Auburn Hills, Mich. • Ty Corbin expects his rookie point guard will feel a little extra pressure Friday night when he plays before a contingent of friends, family and University of Michigan fans who probably wouldn’t have minded seeing him in a Detroit Pistons uniform.
But Trey Burke has dealt with pressure before.
Burke’s play, especially in big games, pushed the Michigan Wolverines to last year’s NCAA championship game — and helped get him ready to perform immediately at the next level.
“The player he was, the load he had to carry for his team, the responsibility he had every night and delivering in tough situations nightly ... it showed a lot about who he was,” Corbin said.
That’s one of the reasons Corbin was excited to see Burke slip a little in the June draft.
“Oh man, when he was becoming available, getting closer to our pick, it was like, ‘Wow. We’re gonna get him. We’re gonna be able to get him,’” Corbin said. “Lucky for us, Dennis [Lindsey] and Kevin [O’Connor] were able to make a move to move up to get him. We needed a point guard. To get a young point guard that was as successful as he was in college and has a chance to be as successful as we think he can be in this league, it’s great to get him at this juncture.”
Burke and the Jazz take on the Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. MT.
Utah’s leading scorer, Gordon Hayward, did not participate in shootaround. He has missed three straight games and his hip flexor injury once again has him listed as a game-time decision.
If Hayward cannot play, Alec Burks would start in his place.
But the Jazz also would need more from the rookie Burke.
“We need him to have a big game for us to have a chance to win,” Corbin said.