Michigan fans had never seen Zak Irvin like this: dejected, uncertain, in his own head. Give credit to the senior for admitting that his recent shooting woes were not due to anything mechanical or the offense running more through Derrick Walton. They were mental.
Irvin was 4 for 31 from the field over his past four games entering last night, including 2 of 15 from three. “At that point,” said Irvin, “you’re just telling yourself, ‘I hope I don’t miss it.’”
He made shots with great frequency during and after practice. Teammates and coaches encouraged him to keep shooting. He thought he’d gotten over the mental hurdle before Sunday’s game at Indiana, but he missed 7 of 8 shots, including some that were way off the mark. Last night, in a 64-58 win over Wisconsin, Irvin rediscovered the shooting stroke that had been missing for three weeks.
“I just had to change my whole mindset and think every shot I take is going to go in,” Irvin said. “That’s the mentality I had (against Wisconsin), just getting back to my usual self, and it worked well for me.”
Irvin finished with 18 points, his most since the last meeting with Wisconsin on Jan. 17, making 4 of 7 two-point shots and 2 of 5 from deep. “It was exactly what the doctor ordered,” John Beilein said of Irvin’s performance.
I just had to change my whole mindset and think every shot I take is going to go in. twitter
Irvin’s play early in the game suggested this would be the night he broke out of his slump. He was active on defense, forcing a turnover on the first possession. By the first media timeout, he’d gotten …
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