Walton has a message for Irvin haters

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on March 10th, 2017 at 6:47 PM


"All the (expletive) that people give Zak ... I hate it. I hate it so much. It's like, man, what else you want from the dude? What else do you want? He's played off back surgery. He's got, like, 1,500 career points. He's made a one-eighty as a player. I remember the days when Zak would shoot a contested 3 over two people rather than pass. He's a whole new guy. I mean, dude, are you kidding me? Get off my guy's back."



Stringer Bell

March 10th, 2017 at 6:51 PM ^

I would expect nothing less from Walton. He's a leader and is sticking up for his best friend. Irvin's play for a significant portion of this season deserved criticism. He wasn't just struggling, he was making poor decisions and trying to do too much. He has played very well this tournament and if he continues to do so it greatly raises the ceiling for this team.

Billy Seamonster

March 10th, 2017 at 7:16 PM ^

While it may "deserve criticism", some of the stuff "fans" said about a 21 year old kid were truly deplorable. I remember reading through game threads and people absolutely bashing him, to which I said he's 21 years old, not a professional athlete getting paid. I mean I understand it a little, but fans go way overboard with criticizing college athletes. He's played bad at times but calling him a piece of shit among other things is just stupid.

uncle leo

March 10th, 2017 at 7:43 PM ^

I am and will remain one of those people critical of Zak for mainly his bad decision making. I love his defense, his effort as of late and his willingness to attack the rim. However, he still scares the life out of me every time he dribbles. There were about 3 or 4 occasions today alone where the ball somehow deflected from his dribble back to himself or another teammate.

But, I think this is one of those times where you are exaggerating a ton. I haven't read a single comment on here calling him a "piece of shit." If you can find that, I'm all ears. But I haven't seen it. And I would be the first one yelling at said poster for being a scum. 

Billy Seamonster

March 10th, 2017 at 9:07 PM ^

I'm really not gonna go back and look at all the posts, but believe me that's what said. Not necessarily something I replied to, but people on here, specifically, badgered the kid. Maybe it's younger people on here that are saying it, but I know there's a lot of 30 something's and up that are on here saying things about college kids and it's preposterous in my mind.


March 10th, 2017 at 10:20 PM ^

Out of curiosity I took your challenge and searched "Irvin shit" iin comments - found the following after wading through the results for a minute:

Irvin was straight dog shit 

 Irvin sucks ass

Fuck you Irvin

Irvin for the shitshow u have put on

Fuck Irvin

Why the fuck does Irvin continue to start?

I'm positive there are more where that came from, as well as dozens and dozens of negative commennts without vulgarity.

Unfortunately, this board can be brutal when it comes to M basketball, and Irvin has been a prime target.


March 10th, 2017 at 8:28 PM ^

This place is pretty ugly pretty often. Game threads arent worth reading. People use the 'Its the internet, get used to it line' which is nonsense. Michigan alums should hold themselves to higher standards. My guess is most people on the board aren't alums.

I do think its more ok to criticize seniors, within reason. For some reason the basketball team always seems to have a whipping boy. I think Evan Styozytsrwfijzk got it the worst, but Irvin has gotten it pretty bad. 


March 10th, 2017 at 8:57 PM ^

mean they are decent people. I don't know if you watched the Fab Five doc, but the guys were talking about how many racist letters were sent to UM about them and some of the letters were signed and included the name and date of graduation of the proudly racist alumnus.

There are a-holes everywhere. The anonymity of the internet makes real tough guys out of lots of pussies who wouldn't say those same things in real life.


March 11th, 2017 at 9:27 AM ^

I've met a lot of fellow alum with questionable ethics, but I like to think that Michigan and the people at Michigan taught me to be a little better than I would have been otherwise. There is at least a social pressure to comport yourself better, even if some ignore it.


