Trey Burke's minutes are actually up, but the sophomore PG feels more fresh this season
ANN ARBOR -- After just about every game last season, Trey Burke was in some type of pain.
Burke played 1,227 minutes as a freshman last year, the second-highest single-season total in school history, so being sore after most games seems like something that just comes with the territory -- which is exactly what he thought.
But after an offseason of weight training and body development, Burke found out that constant soreness isn't necessary, it's not that normal and it's really not something he plans on dealing with again.
"Last year I thought I was just sore after every game and that was the norm," said Burke, who tied a season-high with 38 minutes played in Michigan's 81-66 win over West Virginia on Saturday. "Once it got to March, it got serious. My body started feeling it even more.
"But this year, I've definitely noticed a difference."
Burke spent a great deal of time this offseason with Michigan strength and conditioning coach Jon Sanderson, building more lower body strength and adding weight to his relatively small frame.
He now plays at 190 pounds after eating four meals per day during the summer. He also has a true backup this year in the form of freshman point guard Spike Albrecht, a pretty solid improvement over last year's backup -- a timeout.
Despite Albrecht's emergence, Burke's minutes are actually up through 11 games this season when compared to his freshman campaign. The sophomore point guard has logged 371 minutes so far this year, and was at 360 at this time a season ago.
But the real difference, in his opinion, will come when Big Ten play starts.
Burke averaged a staggering 37.1 minutes per game during conference play last year, something that really took a toll on his body.
"We had games where he'd go down the stretch and I'd have played 45 minutes," Burke recalled. "Coach (John Beilein) is doing a great job of getting me rest here and there, and Spike's coming in and doing a good job contributing."
Odds are, Burke will still have to play wire-to-wire more than once for the Wolverines this season. But there may also be times where Albrecht's presence allows him to steal 5 to 7 minutes here and there.
And, more importantly, if Michigan is forced to play in an overtime game and Burke's called upon to go the full 45 -- he's confident his offseason training will allow him to recover.
He's a year older, a year wiser and a lot less sore.
At least right now, anyway.
"I've definitely noticed a difference," Burke said. "I think it helps out a lot."
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