Zak Irvin's struggles... Got to get better

Really concerning how he has played the last 2 games. I know in the MSU game he was coming off of being sick. OSU he didn’t play well at all. Turnovers, bad defense, offensive game was dismal. Wonder if they ever thought of bringing him off the bench and have Duncan start at the 3. Hopefully Zak can get out of this slump soon, important game tomorrow with MSU…

Zak is most effective coming off the curl cut for a mid range jumper, its in his sweet spot and when that starts to fall the rest of his game seems to fall in place. He needs to be more active as do most of the others as standing around the arc just leads to the ball getting stuck and the team as a whole easier to defend.

yea I noticed that, at times there is a lot of standing around… hopefully he’s hitting on all cylinders tonight…

Irvin has been absolutely horrible in big ten play.

Fg: 40%
3fg: 25%
Assists to turnovers: 32/27

yea that sucks… this would have been a perfect time for Ibi Watson to get some PT, but he has not remotely showed that he has adjusted to the speed of the college game… I would start Duncan for a game or 2 and have Irvin come off of the bench… I know that Coach B is not going to do that with his senior wing but something has got to give… he’s hurting the team more than helping at this point…

Yep. It is a very difficult situation…

Just my two cents here. Is Zak struggling? Definitely. Would he be the first to admit that? Absolutely.

But there’s no way you can bench him or limit his playing time. It doesn’t make any sense. This team isn’t going anywhere without a solid Irvin. You have to ride him and hope he breaks out of it. If he doesn’t, so be it and they don’t make the tourney. Their only hope of making it and trying to make a run is with him playing solid.

In baseball terms, you’re not benching your 3 or 4 hitter even if they’re hitting low .200’s 2/3 of the way through the season. You absolutely need him to have any chance of going anywhere. Immediate relief isn’t the best for the long term goals.


well let’s hope tonight is the night that he comes out of the slump.


Replace Zak with who. Anybody coming off the bench has way more matador defense and can’t create for anybody.

True there isn’t a 100% upgrade on the bench so you can’t pull him. But JB needs to get in his ear and have him play within himself until his confidence comes back. Run some curls at the free throw line, etc. That corner three the other night is something a non-broken Irvin would ever have happen. He’s in his head.

Team needs to work it into Wagner and DJ Wilson down low and then look to set up Walton for kick outs or create. Zak needs to work inside the arc as others have said for curls pick and pops which is his best options.

Last night against MSU, we were better when Zak wasn’t on the floor. I loved the movement we got with Walton and X on the floor together. Gave Walton a little break where he could play off the ball. I thought the run where we put the nail in the coffin to end the first half had Zak sitting.

It’s encouraging to see the offense produce when Zak isn’t playing well, because–before Dwalt’s emergence–we had been really relying on Zak to create offense; and I have no problem giving some of Zak’s minutes to Duncan and X–assuming they’re playing well–but Zak still played good defense last night and played hard, he didn’t force too much. Our team’s ceiling is still its highest when Zak is playing well, so I get trying to ride out the rut.


I liked what X was doing last night too… hoping that game is the catalyst to get him going for the rest of the year… played some really good defense and had 2 nice drives to the basket… that let tear drop run could be deadly if he can master that… Zak played good D last night but his offensive struggles are concerning… is he still sick, is he dealing with an undisclosed injury? hopefully Zak can be a contributor going back home to play Indiana one last time…

If Xavier can play as aggressive as he did last night, that’s going to be huge. And really, confidence just seemed to be the biggest difference. He pretty much never even tried to penetrate before last night.

he has the shiftiness to get in the lane and either get fouled or kick it out… like they said in the broadcast last night by far the best 12 minutes he has played at U of M… now if he can be consistent every night is the goal!

I want Zak to figure things out, but I am worried about the Indiana game. Zak’s been known to get himself overpumped when matching up against the Hoosiers. The team needs a confident and focused game from Zak.

Yeah, I’m good with giving him the freedom to figure things out, but only if he isn’t forcing it. It’s one thing to force tough shots and risky passes when you’re being depended on to keep the offense afloat, but this is Walton’s show now and the offense clearly functions best running through Walton, and with everyone contributing.

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need that win at Indiana… a season sweep of them would be nice since they did beat some big name programs at the beginning of the year…

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A few things. I’m on the record in believing less zak is more on offense for our team. The last few games makes me believe more. That said I believe what he can contribute on the boards/ d and passing is still key. I’d like to see him concentrate on shooting less and concentrate more on dirty work/ distributing. 6-8 shots a game. Only shooting from the outside when wide open or looking to drive. I’m ok with his misses at the rim usually. The offense is way better when he’s not pounding the rock or searching for his shot. If he embraces the dirty work roll/ all around game and doesn’t worry about scoring I think it will do wonders for the team and make him a key cog in our success.