Intensity: Young players can learn a lot from Chesterton's Zack Novak
(Associated Press Photo)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — To win consistently this season, Michigan will have
to make up for its lack of experience with precise execution.
Not to mention some old-fashioned hustle.
Chesterton High School alumnus Zack Novak blocked a breakaway layup by
Bowling Green’s Luke Kraus late in the first half, and the Wolverines
immediately went on a 22-5 run that lasted well into the second half. That
was all Michigan needed to beat the Falcons 69-50 Thursday night.
“That was a high-energy play for us,” coach John Beilein said. “I think all
those things are helpful to us. Did it turn the game around? You never know
The Wolverines led 28-27 when Kraus appeared headed for an easy layup, but
Novak came sprinting back to block the shot from behind. Matt Vogrich made a
3-pointer seconds later for Michigan, and Smotrycz made two more to give
Michigan a 39-31 halftime lead.
“You’ve got to give the credit to Vogrich there,” Novak said. “He comes back
down and hits the shot. If he doesn’t hit the shot, we probably don’t go on
a little run there.”
But Vogrich was quick to deflect credit back to Novak.
“That’s what he does, man,” Vogrich said. “He brings so much energy with
plays like that.”
Late in the game, Novak added another highlight, emphatically blocking a
shot by Joe Jakubowski.
“I think I’m leading to the team in blocks,” said the 6-foot-4 Novak, who
has the early lead with three blocks in two games. “I’m going to enjoy it
while I can, because it probably won’t last very long.”