Mason NEEDS this, Pistons, after all you've put him through
My family and I were at the Georgia World Congress Center Friday enjoying the Final Four festivities of Bracket Town, when we ran into two future Wolverines in Michigan's Mr. Basketball runner-up Derrick Walton and Indiana Mr. Basketball winner Zak Irvin who apparently were in town for a high school three point competition. I happen to notice them fairly quickly and proceeded to congratulate them on their respective successes and also expressed how excited I was that the two will be attending Michigan in the fall. They were humble and respectful and very accommodating when I ask for the two of them to take a picture with me. Talking to them, they seem like two really great young men and guys who Michigan fans will be proud to call their own. Coach Beilein has done a fantastic job of recruiting guys like Zak and Derrick who are not only talented individuals, but great representatives of the university as well, to bring Michigan back to the forefront of college basketball. With young men like these two, along with the others, Michigan will remain among the elite for years to come.
Now one thing that struck me was the size of Derrick Walton who most recruiting sites estimate to be 6-0. Well I am a legit 6-3 and as you all can see, he is closer to my height than not. So he is at least 6-1 or better. Zak Irvin however is a legit 6-7, and when he hits them weights, he is going to be a beast.Now considering I missed the opportunity to attend the teams pep rally held at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Smyrna, and according to my brother who did attend, meet Fab Fiver Jimmy King, I thought meeting the future of Michigan basketball was a great consolation, and definitely grounds for my very own "cool story bro". Needless to say, my family and I had a blast! We sang "Hail To The Victors" with the team after the shoot around and from what I can tell Michigan is well represented in the Atl for this monumental event. You all should be proud. Thanks for letting me share, and let's hope they take care of business vs Syracuse today. Go Blue!
Congrats to Zak Irvin!
The 2013 Mr. Basketball is Hamilton Souteastern's Zak Irvin— IndyStar Billboard (@StarBillboard) April 3, 2013
It seems like a long time ago, and in the life of an 18-year-old, it was.
Zak Irvin was scrawny as a freshman at Hamilton Southeastern High School, all legs and arms. The varsity basketball team was full of upperclassmen and an emerging sophomore named Gary Harris. HSE coach Brian Satterfield could have used Irvin, but knowing minutes could be scarce, sent him to play on the junior varsity for a season.
Out of the limelight and watching from the bleachers; it wasn’t how Irvin envisioned his freshman season.
“I’m a competitor,” he says now. “I wanted to be out on the court for the varsity, not JV. But in the long run, it actually helped me out.”
More than three years later, Irvin has blossomed. The 6-7 forward has been named the 2013 IndyStar Indiana Mr. Basketball winner. Irvin, a Michigan recruit, received 101 votes from the state’s coaches and media for the top individual honor. Mishawaka Marian’s Demetrius Jackson was second with 46 votes, followed by Tipton’s Mike Crawford (37), Fort Wayne Northrop’s Bryson Scott (26) and Cathedral’s Collin Hartman (14).
And here's a recent highlight video:
Congrats to 2013 Michigan basketball signees Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin for being named Gatorade Player of the Year for the states of Michigan and Indiana, respectively. The winners were "selected based on athletic production and impact in season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership."
From the post on Walton:
“Derrick Walton’s work ethic and determination is absolutely phenomenal,” said Chandler Park athletic director John Jergovich. “He’s here every morning at 6 a.m. before school starts taking shots and working on his game. He’s a go-getter on and off the court. Once he sets his goals, both athletically and academically, he’ll do anything to reach them.”
From the post on Irvin:
“Zak Irvin is the best player I’ve seen all year, maybe the best I’ve seen in many years,” said Doug Mitchell, head coach at North Central (Indianapolis, Ind.). “He can get a shot any time he wants, he is in superb condition and he loves to play defense.”
Also today, the Associated Press named Walton the Class B Player of the Year.
It looks like ESPN updated their 2013 basketball recruiting rankings. All 3 Michigan guys make the list:
Zak Irvin-21 (3 away from 5 star status)
Both Irvin and Walton moved up, while Donnal took a fairly significant tumble. Michigan also has the top 2 commits in the big 10 at the moment (although people think MSU has a pretty good shot at #1 overall Jabari Parker). Another great year for Beilein in terms of talent evaluation.
Scout updated its 2013 basketball rankings today. The notable change is Zak Irvin coming in at No. 62 overall. Scout previously had him unranked and was the lone site to not have Irvin in its top 100. Walton is at No. 43 and Donnal is at No. 80. All three are four-stars.
I don't have a Scout account, but here is a breakdown from AA.com.
This is turning out to be another special class. Beilein and his assistants have really done their homework on the recruiting trail. Getting in on these recruits early and finding underrated recruits before they shoot up the rankings is a tremendous asset to our program.
Edit: Yep, 2013. I'm dumb.
In ESPN’s updated basketball rankings following the July evaluation period, Zak Irvin moved up slightly, from #74 to #70, while Mark Donnal made a similar-sized move in the opposite direction, going from #81 to #84. Derrick Walton Jr. remains outside the ESPN top 100, ranked 25th among point guards. As a point of comparison, Monte Morris has the same “scouts grade” of 91 as Walton but is ranked 99th overall and 21st among point guards. So Walton is just outside ESPN’s top 100.
One other basketball recruiting note: Stefan Jankovic narrowed his list down to five, eliminating Michigan from consideration. His final five are Wake Forest, Georgetown, Missouri, Florida State, and Purdue.