go go go
Highlights courtesy of UMHoops
Michigan once again cruised to an easy victory in their third game in Italy, defeating Petrarca Padova 116-52 while limiting their opponents to just 16 second-half points. For the third time in three games, Zak Irvin led the team in scoring, netting 22 points while hitting 7/10 shots from inside the arc (he finally cooled a bit from outside, going 2/6 from three). Mark Donnal bounced back from a lackluster performance in the second game with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double, while Caris LeVert posted an impressive 17-8-4 stat line.
Full box score (click to embiggen):
Postgame quotes courtesy of the athletic department:
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On how the team may be exceeding expectations thus far ... "Our defense exceeded what I thought we could do today. We started slow, but as the game went on they were very good at their dribble-drive attack. We made it difficult for them to get the ball in the paint and then they had to rely on three-point shooting and we guarded that as well. The defense then became our offense."
On Mark Donnal's development since coming overseas ... "We continue to show Mark and Ricky (Doyle) film so that they can get better. I really don't care what each one does; I care what they do collectively. Tonight was 29 points and almost 20 rebounds between the two of them. It would be too much to think about getting 20 and 20 from them, but if we needed to get double-figures, that's a heck of a big man."
On the value of experienced guards like Spike Albrecht and Derrick Walton Jr. ... "I'm glad Spike was out there (with them), but to be honest I don't pay attention to what year the players are. I just try to get everyone equal minutes and have everybody learn a little bit of rhythm. In games like this, we just want to get video on it so we can teach players why things work and why things don't work. That's what's real for us. We practice against ourselves and while we get better doing that, when you practice against others and you don't know their schemes and you have to guard their themes, that's very helpful to our progress."
On the team's experience at the U.S. Military base today ... "These young men have seen some special things on this trip, and they all really enjoyed today. To be with the troops, feed them and sit with them and then go see some of their weapons and trucks, tanks and humvees; the team loved that. We were on our feet a lot today. It has been about six straight days spent on our feet and they responded, so I'm happy about their whole attitude. They're enjoying it and embracing the culture that we're exposing them to. At the same time, they're coming to play."
U-M Sophomore Zak Irvin
On his mindset for today's game ... "My teammates told me, if my shot wasn't falling, to get to the basket and that's one thing I didn't do a lot last year. It's one of the big things I wanted to work on for this year."
On the effectiveness of the zone offense ... "We thought we were going to see some zone (defense) when we came over here to Italy. We didn't see it in the first two games but we did see it tonight so it took us a little bit of time to get adjusted, but we made our adjustments and we were able to counter what they were doing and make it productive."
On general feelings about the first three games from a team perspective ... "We've had three great games. Each game we're getting better. You can see it when we watch film, defensively we're getting better. Our goal was to hold teams under 60 points and we were able to do that again tonight; then scoring 100 points is something special."
On the team's experience with the U.S. Military today ... "To be honest, it was breathtaking seeing all those men and women fighting for us even though they're overseas. You have to give them all the credit in the world and be grateful for everything we have."
U-M Redshirt Freshman Mark Donnal
On his double-double performance today ... "It was definitely a good game for me coming off of yesterday's game. Yesterday I was in foul trouble, so this got my confidence up a little bit and I was pretty happy with my performance. My teammates found me open and I got some easy buckets."
On the biggest difference in his game from yesterday to today ... "Just getting past the defense in offensive transition. Spike and Doc (Andrew Dakich) were able to find me."
On his impressions of the team's adjustments so far ... "Especially with a growing team like us, it's important for us to see both zone and get some different looks on defense and I thought we executed pretty well today."
U-M Freshman Aubrey Dawkins
On his success in today's contest ... "I think I have been getting a little more comfortable every game, and a little more of my natural game came out today. I played within the offense, so things came to me and I capitalized."
On the importance of rebounding in today's offense ... "People have told me in the past that crashing the boards and getting involved in the game helps you stay in the game and not be passive on the court and zone out. It keeps you focused on doing something to help the team. That's what really got me going."
On making so many adjustments, such as the shot clock difference and learning the new offense ... "I think it's coming along nicely; that showed up in the game today. It's becoming more fluid and natural."
On staying in the game mentally despite a lopsided score ... "You never want to get lazy on the court, because that's practicing bad habits. You want to keep playing the way you should play, no matter what the score is. Whether it's high or low, keep playing the same game so when there are close games there's no difference and you're always ready to go."
