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Posted on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Michigan basketball captain Zack Novak a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award

By Nick Baumgardner

Zack Novak has been a key fixture inside the Michigan basketball program for four seasons, and Wednesday he received national recognition for it.

Novak, a senior guard and Wolverine co-captain, was named one of 10 finalists for the 2011-12 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, an honor given to college basketball's most well-rounded senior student-athlete.

Novak-Zack (2010-11).jpg

Zack Novak

The award is given annually to a Division I senior with notable achievements in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition.

Novak is one of four finalists from the Big Ten, joining Michigan State's Draymond Green, Purdue's Robbie Hummel and Ohio State's William Buford.

The other finalists are Pittsburgh's Ashton Gibbs, Belmont's Mick Hedgepeth, William and Mary's Quinn McDowell, Butler's Ronald Nored, Pennsylania's Zack Rosen and North Carolina's Tyler Zeller.

Just the second three-time captain in Michigan basketball history, Novak is averaging 9.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and two assists per game for the 20th-ranked Wolverines.

Novak ranks fourth in school history in career 3-point field goals and fifth in 3-point field goal attempts. He became the 40th member of Michigan's 500 career rebound club earlier this season and needs just 33 points to become the 45th Wolverine to reach the 1,000-point mark for a career.

Off the court, Novak has been a strong representative for the Wolverines, helping with elementary school reading programs, Mott Children's Hospital, basketball and volleyball summer camps, and other local team charitable activities. In addition, he's received a number of academic honors throughout his career, including Academic All-Big Ten (2010, '11), U-M Athletic Academic Achievement (2009, '10, '11), and U-M's Bodnar Award for Academic Achievement (2009, '11).

Voting for the winner will be conducted by members of the media, Division I men's and women's coaches and fans.

To vote, visit the official Lowe's Senior Class Award website, as well as the award's official Facebook page.

Lowe's will announce the winner during the 2012 NCAA Men's Final Four in New Orleans.

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan basketball for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.

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Tue, Jan 31, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

This award does more for Lowe's than Zack. It gives Lowe's, a low end building disbributor, a link to a high end sports program at the UofM.

Bennie's Curse

Sat, Jan 28, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

Facetious nomination for "class" award cheapened by unsportsmanlike hacking blow to the face/ head of Boilermaker player. Good sportsman would apologize publicly and act with remorse if he was't trying to brutalize the competition. Good competition doesn't have to involve thuggery in will to win.