Heading into his senior season of high school, Zack Novak had not signed anywhere to play collegiate basketball. But if anyone had doubts about the Chesterton, Ind., native's ability to play at the next level they were erased ashe averaged 26.9 points per game during his final season at Chesterton High School, the third-highest average in the state of Indiana.
Following that outstanding senior season, Novak was named 2008 Northwest Times Player of the Year and also earned Indiana Basketball Coaches Association All-State First Team honors. Novak was selected to play in both the Indiana/Kentucky All-Star Game and the Indiana North/South All-Star Classic; he scored 18 points in the latter.
But make no mistake -- Novak was far from a one-season high school wonder. As a four-year starter at Chesterton, Novak averaged 20.3 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per contest. His 1,791 career points broke the school career scoring record that had stood for more than 50 years.
Like his fellow incoming freshmen, Novak is also a winner. As a senior, he led Chesterton to a 19-3 record and its first outright championship in the Dunelands Athletic Conference in program history.
In the final of a three-part question-and-answer series with the freshmen on the Michigan men's basketball team, MGoBlue.com sits down with Zack Novak
Meet Zack Novak ...
Choosing Michigan: When I came up for my visit, I really enjoyed everyone I met, the coaches, the players, everyone around campus, it really seemed like home.
What he is looking forward to as a freshman: Im looking forward to new challenges and playing Big Ten basketball. Its going to be fun; I think were going to have a real good team this year. Just being a part of that college basketball atmosphere is going to be special.
Summer at Michigan: We came up June 21 and started taking classes a few days after that. I took six credit hours and after we would get done with class every day, about one oclock, we would go eat lunch and then go workout for three or four hours. Mondays, Wednesdays and Sunday we would come back for open gym at night. Other than that, we would go back to the dorms, eat dinner and finish homework.
What he has been working on over the summer: Ive been dropping a lot of weight; coach wanted me to slim down a little bit. I think Ive lost about eight pounds; right now I weigh 205 or 206, so that was the big thing. Other than that, just ball-handling, shooting and doing what I do.
Goals for the upcoming season: Right now the goal is to get back to the NCAA Tournament and to win a Big Ten Title. I think we are going in the right direction, weve got the guys to do it and I think its doable this year.
Being affected by the new, deeper three-point line: Not really, in high school I dont think I shot one within a foot of the three-point line anyway, so it shouldnt be too much of a difference.
His number at Michigan: Well, Im zero because all the other numbers I wanted were taken. So I felt like changing it up a little bit. I didnt realize that Stu (Douglass) is number one, so that is kind of cool. Were both from Indiana and everybody links us together already anyway, so that is just one more thing that we unintentionally did.
His favorite basketball moment so far: Probably when we won the conference this past year for the first time in our schools history. That was pretty cool. My whole senior season was great. We started off 16-0 and we just got that feeling where we feel like you cant lose. Theres nothing quite like that feeling.
Describing his game: There isnt one player that I have studied and said I want to be like him. A lot of people where Im from will first say that I play hard. I think that is what people say the most. They appreciate that every play I go out and do what I have to do to help the team win. I scored a lot in high school, but I think I do a little bit of everything, I think that best sums it up.
Other sports he played growing up: Baseball. I played baseball growing up and all through high school. Thats about it, I tried football for a year but that wasnt my thing.
Dream job: Owning a business someday.
Favorite food: It changes a lot. Usually when I get a favorite I eat it too much and I get sick of it. Right now I would say steak.
Favorite subject in school: In high school it was computer graphics and design, because that was my favorite teacher. But now, probably math.
Favorite color: Maize and blue.
Favorite television show: Lately, its probably been The Office or Two and A Half Men.
Favorite movie: A Night At The Roxbury.
Favorite athlete: Brett Farve.
Place you would most like to visit: Anywhere outside the country. Ive never left the United States.
Favorite pro sports team: The Green Bay Packers.
Pregame superstitions: I always sat in the same spot in the locker room in high school but nothing too significant. I get into little things, like if we have a winning streak Ill do the same thing, but nothing that Ive always done or have to do.
Part 1:Meet the Freshmen: Ben Cronin | Part 2:Meet the Freshmen: Stu Douglass