Mark Donnal to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt

MAY_CLASSIC0417-500x7691[1]Commitments come in pairs and 2013 big man Mark Donnal verbally committed shortly after Austin Hatch joined in. Michigan head coach John Beilein extended a scholarship offer this afternoon and Donnal quickly accepted.

Donnal is a 6-foot-9, 200 pound big man out of Anthony Wayne High School in Whitehouse, Ohio that plays his AAU basketball with Dan Dakich’s Indiana Elite South squad. Donnal had a very impressive showing at Michigan’s Elite Camp and appears to be blossoming into an impressive prospect. Full video and scouting after the jump. Photo Credit: Herald Times Online


Donnal is ranked 81st in ESPN’s latest top 100 and rated a 3-star prospect by Donnal’s top two options were Michigan and Butler but Michigan State and Indiana had begun to get involved in his recruitment.


Indy HS Hoops:

Mark Donnal, Indiana Elite South 16u- The Ohio native bolsters things down low for the Dan Dakich coached Indiana Elite South team. Donnal has a good skill set for a big man, possessing the ability to knock down jump shots out to the 3-point line, and score with his back to the basket. The 6’9 forward also has a great motor and runs the floor hard on the break. Another great thing about the sophomore big man is his vision and ability to pass out of the post and find shooters for open looks. While Donnal isn’t an extraordinary athlete, he uses good timing and strong hands to corral rebounds and control the glass.

Elite Camp:

The camp wasn’t loaded with big men but Donnal was the most impressive of the bunch. He has very solid footwork and makes the most of the opportunities provided to him, which can be few and far between in a fast paced camp setting.

Knowing how to play the game is often an overlooked trait for big men. Reading situations, rolling to the basket at the right time, pivoting the right direction and making the right move are reactions that have to be made quickly and that most young bigs struggle with. Donnal, like anyone, makes his fair share of mistakes but he seems to embrace coaching and make the necessary improvements quickly.

He had a nice dunk in 3 on 3 play and seemed to always make the right play every time. He’s not a jump out of the gym athlete or a tremendous shot blocker, although he did have a few nice blocks in full court play, but he has a good motor and is an above average rebounder. He showed off a strong drop step in the post on a couple of occasions but surprised me more with his face up game. He’s not going to be a true face-up four man at this point, or ever, but he’s surprisingly coordinated at putting the ball on the floor for a sophomore big. He’s also confident enough to step out and knock down a jump shot from 18-feet.


Mark is an ever-improving big man in the 2013 class. He has good hands and good feet. He is a solid athlete that can play above the rim. He has developed a solid face-up jumpshot out to 17 feet which has really helped expand his game. He is a good rebounder and uses his big body well inside.

He doesn’t possess much of a low post game as he prefers to face up. When he does catch it down low it’s either a dunk or layup. He do well to add a jump hook, turn around jumper or up-and-under move. He’s not much of a shot blocker.

Bottom Line:
Mark has really come on in the last year (2011). He is improving by leaps and bounds as a player and a prospect. He’s becoming a priority for mid to high major programs in the midwest already. His added jump shot has made him a high major prospect.



Donnal is a great fit for the five position in Michigan’s offense. He can step out and hit a jump shot, put the ball on the floor at times and is comfortable running the pick and roll. He needs to continue to gain strength but with two years left in his high school career, he should step on campus.

Donnal’s freshman year will coincide with Jordan Morgan’s 5th-year senior season, giving him a year to play behind the experienced veteran. That’s important because all of the big men currently on Michigan’s roster – Morgan, Horford and McLimans – will be gone during Donnal’s sophomore season.

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  • Anonymous

    Now we NEED  an early departure to get one of the PG’s in.

  • Anonymous

    I guess that’s the Big Man prospect.  It’s a very nice day for the Wolverines.  I haven’t seen much of this guy but I like that Coach Beilein and staff are landing the players they want.

  • Anonymous

    If we land Monte Morris, it would be quite a hat trick!

  • Bojangles

    not too thrilled with him. hopefully we can get morris or Walton to commit soon

    • Anonymous

      Would Beilein take a commitment from a player we don’t currently have a spot for?

      • Anonymous

        You are way too worried about this.  Hardaway will be in the NBA by the time these kids hit campus.  Also, a fifth year is like a team option.  We have at least 3 spots and up to 5 if somone else on the roster explodes and goes pro early.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see us accept 4 commits from the 2013 class.

        • Anonymous

          Its not a matter of whether a spot opens up but when. Blake is just going to be a sophomore this season. Is Coach going to decide now(or after this season) that he doesn’t get a 5th year. I also don’t know why people are so quick to push Timmy out the door after this season. Its not like his family needs the money. Maybe he likes playing at Michigan and stays another year.

          By the time a spot actually opens up all the guys we are interested could be commited to someone else because they’re all pretty highly sought after.

          I’d say its a very valid question.

          • JB

            These kids won’t be on campus until after another two seasons, so that means we’d be okay taking another if Timmy leaves after either of the next two seasons. Pretty likely IMO.

