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Backcourt puts in work at LeBron camp

7/9/2012
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke are working on involving their teammates more in the offense at the LeBron James Skills Academy. Paul Biancardi/ESPN.com

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke were two of just 25 college players invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy in Las Vegas over the weekend. The duo got to face some of the nation's top talent, including Penn State's Tim Frazier and Duke's Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly.

With the event open to NBA scouts, Burke had the opportunity to show off his game to the professionals after having flirted with leaving Michigan. But with only a few months to prepare for his sophomore season, Burke has his sights set on making the Wolverines better.

"My focus is to bring more to the team than just scoring," Burke said. "I am trying to get everyone involved and making others around me better. Having the feel of scoring and running the point is one of the biggest things that I must learn. I am working on that in every session here at camp."

In his freshman season, Burke averaged 15 points, four rebounds and five assists a game. But with Stu Douglass gone, more of the ball distribution will fall on the shoulders of Burke.

Hardaway Jr., who dished out two assists a game last season, also is trying to improve his game by getting others more involved.

"Offensively, [I'm] trying to bring the ball up the floor and make plays for others," Hardaway Jr. said. "Also, I an emphasizing rebounding as I believe I can be better in that area."

Much of Michigan's success will fall on both Burke and Haradaway Jr., and the expectations for next season are already high. Without the leadership of Douglass and Zack Novak, this duo will be expected to step up in that category as well.

Hardaway Jr. said he and other players have been meeting with Michigan coach John Beilein to discuss what works and doesn’t work for the players. And already, they've made goals for how to be even more successful in 2012.

"We need to be more consistent and start games out the way we finished them," Burke said. "Last year we came out slow and got down early in games. We always cut the lead, but we need to start the game with more intensity and keep that intensity all game long."

With the large amount of turnover in the program over the last season, it is expected that some of the true freshmen could see significant playing time for the Wolverines. But that doesn’t bother Burke or Hardaway Jr., who said they’ve been really impressed with the maturity of their young guys.

"Many highly rated recruits try to make a name for themselves," Hardaway Jr. said. "Not these guys. They are very humble. They want to learn from the veterans. They are asking us how they could be better."

Michigan's 2012 recruiting class ranked 14th in the country and will be led by a trio of ESPN100 players -- five-star Glenn Robinson and four-stars Mitch McGary and Nik Stauskas.

ESPN.com national director of recruitin Paul Biancardi contributed to this report.