Michigan’s latest 2008 commitment Zack Novak averaged 27 ppg and 7.5 rpg while shooting 39% from behind the three point line his senior season. After committing a week ago Novak agreed to answer user submitted questions. Thanks to everyone who submitted a question and I tried to ask as many as possible but some of them had to be cut. Thanks for taking the time Zack and good luck in the Maize and Blue.
Dylan: Tell us about when Beilein came to watch you practice. Rumor has it that you put on a shooting clinic.
Zack Novak: Actually, during the initial part of practice when our team was running through our offense, I didn’t shoot it that well. We end every practice with shooting though and I started to feel it for a little bit during that. He asked me to scoot back a little, seeing that the line is being moved and all and I got into a bit of a rhythm and hit a few deep ones.
Reality Man: Who is the best player you have played against and how did you fare against him?
Novak: I couldn’t really begin to tell you that one. In the summer AAU circuit I’ve played several highly ranked players. I guess one that sticks out in my mind though is Luke Harangody from Notre Dame. He was Big East player of the year this year I believe. My freshman year I had 33 against him and we lost. My sophomore year I went for 32, while he went for 27. I was guarding him for most of that game. He’s a beast.
Ky Fox: In what way do you see yourself contributing to the team next year? Assuming you have watched a couple of UMâ€™s games. What do you have that they need in a shooting guard/small forward?
Novak: A big advantage I have right off the bat is that my high school team runs the same offense that coach teaches. I’ll already have a pretty good understanding of what’s going on when I come onto campus. Other than that I’ll look to put the ball in the hole and do whatever coach needs me to do.
Bill: What do you think about coach Beilein and his system and how do your skills fit?
Novak: As I told Ky Fox, my high school ran the same system and it worked pretty well for me. I scored within it many different ways. I shot the three, pull up mid range or just take it to the hole.
Matt: What number do you hope to wear? Which position do you prefer, a two guard or wing? Whatâ€™s your actual height/weight? What did you enjoy the most about your visit(s)?
Novak: I’m going with 33. Being from Indiana, I’ve always been a huge Larry Bird fan. Right now I’d say I really have no preference between the 2 or the 3. Either one is alright with me. My actual height is about 6’4.5″ and I weigh 208. It would be hard to point out one thing I liked most in the visits. Everything was great.
Matt B: What kind of career do you envision yourself having at Michigan? What are your short-term and 4 year plans for yourself at UM in regards to hoops?
Novak: Right now, I’m focused on working hard over the spring and summer to be able to come in and help the team right away. The rest will take care of itself.
Steve: What will your summer workout plans consist of?
Novak: I think right now I’ll be on campus for summer school, so I’ll be working out with the team.
Tay: What is the best area of your game and what is the area that you will need to improve the most?
Novak: I’d say the best area of my game is my ability to score the ball. I’m always working on getting quicker feet and becoming faster. As those get better, I should be more effective.
Benjamin: What do you plan to major in?
Novak: I’m thinking business, but that could change.
BL: I was wondering how much you â€œliked/rooted for/knew aboutâ€ Michigan before the recruiting process and what collegiate program you rooted for growing up?
Novak: Growing up, I saw the Webber time out highlight about a million times. I was fairly familiar with the program. I watched some games when Chris Hunter was there because he was from Gary, which is about thirty minutes from Chesterton. When I was younger, I was a big fan of coach Knight at IU.
Kevin in GR: Do you plan on trying to play baseball too? If so, what position do you play?
Novak: Baseball is something I enjoy to play, but I will not be playing both. I’m putting all of my focus into basketball. I play centerfield, pitch and bat fourth for the high school team.
Kevin in GR: Is there a player youâ€™ve patterned your game after? For someone whoâ€™s never seen you play, who would you say you would remind them of? Damon Bailey?
Novak: This is a tough one. I can’t really say there is one person I’ve tried to be like. I never really saw Damon play, so I can’t answer that.
Justin: Have you had a chance to play against Stu Douglas? If so, what is your impression of his game and how do you see the two of you fitting together on the court?
Novak: Stu and I played once over the summer. He can really shoot the ball. If he gets hot there really is not much stopping him. From what I’ve heard, he can also shoot it from pretty deep. Deep shooters should open up things in the offense because the defense has to come out further.
Joe S: Are you related to Steve Novak and how much do you expect to play next year?
Novak: No relation. I would like to come in and help the team any way I can next year.
Josh: I was wondering if you pay any attention to what recruiting services like Rivals and Scout say about you and if you do, does it motivate you to be a better player and work harder?
Novak: I really try to not look too far into those types of things, but I can’t say I haven’t looked at them. It definitely pushes me to work harder.
John W: Can you tell us some of your heroes or the people you admire and/or try to pattern yourself after, both in sports and in life?
Novak: Chesterton is only about forty-five minutes from Chicago, so Michael Jordan was always my favorite player growing up. He was the best to ever play. Other than him I’d have to say my idol is Brett Favre. His toughness was second to none and he was a winner. He was fun to watch.
Josh: What is your favorite music and who is your favorite artist in that genre?
Novak: I’ll listen to just about anything except country. Some of my favorite artists/bands are Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Notorious B.I.G., AC/DC, Local H, Nirvana and Lil Wayne.
Josh: Also how far out do you think your 3 point range is?
Novak: The longest one I this this year within the offense was behind the volleyball line on a high school court, which is about 27 ft. I consistently hit from 25 ft probably.
Andrew: What impressed you most about Michigan? Coach Beilein, the campus, academics? What would you have to do to consider your college career at Michigan to be a success, both individually and as a team?
Novak: Everything during my two visits at Michigan impressed me. Coach Beilein is someone I will really enjoy playing for. The campus is awesome and the academics are top notch. It’s a perfect situation. During my years at Michigan, I just want to do all I can to help get the team to the top of the Big Ten and back into the tournament. Go Blue!