Report Card 2011: Zack Novak

Now with video:

Kudos to our resident video guru, Josh Houchin, who did an amazing job with these videos. We’ll have more videos in the coming days and weeks.

35.0 8.9 5.8 1.6 51.9% 38.5% 83.1% 114.8 13.8%

There are plenty of players that talk about how badly they want to win games but a much smaller group consistently demonstrates their will to win on the court. Zack Novak falls into the second category. He says things like “I hate losing more than I like winning” because he’s brutally honest and not because it makes for a good sound bite. Anyone that has seen him in the locker room after a loss understands his honesty.

Novak posted career bests in almost every statistical measure during his junior season including points, rebounds, three point shooting, effective field goal percentage, offensive rating, free throw percentage, free throw rate and turnover rate. His improvement wasn’t as dramatic as Darius Morris or Jordan Morgan but, quietly, Novak turned himself into a better player during the offseason. More importantly, he took ownership of the team and provided the direction and leadership that was so sorely lacking a year before.

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Video: Zak Irvin at Shootout

Thanks to our friends Alex Bozich and Joe Eberhardt from Inside the Hall for passing along these videos of Zak Irvin at the Shootout. They shared some footage of Irvin in action along with a video interview after the jump.

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Recruiting Roundup: Motown Showdown, Indy Ball and Boo Williams

184786_1444144722708_1805837637_812004_592945_nAAU kicked into full gear on the national stage with the Boo Williams Invitational (or EYBL Session 1) but there were also some strong regional tournaments as well. The Michigan Mustangs hosted the Motown Showdown and hosted a tournament in Indianapolis. Before the AAU talk, here are a couple other tidbits from the weekend:

There was also a short open contact period that allowed coaches to hit the road. John Beilein made the trip out east to watch 2012 big man Mitch McGary (pictured). McGary played very well at an AAU tournament in Milwaukee a week ago and plays alongside Michigan commitment Glenn Robinson III. McGary still has a long list of high profile schools recruiting him but it’s clear that Michigan continues to try to works its way into the mix.

Trey Burke spearheaded a Team Ohio comeback as they knocked off Kentucky in an All-Star event over the weekend. Video highlights here.

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Report Card 2011: Non-Rotation Players


Jon Horford, Blake McLimans and Colton Christian all played at least a handful of important minutes at some point this season but never saw consistent playing time. The trio played fewer than 200 minutes on the year and didn’t make it off the bench in six or more games. Due to the limited sample size available to judge these players, we’ll keep it short and combine them all into one “report card”.

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Austin Hatch: “Michigan is probably No. 1 right now”

bilde[1]The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel published a feature story on Canterbury’s Austin Hatch today. Hatch averaged 23.3 points and 9.3 rebounds per game as a sophomore while guiding Canterbury to at 17-5 record. Reporting his measurables at 6-foot-6 and 214 pounds, Hatch has begun to draw interest from numerous college programs including Michigan, Purdue, Notre Dame, Indiana, Illinois and Virginia. Michigan appears to be the preliminary leader in his recruitment:

“Michigan is probably No. 1 right now,” he said. “They’ve shown the most interest in me, and I’m most interested in them, especially with their academics. Coach Beilein is a great coach, and they have a great group of guys and a great coaching staff.”

For more on Hatch, make sure to read the full News-Sentinel profile.

Michigan won’t extend offers to sophomore prospects until June 15th but Hatch appears to be one of several 2013 wing prospects in that class which could receive an offer. Some of those other wing prospects on the Michigan radar include Zak Irvin, Steven Haney, James Young, Bo Zeigler and EC Matthews.

Expectations and Learning from the Past


With the National Championship game officially in our rearview mirror, we’ve reached the point in the off-season when national journalists churn out the first of many “way too early preseason top 25” lists. Not surprisingly, almost every national analyst has Michigan somewhere within their top-25. NBCSports’ Mike Miller has Michigan projected at No. 9, Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn at No. 13 and FOX Sports’ Jeff Goodman at No. 17. appears to be one of the few publications that doesn’t have Michigan ranked. These early rankings obviously don’t mean much, especially when NBA draft entries will change the landscape over the next month. Despite the apparent foolishness behind these lists, one thing is clear: the national media feels great about Michigan’s 2011-12 team.

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