ANN ARBOR, Mich. – With Michigan's senior captains Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht relegated to the injured reserve, U-M had to look for a new set of leaders to emerge this season, says U-M coach John Beilein in his Tuesday press conference.
However, one player in particular has stood out above the rest.
“Zak Irvin has really emerged as a leader of the team,” said Beilein, who also noted Derrick Walton Jr. and Andrew Dakich as rising junior captains. “And so we probably have five captains now when you talk about everybody.”
Irvin, who averages 11.4 points and 3.3 assits per game, says he learned how to take on more of leadership role when U-M was riddled with injuries during his sophomore campaign.
“I got a little dose of that last year I think when Caris and Derrick were out,” Irvin said on being a leader. “It was just Spike and I out there. With our two seniors to go down this year, and just have the season going up and down, the team really looked to me to step up and be a leader.
“It’s just something we really need strong leadership towards the end of the season.”
Did Irvin make conscious effort to become a leader, or did it just happen to him?
“I think it was both,” Irvin said. “I’m more of an outgoing person. I really just try to take that upon myself. So the coaches and my teammates let me know as well that I nee to step up and be more vocal. I like to do things by just example and show on the court I need to be more vocal.”
And lately he has.
Michigan next plays host to Northwestern this Wednesday at 7 p.m.