The Wolverine

January 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  basketball recruiting Class Of 2013 Recruits   Are Off To Big Starts Class of 2013 signee Zak Irvin averaged around 25 points and 11 rebounds a game during the 9-1 start for Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern. photo courtesy M By Chris Balas ichigan's basketball team stood 11-0 and ranked No. 2 nationally as of Dec. 18, and there was more help on the way. Fishers (Ind.) Hamilton Southeastern wing Zak Irvin (6-7,'s No. 39 senior nationally) has taken his game to new heights this year, according to head coach Brian Satterfield, in propelling Southeastern to a 9-1 record. The only setback came in an early December upset loss to Mount Vernon in which Irvin struggled to 2-of-10 shooting from the floor. Satterfield saw it coming after a poor week of practice and didn't hesitate to say "I told you so" to his kids when they didn't respond, but Irvin and his teammates have since done a great job. Irvin, who was averaging around 25 points and 11 rebounds per game according to Satterfield, has been the catalyst. "The biggest thing from this year to last year is he's taken his game to another level," he said. "We talked about trying to focus on the weight room so he could attack the basket. He's done that. He still pulls up for 54  the wolverine    January 2013 his jumpers, but he's getting to the rim. "On top of attacking, he was 7 for 7 on free throws one game. He still likes to do pull up, but he'll really try to get all the way to rim. He's so good with body control, being able to avoid contact. I think he's gotten one charge. When he gets that opportunity where people are trying to pressure him, he'll give a little shot fake and go." The goal each game is a doubledouble, Satterfield said, and Irvin has responded in each of the last three weekends. He was shooting just less than 40 percent from threepoint range and better than 60 percent inside the arc, was second on the team in assists, and led in shots and blocked shots. At times, Satterfield posts him up the way he did with Southeastern alum and current Michigan State freshman Gary Harris a year ago, allowing him to take advantage of his size and great wing span. Irvin uses that to his advantage more than ever on the defensive end, as well. "That's where you'll also see him take his game to another level," Satterfield continued. "We're asking him to guard a variety of positions, sometimes bigs inside, maybe the point guard. The other day we mixed it up — things weren't going well so we tried to get fired up, and he guarded the point guard. The other team couldn't get anything going. He was very disruptive. "The biggest thing, though, is this summer Zak and two of our other returning lettermen became great leaders. The chemistry among the players is good. We wondered after Gary left how they'd be about stepping into new roles, who would accept the scoring challenge, and Zak did a great job. He started the first game 5 for 5 from three with 24 points in the first half alone. He showed he's ready to be leader and a go-to guy, and the rest falls into place. The best thing is he works hard in practice." Irvin could still afford to be a little more vocal in practice, Satterfield added, but there's no doubt he and Michigan are a perfect match. "It's a great fit," he said. "Through the recruiting process while Zak continued to show his ability, other really big-name schools started to show more interest. It came down to wanting to commit early to a school that was on him early where he couldn't find a better fit." Irvin was named one of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association/ Subway Players of the Week in late November. He averaged 27.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists in leading the Royals to a 3-0 start and earning boys' District 2 honors. He finished with 31 points, 11 rebounds and six assists in an the win over Fishers, followed with 30 points, nine rebounds and two assists in a 73-66 triumph over Bowman Academy, and finished the first week with 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 73-63 win over Lake Central. Irvin made 11 of 14 shots in the opener, including 6 of 8 from long range. In other games since, Irvin put up 17 but struggled in a 7-of-19 shooting performance (2 of 10 on triples) in a three-point loss to Mount Vernon, scored 22 (two in the first half and 14 in the third quarter) in a 56-55 win over Pendleton Heights, registered 27 points and 17 rebounds in a 74-49 victory over Lawrence Central and notched 21 points in a 53-41 win over Noblesville Dec. 7.

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