Scouting & Video: Zak Irvin and VJ Beachem at Best of the Midwest


Zak Irvin and VJ Beachem both played instrumental roles in the Eric Gordon All-Stars’ championship run at the Best of the Midwest event last week. The performances bookended an impressive first July evaluation for both prospects that earned the pair additional offers, Tennessee for Irvin and Notre Dame for Beachem. Irvin holds a Michigan offer, and Beachem could very well add one down the road, but both prospects appear to be nearing college decisions. Here’s footage of Irvin, with scouting reports and Beachem video after the jump:

Scouting report, Zak Irvin – Irvin was arguably the performer of the tournament at last week’s Best of the Midwest. He shot the ball very well, knocking down perimeter and mid-range jump shots off the bounce and the catch. Irvin also was a formidable passer and distributor, getting into the lane and using great vision to find teammates for open shots. Perhaps what was most impressive about Irvin’s week was the efficiency with which he performed. He made the most of the shots he took and wasn’t forcing the action as a penetrator or a passer.

VJ Beachem Footage:

  • DingoBlue

    That video of Irvin really is impressive.  I would not mind seeing him in the Maize and Blue.

  • JBlair52

    Irvin reminds me of THj.
    He has length and a well balanced game.

  • Wayman Britt

    Love Zak Irvin’s game, especially his length. Would like him to become a Wolverine.  I only wish a point guard would accept soon, so we know where UM is at with that position.

  • John

    Kennyontae Jackson, top 10 basketball player in the state of Michigan, class of 2014 goes to Ann Arbor Huron, and plays for Fist aau team 

  • Skeeter3467

    The competition in that video was really low.  I dont know how anyone can watch that talent level and conclude much.  I see a kid with limited range and technically a very awkward shot.  If he is not a point guard, which he clearly is not, I dont see him fitting into the system at UM at all.

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Please keep things civil and cool it with all of the personal and racial attacks. You can agree or disagree on various players but there’s no need to get into personal spats around here.

  • New Guy

    I assume you understand the term “speculation objection.” What you said was unnecessary. 

  • guest

    I don’t think race has anything to do with it…it just seems that some of the newer posters are either younger and/or personally (or emotionally) biased towards some recruits and can’t deal with the objective comparisons and discussions that usually take place here…

  • Flwolve

    I agree with this.  I think some of the newer posters are friends with the local in-state kids so they have a tendency to push those kids when the out of state kids are actually the better prospects.

  • Skeeter3467

    a more likely proposition is that if anyone suggests some other prospect is better than one Beilein has offered than the blue bloods go in attack mode.  Such as , Khalil Felder is way better than Demetrius Jackson.  Or Haney better than Irvin. Team Reach U16 from Detroit and the Michigan Mustangs U16, on the same court in Indy, in back to back games beat the Atlanta Celtics (# 3 national rank) and the Eric Gordon All Stars (#5 national rank) at the Adidas Invitational.  A fact.  So how do you arrive at the conclusion out of state prospects are better?  Answer that one  We will see if the grass is “greaner” over in Indiana and Ohio…Dont  get mad at the greaner reference   Belien is not taking care of the Michigan recruiting base. Period.  We have short memories…MSU Flintstones?  Webber, Rose?  It will be the downfall

  • guest

    wow…i think you’re overreacting a bit…so by your logic, was Tim Hardaway a bad recruit for Beilein to go after because he was out of state and not terribly highly rated? How about Darius Morris?  Or reversing your thinking, why did Beilein recruit Jordan Morgan then., because there were other MI players ranked higher than him? The point is, he’s finding players that he believes will work within the framework of the team he is building. So best guess would be the COACH believes Irvin will fit best with the players he has and the style of play the team is geared toward…Maybe Haney does not…It is NOT personal, and nobody is taking personal shots at any recruit we see here…point is, just relax a bit, Beilein is not destroying the program or losing a recruiting base…

  • Mmhaggerson

    Rating services are funny things, especially for younger
    players outside the top 20 or so.


    For instance, neither are ESPN 60 rated which is not a surprise and Scout has Irvin as the #22 SG and doesn’t rank Haney.


    Bottom line, the ranking services aren’t conclusive.


    Also, I believe coaches usually know what they are doing
    with respect to choosing recruits.


    Haney has offers from Detroit, Toledo, Valparaiso and
    Western Michigan.

    Of course AAU success or some visits could add more. 

    Irvin has offers from Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Miami,
    Michigan, MSU, Purdue and Xavier. Those are some good coaches at these schools.


    I like them both; they each bring something completely
    different to the game.

  • matt d

    Whether you believe me or not regarding my occupation simply doesn’t matter, it is not relevant to any basketball discussion. However, what you(or any other poster for tha matter) DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT to do is claim that I have commenced a personal attack when nothing is further from the truth.

    On to the basketball debate. Subjectively, you claim that Irvin’s shot is flawed mechanically, while Haney is presumably the better prospect/player. I contend that Irvin is more athletic, has better ball handling ability, a great mid range shot, and much more potential on the college level.

    You utilize Rivals’ rankings as a legitmizing factor to support your opinion that Haney is the better on the basis that they have watched both players on multiple occasions. Your supporting evidence is a bit too limited for my liking. Let’s take a look at the rankings/offers. 

    Haney’s Rankings/Offers

    Rivals – 4 star/ #68
    Scout – nowhere to be found
    ESPN – Grade 90/ 3 star/ #27 SF
    Michigan Offer – No Sir
    Other High Major Offers – NONE

    Irvin’s Rankings/Offers
    Rivals – 4 star/ #97
    Scout – 3star/ #22 SG(Highest rated 3 star SG)
    ESPN – Grade 92/ 4 Star/ #74/ #19 SF
    Michigan Offer – Check
    Other High Major Offers – Butler, Illinois, Indiana, Miami, Purdue, Tennessee, Xavier

    In esence, this proves that your citation of Rivals’ rankings is a moot point. Scout/ESPN both have scouts that watch both Haney/Irivn quite frequently as well, and they seem to prefer Irvin by a pretty wide margin, and the offer sheets reflect the same.

    Bottom line – don’t use rankings on a convenient basis when there is substantial data to refute your claim. According to the recruiting services and coaches, in particular Coach B, Irvin is the better prospect. These factors in conjunction with each other, seem to indicate that I don’t have an agenda, I just happen to see some of the same things that the majority of the scouts see.Moving forward, I could care less about the region/state that recruits come from, or their ethnic composition, I just want the best talent/player to suit up for Michigan, and nothing else.

  • MHoops1

    Well, I watched them live at the Michigan Camp–not grainy video clips–and I thought Irvin was way, way better than Haney. For that matter, there were at least 10 other wings I saw, in-state and out–who were better than Haney. You’re free to disagree, but insulting the occupation of someone who dares to think differently than you do doesn’t exactly win you a lot of credibility points.

    I want the best players. That isn’t always measured by rivals’ (or any other service’s) rankings–Tim Hardaway wasn’t Top 150 on rivals, and Jordan Morgan was considered a low major player by espn. I could care less where they’re from–people complained four years ago about taking Novak and Douglass instead of Kavon Rose, Paul Williams and Eric Evans, and that seems to have worked out fine.

    If you want to champion the Michigan kids and say that they’re all better than the kids from out-of-state, that’s your right. If you want to base conclusions solely on rivals’ rankings, that’s your right too. But, stop insulting the information, motives or occupations of those of us who reach different conclusions.