Robinson III, Burke in for test against Syracuse’s lengthy zone

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Long and winding road: Beilein arriving at Final Four stage with decades of help, friendship from BoeheimCoaches reflect on Rice video, defend professionBuild up: McGary develops from raw talent into focal point of Michigan offense ATLANTA — Glenn Robinson III is key to Michigan’s offense for what the Wolverines call the “Gretzky pass,” or the pass that leads to the assist. He’s active at both ends of the floor, an ideal complement to the Wolverines’ other star, Trey Burke.They’ve made up a dominant duo for Michigan, guiding the Wolverines to a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a trip to the Final Four. But Syracuse’s lengthy defense presents a challenge Robinson and Burke haven’t seen so far.“Playing against Syracuse, how they’re playing right now,” head coach John Beilein said, “we need all our players to have a great game.”Michigan is going to need Robinson and Burke, who won the Associated Press Player of the Year award on Thursday, to continue their high level of production on Saturday against Syracuse in the NCAA Tournament semifinals at 8:49 p.m. in the Georgia Dome.Burke is averaging an astounding 18.8 points per game and is shooting 46.4 percent from the field. Robinson, meanwhile, is averaging 11 points per game and is shooting 56.6 percent from the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut they haven’t done that against a zone like Syracuse’s, which has tormented opponents throughout the tournament. The zone is forcing the Wolverines to essentially scrap a game plan they’ve thrived on all season long.Beilein said Thursday that Michigan’s offense was able to isolate Burke throughout the season, forcing defenses to have to find and keep up with him. That won’t work against the zone. Instead Beilein said the goal will be quicker passes — no player should hold the ball for too long.But if that player is Burke, the Wolverines could be in for a tough game.“When you have a player like Trey Burke, you get the ball in his hands as often as you can,” Beilein said. “If zone negates that, we’ll just have to try to do our best.”Beilein also said Michigan hasn’t seen too much zone this season, especially not for a full 40 minutes. That’s been a common theme for Syracuse’s opponents this whole tournament, and none of them have been able to crack the zone effectively.Burke and Robinson have to be their usual dominant selves on Saturday for the Wolverines to have a legitimate shot at beating Syracuse, even if it means having to adjust to a new game plan.“I think all of our guys have equal key pieces in this game, whether it’s shooting, whether it’s finding the next man,” Beilein said. “… Those things which are usually very similar to most winning teams.” Commentscenter_img Published on April 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemanlast_img read more