Trey Burke dominates, but Tim Hardaway Jr.'s injury could be concerning for No. 2 Michigan
ANN ARBOR -- Trey Burke knew his sidekick wasn't on the floor Saturday.
And so, for really the first time this season, he began the game looking for his own shot rather than focusing on playing distributor.
Not only did he find his shot during an 88-73 win over Central Michigan, but he made just about every one of them, scoring 17 of his team-high 22 points before halftime with Tim Hardaway Jr. on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.
"We were kind of more inexperienced out there (without Hardaway)," Burke said. "And when I came out and came off the ball-screen, it felt like no one was guarding me.
"Coach just told me if the shot was there, shoot it."
Burke went 7 of 9 from the floor during the first half, and finished the game 9 of 12 -- 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
In case anyone forgot, he can still score.
Oh, and he still found time to pass, too. Burke racked up 11 assists, tying a career-high, and posted his second double-double of the season. He also has 27 assists and just two turnovers in his last three games -- numbers that might seem staggering for most, but for Burke, they've just become old hat.
"He is the most veteran sophomore, as far as poise, as I've ever been around," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "I'm looking at him like he's the old man out there running the offense, because we needed it.
"We knew that there was going to be three or four freshmen on the floor with him a lot tonight. He's just as steady as can be."
Burke's performance against CMU was just an affirmation of how good he's been this season. But Hardaway's absence, though not a big deal on this night, could be something that proves bothersome for the Wolverines moving forward.
Beilein said after the game that he's not sure how long the junior guard will be out, and his status for Michigan's Big Ten opener at Northwestern on Thursday remains up in the air.
Hardaway's replacement, Caris LeVert, had a strong showing -- putting up 9 points and 5 assists in 32 minutes. But that was against Central Michigan.
The Big Ten starts next week, and Michigan knows it needs Hardaway -- who had started 81 straight games prior to Saturday -- to be at its best.
"I walked into the locker room at the end of the game and at that time it dawned on me," Beilein said. "We'd just won a game without Tim Hardaway in the lineup at all."
At 13-0, Michigan hasn't suffered much adversity through the first two months of the season.
Hardaway's ankle could be its first dose.
"They haven't told me, but it's not too serious," Burke said after the game. "I think it's just like a bone bruise. I'm sure he'll be back next game.
"But that's all I've heard, we just heard coach wanted to sit him for this game so nothing major could happen."
Michigan hopes Burke's right.
-- Download the Michigan football on MLive app for iPhone and Android
-- Download the Michigan basketball on MLive app for iPhone and Android
-- Follow Kyle Meinke and Nick Baumgardner on Twitter
-- Like MLive's Michigan Wolverines Facebook