The men's basketball team defeated the Perugia Select Team, 99-60, in the opening game of their Italy exhibition tour. Zak Irvin led the way with 27 points on 10/13 (5/8 2PT, 5/5 3PT) shooting, followed by freshmen Kam Chatman and Ricky Doyle chipping in 12 apiece. Most importantly, Austin Hatch entered the game for the last few minutes, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd:
— Michigan Basketball (@umichbball) August 17, 2014
The full box score, which was compiled by hand by the Michigan staff—hence no minutes played tally—is below (click to embiggen):
Visual proof of Irvin being Not Just A Shooter™:
Postgame quotes from John Beilein, Hatch, and more courtesy of the athletic department:
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
On the opening victory on U-M's Italian exhibition tour ... "Offensively, that first quarter was not what I was expecting. With us playing so well offensively that led to us playing so well defensively. You don't know what to expect in games like these. The first quarter was probably a little above what I thought we would do. The last three quarters were a little more predictable for a team on a trip like we are on."
On what he learned that will help going into the next game ... "We will have 48 hours before our next game. This film will be invaluable. There will be plenty of it that will coach the coaches on what we have to teach better. The second part is we will have a chance to sit down with players on the train tomorrow when we go to Verona. It will be just a great teaching tool."
On getting Austin Hatch getting into the last three minutes of the game ... "It was a special moment. Austin even led us in the fight song after the game was over. It's something he has worked very hard for. It was a great moment for our team; however, it was truly special for Austin and his grandfather, Jim, who was here in the stands."
Freshman Austin Hatch
On getting into the game ... "(long pause) As you can imagine it has been a heck of a journey to get here. Playing basketball at the University of Michigan has been my goal since I was a little kid. It was unreal to be here and to have actually played a game. I really feel like I have that game under my belt now and I really feel like a Michigan basketball player."
On almost getting an opportunity to score ... "I am not going to take a shot if it is not the right point in the game. For example if I have an open three and I have a teammate who is open under the basket, you better believe I am going to be passing it to him. Yeah, it would be cool if I made a three. It would be a good story, but I am about my team and my teammates."
On leading the team in 'The Victors' ... "It was unreal. To lead the team in the fight song after the game is a big tradition. I learned that early on in the recruiting process and watched U-M sing it a lot on my visits. I always thought to myself, 'I hope someday I am in position to be able to do that.' Just like everything else that happened today, it was just unreal to be able to do that."
Sophomore Zak Irvin
On his opening 27-point, 11-rebound game ..."I really shot the ball well today; however, I have to give my teammates credit because they were looking for me and getting me the ball. The big thing for me was getting to the hole and I was able to do that. I was able to score inside and outside. It was a great start for us, a great game and hopefully we can keep this going."
On U-M's red hot first quarter ... "We came out shooting the ball really well. That just speaks volumes for our team. We are all looking for each other and playing unselfish basketball."
On how this team progressed ... "We are a growing team. There were a lot of things that went well today, but there is plenty we still have to work on. We can do better communicating and on the defensive end. We came out to Italy and had a great game, but we also just have to enjoy and really take in everything on this trip."
On Austin Hatch getting into the game ..."It was great to see that, especially after everything that Austin has been through. To see him step out onto that floor just meant so much. I have known Austin since the eighth grade so to see him out there playing was just incredible. I hope he is able to do that a lot more during this trip and beyond."
Freshman Ricky Doyle
On playing his first game in a Michigan jersey ... "It was a lot of fun. Finally getting out there with all these guys was a great experience. There is a lot more to come. It's going to be a great year."
On Austin Hatch getting into the game ..."He has been through so much and for him to be out here with us, it is phenomenal. He is part of our family. He is one of our brothers. Seeing him going out there was just as important to all of us as it is to him."
For those of you who love basketball and don't care that it comes in NBA form, Zach Lowe of grantland.com should be required reading.
He recently posted this article about Kyle Korver, now of the ATL Hawks. The reason I draw your attention to it is the three gifs partway down the page. Do those actions make you think of anything or anyone? If you said "hey, that looks just like the stuff M ran with Stauskas," then I say "me too."
The difference, though, is who the dribble handoffer or pick and popper is. With M it was either Morford or Walton instead of a Pittsnoglian-type, as it is in the first (Pero Antic) and second and third (Paul Millsap) gifs.
Here's where I get irrationally giddy about Zak Irvin and Mark Donnal running the same stuff. If Donnal can be a credible three point shooter, that could make Irvin, who may or may not be "just a shooter," structurally lethal.
This kind of action puts the opposing big in a terrible position, because they either have to show on Irvin and then try to get back to Donnal, or if they switch, that leaves Donnal able to get a shot off on a shorter wing.
To make it more concrete, imagine Adam Woodbury, Alex Gauna, or even Frank Kaminsky trying to deal with this:
Recall that Wisconsin's strategy for dealing with Stauskas was to sag in the lane and dare him to shoot a 16-footer. If they do that this year, that leaves Donnal either unguarded or switched on to a shorter player.
Anyway, I'm excited to see what Donnal and Irvin can do this year is what I'm saying.
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.