Thanks to class of 2013 small forward Zak Irvin (Michigan) for doing the interview with us. The 6’6, 190-pound Indiana native talked to us about the Indiana junior versus senior all-star game he played in yesterday, what he likes about Michigan, meeting Erin Andrews and much more. Michigan fans should also check out our interview with class of 2013 point guard Derrick Walton and follow Irvin on Twitter.
How was playing in the Indiana junior versus senior all-star game?
It was really cool but we ended up losing to the seniors by 25 — they had [shooting guard] Gary Harris (#13 — Michigan State), [small forward] Glenn Robinson III (#38 — Michigan), [small forward] Jeremy Hollowell (#50 — Indiana) and [point guard Kevin] “Yogi” Ferrell (#21 — Indiana). It was a great experience, we were very excited about it and just wanted to go out there and have fun with it.
Why did you commit to Michigan?
I just felt like Michigan was the best fit for me. It wasn’t too close to home but it also wasn’t too far. I have a really good relationship with all of the coaches at Michigan and I love how I fit into the style of play.
Why did you commit at the time that you did?
I just sat down with my family and the closest people to me and decided that it was the right time to go ahead and commit to Michigan.
What was your favorite part of the recruiting process?
I’d say going on all of those visits all around the United States and going to different states that I never got to go to before.
What was the coolest place you got to visit?
I’d definitely have to say Michigan. When I went to the Michigan-Notre Dame [football] game, it was under the lights and that’s something I’ll always remember.
What was your least favorite part of the recruiting process?
All the phone calls and mail I would get; just all the coaches calling and trying to talk to me.
What do you like about Michigan that isn’t basketball related?
I’d say the campus, I really love the campus at Michigan, it’s really cool. Overall, it just has a great atmosphere and every time I go to Michigan it feels like my second home.
Do you know any of the other Michigan commits?
I’m really close with [small forward] Glenn Robinson (#38 — Michigan) who’s going to be at Michigan next year and I’m pretty good friends with Derrick Walton who’s in my class. We have a great group of guys and we all just want to go out there and be competitive.
Are you trying to recruit anyone to join you?
With the team and my teammates we have right now, I think we’re fine with who we have. I’m really looking forward to playing with all of the guys who are already there, I can’t wait to be on the same team as them.
What are some of your goals for your time at Michigan?
I definitely want to get to campus and try to start as a freshman, win a Big Ten Championship and then going to the NCAA Tournament and win the National Championship.
Are you looking forward to any match-ups in college?
Definitely Michigan State because my high school teammate Gary Harris (#13 — Michigan State) is going there and it would be really cool to play against him in that kind of atmosphere. We’ve known each other for so long and have been teammates for the past three years so I just think it would be awesome to play against him twice a year.
What was the coolest part of the recruiting process for you?
Once again, just making all of those visits. I remember when I went to College Gameday for the Michigan-Notre Dame football game and also College Gameday with the Michigan-Ohio State football game I got to meet Erin Andrews, that was pretty cool. It was awesome. You always see here on TV but then I got to see her up close, that was pretty cool.
What’s your favorite basketball memory?
When we beat North Central on a buzzer-beater this year and made it on ESPN. That was just awesome, it’s a highlight I will never forget.
What parts of your game are you trying to improve on?
I’m just trying to become a complete player. I’ve been working on ball-handling, shooting and rebounding more. I’m working out with my trainer everyday and I’m just staying in the weight room.
Talk a little bit about your AAU team, you guys are one of the best teams in the country and have a couple of other top players besides yourself like V.J. Beachem (Notre Dame) and Basil Smotherman (Purdue).
It’s great playing on the Eric Gordon All-Stars. I played against these guys when I was younger and now we’re all playing on the same team and we just make each other better. We’re all going to high-major colleges. We’re all so competitive and that shows as we get better each game.
Why do you play the game of basketball?
My parents got me started with basketball because they played when they were younger and it’s just something I love.
Who helped you the most throughout the recruiting process?
I’d definitely have to say my family. They went on all of my recruiting visits and they were always talking to coaches and they were just always there to support me.