March 10th, 2017 at 9:34 PM ^

I love how every time some people on here are douches, someone says "oh they must not be alums". First, what does it matter? Not being a douchebag isn't something a standard to hold because you're a Michigan alum but because you should be a decent human being. The arrogance on this board sometimes is nauseating.


March 10th, 2017 at 10:00 PM ^

Never said anything about "douches". Basic level of civility. Not getting mad at what you read. Not flaming or trolling student athletes or fellow fans. You can operate within those bands while still being a douchebag (see grammar/ spelling nazis).

This is clearly not an attainable for the general internet, but I think it would be if only alums posted here.  Not because Michigan alums are so much better (they are a little), but because general internet sucks.


March 10th, 2017 at 11:37 PM ^

Shoot More On The Run You Crazy Zombie. Wow, didn't think I'd ever use that again.

Irvin played all 45 minutes today. The day after playing against Illinois, the day after escaping from a plane crash. Let's all try to remember that tomorrow if he has an off game.


March 10th, 2017 at 6:53 PM ^

Irvin has truly transformed the way he plays the game as the team has progressed.  In the last 5 or so games he has let the game come to him, been a facilitator for others, generally picked good spots to be aggressive, and most importantly has played lights out defensive.  He was the reason why we tied the game to send it to OT and the reason why we won it in OT.  Huge game from him today.

If he can keep this going in the postseason, Michigan will be awfully hard to beat.  One player has a bad game, another picks up the team.  Just so many damn offensive options.  I also think the back surgery set him back much more than we realized.  Glad Walton said this and obviously extremely grateful to have Irvin in the program even if I still yell "Damn You Irvin Heroball" a couple times a game.  We can live with it a couple times a game especially because he has been hitting a lot more of those shots.

SF Wolverine

March 10th, 2017 at 6:57 PM ^

B has some limits, but he does seem to get pretty cohesive teams, with a pretty low "head case" quotient.  Good to see him say that about Z, and good on the reporter for honoring an "off the record ... until now" request. 


March 10th, 2017 at 7:01 PM ^

mean things about estraordinary, high-achieving athletes. Today Zak became the second highest point-scorer in UM history, according to the DetNews. If he's a sensitive person and the ugly gets to him, I sympathize. But he'll have the last laugh. 

Blue Durham

March 10th, 2017 at 7:03 PM ^

Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin's team. Irvin had a dry spell shooting, but had to be given time, in minutes, to break out of it. Because without Irvin, this team was not going to go very far.

Fortunately Beilein stuck with Zak, not that it surprises me that Beilein would do the intelligent thing.

This team has all of the components now. Shooting, driving to the hoop, defense (!), and not prone to making errors. They are also quietly starting to rebound pretty well.

A few weeks ago this team could beat anyone, but also lose to anyone. The latter, now, not so much.

Based on what I am seeing, not only am I starting to think that they should win the Big Ten tournament, I think that they can make it to the 2nd week of the NCAAs.


March 10th, 2017 at 9:39 PM ^

"A few weeks ago this team could beat anyone, but also lose to anyone. The latter, now, not so much."

Right. The problem is people forget that almost nobody on this team was playing at the level they are now earlier in the season. Walton was disappointing and couldn't hit anything inside the 3 point line, Wilson and Wagner were promising but very inconsistent (still are kinda), Rahk couldn't hit anything, Simpson was totally lost, Donnal was Donnal, Robinson was playing atrocious D. Irvin looked bad playing hero ball and being the main guy, but he pretty much had to be. Then it looked really bad when he was still playing that role when the team improved. Now, he's learned to take a step back, play great D, and lately he's had some solid offensive games mixed in with some game-winning performances when the rest of the team is a bit off.


March 10th, 2017 at 7:09 PM ^

I'll admit to being more critical of Irvin than I should have been, at least on tone, at times, but I don't buy that you can't be critical of people. The Irvin of now is good for this team and is playing well. The Irvin who jacked up contested 3's over two guys with 15 seconds in the shot clock wasn't good and you can't sugar coat over it. Same with Walton, who until about halfway through the season wouldn't consistently drive to the hoop. You aren't immune to criticism for your play on the court.

