:  Well, I just think as a team we've done a good job of just fighting through adversity.  Like we say, it's been a while since we've been back here.  We're definitely honored to be here, but we know we have to stay humble.  We have more work to do.  We have to continue to get better. Kansas is not going to just lay down for us.  We just have to do what we need to do, execution on both sides of the court will be big tomorrow, it'll determine how much farther we can go.

Q.  Along those same lines, I was wondering if any of you all had had any contact with some of the Fab 5 guys from the last time Michigan went this far, and if they had anything to offer and how you handle the experience?

TIM HARDAWAY, JR.:  I don't think -- no, I don't think none of them contacted us.  They probably contacted our coaching staff.  But I know they're happy for us and they're pulling for us and they want us to do really, really good. We just have to keep doing what we're doing right now, preparing the same way, executing the same way and just being as efficient as possible to move on.

MITCH McGARY:  I actually talked to Jimmy King on Monday, he came in and spoke in one of our classes to us five freshmen on the team are in the same class together.  He said go out and have fun.  He's been here before.  He knows what to experience from it.  And it's the same game of basketball, he just said go have fun and play your game.

For more from Burke, Hardaway, and McGary from inside the locker room, press play below.

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