Auburn Hills — A box score line like the one Trey Burke produced Thursday night just might make you wonder.
Burke, the Big Ten player of the year, was 2-for-12 from the field and scored six points for Michigan in the Wolverines' 71-56 NCAA Tournament second-round victory against South Dakota State at The Palace.
It was the first time this season Burke, who averaged 20.2 points a game during the Big Ten portion of the schedule, scored in single digits.
But there were more important numbers:
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III each scored 21 points — Robinson had 17 in the second half, including Michigan's first 11. Freshman center Mitch McGary had 13 points and nine rebounds in his third start of the season.
And Burke? Well, he had seven assists, also an important number because he realized quickly he wasn't going to be a scoring threat. Burke was 0-for-9 from the field at one point.
"Shots just weren't falling tonight," Burke said. "South Dakota State did a good job of not allowing us to get into the paint. I just tried to pick and choose when I could get in there and hit the open man.
"I wasn't frustrated at all. I knew my shot wasn't falling, and I just tried to contribute in different ways. We had different hot hands tonight, Tim, Nik (Stauskas), Glenn and Mitch. As a point guard, my job is to go to those guys to have success on the offensive end."
Burke, who this week was named the Sports Illustrated national player of the year, said he knew halfway through the first half that his shooting was cold.
"I had about four or five open shots and they were in and out," Burke said. "I kind of smiled for a second — I don't want to show any type of frustration because at the end of the day, I want to win. I want to help this team accomplish goals, so I had to do whatever I need to do to help this team win."
Michigan coach John Beilein said he doesn't believe Burke was pressing considering the abundance of national attention he has received in recent weeks.
"I didn't see that," Beilein said. "I saw him looking for opportunities, and (South Dakota State) played really good defense. He still had seven assists and two turnovers. I have that type of confidence in them to be able to survive a shot that they usually tell me, 'Coach, I know that was a bad one.'
"But he had some other good shots that didn't go down. It's really good to have those other guys there, and that's really something that we haven't always had in these situations — (we have) more answers than if one of our other guys was off. So we just played through this right now. Someone asked me when he was 0-for-7 at halftime, I said that means he'll probably be 7-for-7 in the second half because the odds are he's going to start making them. Now, he still didn't do that. Still wouldn't trade him. Want him out there every minute we can have him out there."
"We had a lot of efforts in the frontcourt and the backcourt," Burke said. "We play like that, we're going to be tough to beat."