I do agree that we lose sight that these are students playing a game, and some will logically take what assholes on the internet say to heart.


March 11th, 2017 at 1:01 AM ^

Recruiting stars count for exactly nothing on the court. 

IMO coach Beilein does an excellent job developing players, and he runs a relatively complex offensive scheme that takes time to master. 

As contrast, a guy Thad Matta recruits is the same guy as a senior - he's a good recruiter, but terrible at teaching and player development. 

Irvin overcame a serious back injury that clearly impacted his development and his play.

His freshman year it looked like he would become a deadly scorer; after his back injury his shot looked absolutely dreadful, and his confidence suffered. He also lost valuable time that could have helped him develop a better handle.

Beilein has been very patient with him, and it's paid off - Irvin has found a very nice role as the best defender on the team, a strong leader, and an often effective slasher/scorer. He doesn't have strong ball handling skills,  but he's a pretty damn good finisher.

It's reasonable to be frustrated by his shot selection - other than that, I think he's worked hard to overcome injury and limitations. Good on Walton to have his back.


Winchester Wolverine

March 10th, 2017 at 7:13 PM ^

I give Irvin shit as much as the next guy, however, I do realize that the man has accomplished much more than I ever will and will remain a lasting figure of my favorite school.

My insults on a message board don't express what I would ever say to the guy personally. In fact, I'd be down right starstruck if I had any opportunity to speak with him.

Walton's message is a sobering one. It's pretty shitty what some of us say on here. I sure hope he doesn't read MGOBlog.


March 10th, 2017 at 7:21 PM ^

He had the ball in crunch time I was like "noooo" then he made a lay up. Sometimes he can't hit the broad side of a barn door but he's got the stones to keep chuckin.


March 10th, 2017 at 7:25 PM ^

Earlier in the year Irvin was being asked to do to much. At times he was the only one willing to take those late in the shot clock, late game, high pressure shots. As others have been willing to contribute more in these situations, Irvin has been able to pick his spots. He picked one today and carried the boys home.


March 10th, 2017 at 7:44 PM ^

I think there are times when he takes bad shots that are more a function of the offense stalling and no one else stepping forward. 

But I also confess to having expressed frustration with him probably more than a time or two, as well. 

Great to see him balling out here. Don't know where it's come from, but he's got a lift to his game I haven't seen from him in a long time.   



March 10th, 2017 at 8:07 PM ^

Seems like to me this more because that our coaches strategy is to bleed the clock til there is 10 seconds left before starting a play?   i wish we would start some plays at 16 seconds instead more times.  There were a few plays where it seemed we caught the other team off guard by going at them at them 10 seconds earlier.  It always seems like the same play that Irvin does, curls in and shoots.  Irvin was making those 3's or long 2's earlier in the season, but somewhere after mid season I've seen him miss it more often, and they weren't even close misses sometimes.  Like others, its only a complaint about these kinds of situations and his loose ball handling.  5-10 when not shooting the 3, 1-4 when shooting the three today.  His defense and hustle today was really great and he did make his shots when he made it deep to the rim.   


March 10th, 2017 at 8:27 PM ^

there are possessions that just are horror shows from the very beginning. Those just start out of joint and never get on track. But I agree the stall by design often ends disastrously. We throw  away possessions at vital times and have been lucky to get away with it. There are golden opportunity possessions where we don't really give ourselves a chance. 

As to Zak's shot, it's looked significantly better during this stretch run. 

Good to see a great kid from a beautiful family get it going like he has of late.  



March 10th, 2017 at 8:43 PM ^

are almost always among the best in offensive efficiency; this year is no exception (6th or 7th, depending on where you look).

It may not always seem like it, but he has a method that works.  

I agree it feels like we start milking the clock too soon sometimes, but it's hard to argue against the effectiveness of his offensive philosophy.