Zack Novak: Questions Answered

Dylan Burkhardt

Zack NovakMichigan’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.

Zack NovakKy Fox: In what way do you see yourself contributing to the team next year? Assuming you have watched a couple of UM’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.

Zack NovakBill: 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? What’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.

Zack NovakMatt 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 “liked/rooted for/knew about” 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.

Zack NovakKevin 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 you’ve patterned your game after? For someone who’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?
: 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!

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  • Giddings

    Awesome… as much as I follow the stuff on Rivals and Scout, this is probably the coolest recruiting interview I’ve read, at least in recent times. I really feel like I know a great deal about Zack now, and I’m REALLY glad to have him aboard.

    Also props to Reality Man for asking the “best opposing player” question, very interesting to read that Zack had to guard Luke Harangody and still managed to outscore him!

  • BL

    Two key things i got from his answers….good questions everyone…

    As a baseball player and now coach…centerfield is where you put your athlete and its all instincts and quickness….i was glad to hear him say he played there.

    The mention of Harangody…anybody who has watched the boy play has to like that Zack wen’t head to head with him and had some success. Harangody does a lot of stuff well (obviously) and hopefully Zack does those things as well being a scorer.

    Thanks again Dylan for letting us take part. Good stuff.

  • Benjamin (formerly BenAA)

    Thanks for answering our questions, Zack. We look forward to seeing you on the court next season.

  • Kevin in GR

    Great interview and assortment of questions! One thing though…….I believe he’s going to need to chose a different number because isn’t Cazzie’s “#33” retired? Maybe he could go with “3”? :)

  • Kevin in GR

    MY BAD….Manny is 3!

  • matt

    Is he left handed?

  • matt

    How about #23? MJ-esque

  • From the video I’ve seen I’m pretty sure he’s a lefty.

    And yea… Manny is three. I think Cassie’s 33 is the only actual number that is retired but I am not sure.

  • Benjamin

    The follow numbers are off limits (I think)

    #22 (Bill Buntin)
    #33 (Cazzie Russell)
    #35 (Phil Hubbard)
    #41 (Glen Rice)
    #45 (Rudy Tomjanovich)

    Please, pick #23, cus I already own that jersey. (Thanks Maurice Taylor)

  • All of those numbers aren’t off limits though.

    The jerseys are retired but not the numbers. The question is whether or not the actual number 33 is retired. For example Buntin’s jersey is retired but the number 22 isn’t because Ekpe wears it.

  • Benjamin

    Great point Dylan.

    I couldn’t find a good source anywhere to verify what numbers vs. jerseys are retired.

  • Robbie Hummel

    not man enough to answer me, huh?

  • joe s

    Udoh wears 22 so maybe the numbers are not off limits

  • Oh come on Robbie, the real Mr. Hummel doesn’t live in South Quad. :-)

  • Socal Fan

    Btw guys, just something of note.
    Andy Brown in the State Div. II Championship game tonight against Archbishop Mitty which has Drew Gordon(UCLA) scored 18 pts and grabbed 8 boards, tops on his team again. This kid is dynamite.

  • Thanks a lot Socal. Would LOVE that kid and Darius in Maize and Blue!

  • Socal Fan

    There was one play. Where he was out beyond the arc looking at the 3 and just had a powerful first step, blew by his defender baseline and went up strong with like two guys hacking him and I believe got the 3 pt play it was crazy.

  • Robbie Hummel

    haha, you got me…good blog, good interview, keep em coming!

  • matt

    Andy Brown and Darius Morris are must gets. Have them visit soon, lock them in early.

    I heard Morris ha a really good season and the Cali schools are starting to become more interested in him. We need to get on him early.

    This recruiting class will tell us alot on how Beilein will recruit.

  • Nice to know he respects a great quarterback/athlete when he sees one!

    I love anyone who loves Favre :-)

  • Novak Supporter

    Having known and watched Zack play for years, I can tell you that his psychological makeup is very much like Farve: he competes fiercly on EVERY play, he will always step up and play big at crunch time, and he will always accept responsibility for his play and his decisions. He is quick to share credit and quick to accept blame. He is what far too many people say far too casually – a winner. Beilein knew exactly what he was looking for and got exactly what he wanted. You are going to love this kid!

  • old fan

    Welcome Zack. We obviously need some shooters so you are a welcome addition. There are more UM hoops fans than you can imagine. Have fun bringing them out of the woodwork again.

    The big ten tourney will be half filled with UM supporters once you are finished. This is the exactly right place for you at the right time.

  • how ya doin,how ya doin, how ya doin, stewie griffin here. WHY THE MAJOR DIS ON ME!!! OH MY QUESTION WASN’T UP TO PAR!! HOW BUT A LITTLE 21 IN MY HOOD!!! R U MAN ENUFF???!!! B THERE TONIGHT AT 8 SHARP!! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!WORD!!!!!!

  • hat

    Great stuff – nice work!

  • Kevin in GR

    I just read the article/link on Zach and it mentioned where his dad bought him a “VHS tape” of Damon Bailey that he would play over and over and that Zack found it pretty entertaining. I threw out the question to him about Damon Bailey and he said he “never really saw him play”. Not trying to be critical here, but what’s up with that?

  • I saw that too. Not really sure whats up with the answer but thought it was weird too. Maybe Zack just didn’t want to compare him self? I don’t know.

  • SH

    I guess you’d have to ask Zack but just because he had a VHS ‘about’ Damon Bailey doesn’t mean it showed enough of him actually playing to evaluate.
    I think Damon did speaking, basketball camps etc too. No telling what was on the tape.

  • SH

    Congrats to Novak and Douglass for making the Indiana North All-Star team!

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