Derrick Walton didn't come to Michigan to be the next Trey Burke.

He didn't choose to follow a legend, a national player of the year as John Beilein's point guard. It just happened to work out that way.

But 33 games into Walton's freshman season, there's been one constant that's kept Walton on the rise.

When it comes to basketball, he's not screwing around.

"It's always been about him trying to be Derrick Walton, not Trey Burke or anyone else," said Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan, who remains in charge of developing the team's guards. "He came in here with the mentality that he wanted to be on the court, right away. He wanted to know what he had to do to get on the court.

"And once he got out there, he never stopped learning."

Walton hasn't had the freshman year Burke had in 2012. But then again, no one asked him to.

He has, however, been very steady for the Wolverines as a rookie this season -- averaging 8.1 points, 3 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32 starts.

The 6-foot-1 freshman has had his share of quiet games, notably early in the season and late in a scoreless showing during Michigan's home loss to Wisconsin in February.

But he's also had moments of brilliance.

Walton dropped 19 points in the Breslin Center against Michigan State in January. He hit basically hit a buzzer-beater to score Michigan a win at Nebraska two weeks before that. He was terrific on the road against Ohio State and he was steady throughout Michigan's stay in the Big Ten Tournament.

But now, the big one awaits. The NCAA tournament has always been a guard's event. The better your point guard, the better the shot you have to make a run.

And Thursday, when No. 2 Michigan tips against No. 15 Wofford in Milwaukee, Walton says there won't be any nerves. After all, this is what he came here for.

"I'm just going to do my job, help the guys win, and be the best point guard for this team I can be," Walton says. "I'm pretty comfortable with this offense now. The guys have done a great job of helping me be aware of everything that's going on out there.

"I'm comfortable in this spot."