Three Big Things: Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan gets the ESPN preview treatment from Eamonn Brennan

Is this the best backcourt in the country? Maybe other squads will compete for sheer depth, and maybe other teams will have a bit more flash, but you’ll have a tough time finding another surefire one-two guard punch like this one.

I’m speaking, of course, about Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr., the twosome at the heart of Michigan’s 2011-12 rebirth. Both were excellent — and absolutely crucial — last season, and the numbers plainly back it up. Burke and Hardaway played 89.2 percent and 84.5 percent of their team’s available minutes, respectively. Burke posted a usage rate of 26.8 percent and a shot percentage of 25.8; Hardaway’s usage was 25.6, his shot rate 26.6. No other Michigan player broke the 21.0 percent usage barrier. Hardaway was slightly less efficient overall, and he made just 28.3 percent from beyond the arc, but he and his backcourt mate were easily the most dynamic part of Michigan’s attack.

Find even more preview content at ESPN Insider from Mike Rothstein, Paul Biancardi and Fran Fraschilla ($) and Tim Hardaway Jr. answers five questions.