The Next 16 Games Will Define the Legacy of Zak and Derrick


These guys, despite being stand-up representatives of the program who have experienced mild success, have been so polarizing with the fan base in general. After every game, we see post after post that might as well say “I can’t believe Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin showed up and played like… Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin. RAWR!!!”


Agree on Walton but Irvin’s rebounds, assists and shooting percentages across the board are all up from him sophomore year. In what way do you think he has regressed?


Or, if your world isn’t solely black and white, you have to have a balance of both. If you don’t have a stud or studs on your team, you need more contributions from more of your players. You may not have McD AAs, but you can’t have flat out busts, neither, because you need more players to chip in and help carry the load. It’s a tougher way to go, but not impossible.


JB will be judged by his body of work in terms of wins and losses as well as recruiting and development, which all will include teams and players before and after the tenure of Zak and Derrick. They and this season are a couple data points for him.

But this is the one team that is Derrick’s and Zak’s with few excuses. They’re seniors. Their injuries, while affecting them, were long enough ago that at this point they are who they are for college. They have at least a decent front-court to work with that aren’t freshmen.

And I do think the pressure has affected them and the team. They seem to sometimes play not to lose or to just want to get the game over with when they’re winning. That’s why, aside from winning, the thing I’d most like to see from both of them the last half of this season is to keep aggressive, to play loose – as JB said in his comments, to do something, even if it may be the wrong thing.


His % will go down in conference play, at least I project that. I think he’ll finish relatively equal to his % of the past few seasons.

Have to disagree with the passing, sure his asst % has gone up but his TO % has increased a lot as well. His rebounding % has been slightly improved this year but like shooting, it will go down during conference play in my view.


Donnal has regressed majorly?? What?


How can anyone with eyes dispute that Mark Donnal has taken a big step back in relation to last year?


What??? So a coach gets ragged on by you if a player who has nowhere to go but up stays stagnant but if they get better we’re not allowed to count that as developing them? Ridiculous.


How can we say he’s getting better? I just don’t see any tangible proof


Donnell isn’t getting the ball on the PnR like he did last year. Like a lot of guys on this team, I think he needs to see the ball go through the net for the rest of his game to kick in.


Bingo…problem in a nutshell. Players need to score in order to play hard in other areas. That is a problem that starts at the top.


Mark’s per-40 minutes stats are probably a bit better this year than last, but it’s debatable: 15 (or 16 last year) points and 7.5 rebounds; his shooting is significantly better this year for two and three pointers; his fouling is down (3.5 compared with 5); he’s shooting more free throws and at a better clip; but his blocks are down. Of course you have to take into account some of it is out of conference numbers, though Mark had good games against the better comp. We’ll have to see how the season plays out, but especially with Wagner emerging it’s probably a wash for Mark.

Mark is a good counterpoint to Derrick and Zak. He too was a fringe top 100 guy but really wasn’t able to put it together with any consistency and didn’t play the year they won the B1G, and in some ways perversely is thus seen as less “disappointing” to many than Derrick and Zak.


What are you watching?

As a freshman Walton was turning it over and was decent. Now he can score and plays solid defense on top PGs.

Irvin was a shooter simply when he came. He has become a much better passer and playmaker.

Donnal was a joke when he started playing. Now he is running the floor much better.

I really do not care if DJ is not JB’s project. JB brought him in here.

MAAR has improved at least a little in almost every aspect since his freshman year check his stats.

Robinson only shot last year and could not create for him self. Now he is slasshing harder and making himself available. Commentators have been saying it also.

I understand you do not like the some of the players on this team and do not like JB but give credit when it is due.


I think the term “regressed” gets thrown around a little too much around here. Maybe “plateaued” is better?

Either way, I find it hard to buy an argument that Mo, DJ and Duncan are not better basketball players today than they were when the buzzer sounded in Barclays after the ND loss last March.


Are you serious?

Walton has regressed in terms of rebounding, assist, and steal % in relation to last year. His rates are almost identical to his freshman but his shooting has declined.

Robinson - almost identical to last year but rebounding has declined in terms of %

MAAR - you have to be the only person on earth to claim he hasn’t regressed. That’s not even worth explanation


I think the rebounding for both Walton and even Robinson is more a byproduct of the fact that we did not get ANY rebounding from our bigs last year. What DJ has brought to the team from a rebounding standpoint is certainly going to have an affect on the number of boards that Walton and the rest of backcourt needs to go get.


Definitely like what I saw from DJ for the most part. Gave multiple jumps for rebounds, some solid rotations on the backside, a few drives to the basket.

When he drives off close outs though, the jump stop then jump hook instead of going up for a dunk is frustrating. He instantly makes himself 6’5 instead of 6’9. Go up like a man and draw the foul. He’s also pretty good on PnR defense but gets blown by in Iso situations.

Overall though, really pleased with DJ’s progress


Also for those claiming iso postups are not efficient, I’d argue that iso postups for Mo are the most efficient half court set we run.


Dude, this is in relation to when they arrived on campus… Look at kje22kje’s original post.


I think the transformation for Stauskas came with all his work on strength and conditioning. He could always dribble and shoot, of course, but I think he wore down as a freshman (see his disappearing act in the tourney against VCU, Cuse and Louisville), and didn’t have the strength he needed to finish the year strong. By the next season, he was the best player on the floor against Kentucky.