Tag: Zak Irvin


Zak Irvin expected to return for start of season

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Michigan was plagued by injuries last year. But when the Wolverines take the floor to open the 2015-16 season, John Beilein expects to have a healthy lineup, which includes Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr.

He also expects Zak Irvin to be ready to play when Michigan opens the season against Northern Michigan on Nov. 13 in Ann Arbor. The junior wing underwent back surgery on Sept. 9. The procedure put him on the sidelines for 6-8 weeks.

“He is getting better every day,” Beilein said Friday morning in a radio interview with WTKA 1050 AM, transcribed by Brendan F. Quinn of MLive.com.

“He can’t do anything yet, but he’s very vocal and leading,” Beilein said Friday morning. “We feel really good about what we said, (that he’ll return) somewhere here in the start of the season and we expect him to be back out on the court for us.”

Irvin was the most recent Wolverine to be bit by the injury bug. LeVert missed 14 games with a left foot injury Derrick Walton missed all of 13 games his own foot injury. Spike Albrecht managed to play through pain before undergoing offseason surgery on both hips. Beilein said LeVert and Walton have are playing with “no restriction” on Friday afternoon, according to Quinn. Albrecht says he’s hoping to get to 100 percent within the next month.

The 6-foot-6 Irvin averaged 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds last year.

Back procedure to sideline Michigan guard 6-8 weeks

Zak Irvin
Associated Press
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Hit hard by injuries a season ago, Michigan is already dealing with health issues before the 2015-16 season has even begun. Wednesday night the school announced junior guard Zak Irvin will be sidelined for six to eight weeks as a result of a back injury that requires surgery.

Should the recovery process take the full eight weeks, that would mean Irvin wouldn’t be cleared to go until just over a week before the Wolverines begin their 2015-16 regular season schedule. That being said, head coach John Beilein expects Irvin to make a full recovery from the procedure.

“We expect a 100 percent recovery for Zak after this procedure,” Beilein said in the release. “We will not rush his return; but given Zak’s work habits and determined attitude, we anticipate he will be back on the court and at full speed sometime near the beginning of our season.”

Irvin averaged 14.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest as a sophomore, shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. Irvin was one of two Wolverines to play in all 32 games last season, with forward Kameron Chatman being the other.

Beilein’s Wolverines struggled with injuries throughout the year, with guards Derrick Walton Jr. and Caris LeVert missing significant amounts of time and Spike Albrecht playing through hip issues that would result in two surgeries this offseason. With the majority of their rotation back on campus, Michigan is expected to bounce back from a disappointing 2014-15 season.

Aubrey Dawkins, zone defense help Michigan overcome 13-point deficit to beat Illinois in overtime

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The day was suppose to be dominated by Michigan’s new head football coach, Jim Harbaugh. The arrival of Harbaugh spiked ticket prices for Tuesday’s matinee Big Ten opener against Illinois with Harbaugh addressing the Crisler Center crowd — many of whom dressed in Harbaugh’s trademark Khaki pants — at halftime.

However, the star of Michigan’s 73-65 overtime win over the Illini was freshman wing Aubrey Dawkins, son of Stanford head coach, Johnny Dawkins.

Aubrey Dawkins scored a game-high 20 points off 6-for-7 shooting from three. To put that in perspective, the 6-foot-6 freshman entered Tuesday afternoon appearing in 10 games, scoring a grand total of 15 points. He had missed his previous eight attempts from three, the last make coming against Nicholls State on Nov. 29.

The Wolverines trailed by 13 in the second half, struggling to get offensive support from Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin, who combined for 1-of-16 shooting to begin the game. Although, midway through the second half, Irving caught fire with back-to-back 3-pointers, aided by better ball movement from Michigan. Dawkins followed with two triples of his own. An 18-5 run gave Michigan a 56-55 lead with Caris LeVert accounting for nine of those points (three points, three assists).

LeVert ended with 19 points with five assists. Irvin added 13 as did Ricky Doyle, who scored eight of his baker’s dozen in the second half.

Late in the second half, Michigan switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense, which caused problems for the Illini. Add in a 3-for-11 performance from Rayvonte Rice. The leading scorer for Illinois ended with a season-low eight points, as Malcolm Hill paced the Illini with 19.

During Michigan’s run, Rice took zero shots, not looking as assertive as you’d expect someone averaging 17.7 points per to be. With the shot clock off and the score tied, Illinois drew up a play for Rice to replicate the buzzer-beater he hit against Missouri earlier this month. He came off a high-screen on the 2-3 zone defense, but LeVert raced over to close out on Rice, forcing a difficult look.

In overtime, a drive by LeVert created an open, endline three for Irvin, followed moments later by a wide-open look for Dawkins on a defensive lapse for Illinois, giving Michigan a two-possession lead.

This was a good win for Michigan after taking its lumps in the non-conference. The win will help overshadow Walton’s 0-for-8 performance, forcing John Beilein to rely on Spike Albrecht for 25 minutes. While the zone defense was effective, Michigan’s man-to-man was not. While the win helps the Wolverines put that four-game losing streak in the past, it could be the start of a difficult stretch for Illinois.

The Fighting Illini will be road warriors to start conference play, with four of their first five conference games — Ohio State, Nebraska, Northwester — on the road. The only home game in that stretch: Jan. 7 against No. 12 Maryland. Illinois has a second home game on Jan. 18, hosting Indiana.