"No matter where you are, if you can play, coaches will find you."
That age old adage applies to Fishers (IN) Hamilton-Southeastern guard Zakari Irvin. That's certainly not a reflection on the school that this talented 2013 guard plays for… after all it's a talent laden program fueled by the high-flying exploits of c/o 2012 star Gary Harris. It's more a reflection on which Hamilton Southeastern team Irvin suited up for last year
"(The season) was alright even though they played me on JV this year," Irvin said reflecting on his freshman campaign. "We had a winning season. I think I played pretty well. It was a new experience but I played pretty well throughout the whole season."
To be clear, Irvin's JV status had nothing to do with his talent. Hamilton Southeastern's varsity roster was stacked with seven seniors, three juniors, and two sophomores (namely, Harris and Jacobby Bledsoe). Holding Irvin off of that 17-4 squad was akin to a major league baseball team starting a phenom draft pick out in triple A to make sure he receives valuable developmental time. For many prospects the delay in getting to the big club would stymie their recruiting buzz. That, however, wasn't the case for Irvin. His game spoke very loudly… even on JV.
According to Irvin's father, Indiana and Illinois have already extended scholarship offers. Michigan headman John Beilein has a steadfast principle of not offering players before June 15th of their sophomore year, but that doesn't stop him from showing significant interest.
"(Michigan) saw me at a practice when they were going to go see Gary (Harris) earlier this year," Irvin recalled. "They ended up asking my athletic director who I was and then they got in touch by that."
The point man in the Wolverines' pursuit of Irvin is assistant, Lavall Jordan. Alreadyt he newly hired coach has made a strong impression.
"He's a cool guy," Irvin said of Jordan. "He's a cool recruiter. I like to be around him. He is just really cool."
That strong early relationship was likely very key in getting Irvin up to Ann Arbor for a memorable unofficial visit experience in late June.
"It was nice," Irvin stated. "They showed me a lot. They sat me down with Coach Beilein and we watched plays with Manny Harris. They also talked about the academics, walked me around campus, we had lunch, and they showed me the basketball court. I felt special that day. I liked the campus, I liked the coaches, and the court was nice. It was cool. (My parents) liked it too. It was my first visit, so it was a new experience, but we really liked it."
Other suitors will certainly have ample time to follow suit. Purdue, Indiana, and Butler are next up on the visit itinerary. That said, the Irvin family is exerting great care to keep all of the attention in perspective. Even young Zak is conscious of keeping a level head thanks to some sage advice from a long time friend.
"Gary is always telling me to keep a level head and not get cocky," said Then with high school, he is always calming me down and telling me to do the right stuff."
The relationship these two Hoosier State stars have on and off the floor will likely cause a lot of sleepless nights for opponents over the next two years.
"Our games fit together really well, said Irvin. He drives the basket and he can shoot. I can drive the basket and I can shoot the ball pretty well. I'm long, I play the point at times, and I am pretty good on defense. We just play well together."
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Irvin in the coming weeks and months.