    • Mattski

      You and I are not looking at the same player, Bo. 

  • Mattski

    He DID bank one hook shot off of the glass, IIRC, in the first vid. Looks quite strong for a h.s. junior already. I’ll bet Beilein is really excited about this kid. 

  • Paul

    I’m sort of underwhelmed by him, but hoping for the best

    • Mattski

      Get back to me in six years. This kid is going to be a fantastic player for Michigan.

    • Anonymous

      you’re a busy little beaver today, Dylan.

      • Bluebufoon

        If Beilein lands Irvin with either PG Michigan basketball is stocked for years to come. I’m glad U-M offered Irvin because there clearly will be enough room for 4 players to enroll at Michigan in the fall of 2013.

        • Anonymous

          Where will the fourth spot come from? If Beilein decides not to offer McLimans a 5th year, that’s the third one… Are we expecting attrition?

          • Beilein’s Swish

            If Tim Hardaway goes pro early, then you have another slot.  Plus, in any program, you have to account for attrition.

          • Anton

            I don’t see any way McLimans gets a 5th year. 

    • Mattski

      Refresh me–where do we stand with Irvin? I see he has visited a few times. . .

  • Anonymous

    Only a sophomore with this size and skill set, wow! You mean this kid still has two more years to develop?! Watch out. 

    • Anonymous

      I think he looks pretty good for a 15 or 16 year old plus the ESPN write-up says he’s really improved recently.  That suggests that he’s on the way to getting better.  They have him ranked #81 in the country so I’d guess that he could be a Top 50 player by the end of his Senior year if he gets stronger and keeps improving.

  • Donnal and Hatch might not be the flashiest prospects but I think they will flourish here at Michigan under Beilein. Hopefully we can get at least one, maybe two, of morris, walton and irvin.

  • Anonymous

    Great news on both of these guys. Just a head’s up: Mark’s high school is Anthony Wayne H.S, and is located in Whitehouse, OH, a Toledo suburb. It’s about an hour’s drive from a2.

  • Anonymous

    Congrats and Welcome Mark!  Look forward to seeing you in the Maize n Blue!

  • Anthony

    Good commit i still think michigan will need another pg and from the sounds of it we will get morris

  • Goblu8

    Wow how can anyone not be impressed with this kid, keep in mind he is only 15 in those video’s. That much strength and skill at that age is pretty impressive. This kid is going blow, good thing we got him early. He’s going end up a top 50 kid IMO.

  • Brian_W_97

    Great day for the Michigan basketball program.  Looking forward to seeing Mark and Austin in the spiffy new Crisler  in a couple of years.  Great to hear that Monte Morris got an offer.

  • ethii

    Nice pick up.  Big kid who’s going to fill out.  And he can shoot free throws!

  • UMFAN15

    You’ve got to love Belein’s eye for talent. The guy recruited Glenn Robinson Jr. when he was a lowly prospect with mid major interest. He is now ranked 50th on rivals. I don’t see how anyone can be underwheled with these recruits. Two 16 year olds 6’9 and 6’6 just committed to us on the first day, Michigan is on the rise. I think Donnal could possibly grow to 6’11 and Hatch maybe to 6’8-6’9.

    • Paul

      Great point.  That would be most excellent!

  • Anonymous

    Ummm, when are we going to recruit guys that are NBA caliber prospects, maybe one and done, that you need to win a national championship?  I’m not really interested in shooting for third or fourth place in the Big Ten every year.

    • Paul

      I’ll take very good players that will stay 3-4 years and make their mark, vs 1 and doners

      • Anonymous

        You must be forgetting all of those titles that Kentucky has won under Calipari and all those 1 and doners that cut the nets for UConn. Oh, wait……

        Coach Beilein and staff seem to be landing guys with NBA futures (Morris, Hardaway.. possibly guys like Burke & GR III and maybe even Smot & Horford) already and his recruiting classes are gradually improving every year.  ESPN has Donnal as the #81 guy in their rankings so he already is Beilein’s highest rated true big man.  He may not be Chris Webber but who’s to say that from now to the time he hits campus that he can’t at least be a top 40 guy?  He certainly doesn’t look like a stiff and he’s already got a pretty smooth jump shot.  He’s got 2 years to beef up, work on his post moves and maybe even grow another inch or two.

        From what I’ve seen from the last two classes that have arrived in A2, I’m really starting to trust in what kind of recruit Coach Beilein is getting to wear the Maize & Blue.

        Jordan Morgan:  Better than advertised.
        Darius Morris: Probable 1st round pick next Thursday.
        Tim Hardaway Jr.: One of the NCAA’s top Freshman.
        Matt Vogrich: Solid and improving.
        Evan Smotrycz: Had some solid games and came on late, even though he had to learn a new position.

        I’m also super excited to see what Burke, Brundidge & Bielfeldt can bring to this team.

        I think the dark days are behind us and we Wolverine fans can really look forward to a lot of basketball being played in mid-to-late March….maybe even early April sometime in the next 5 years.

    • UMFAN15

      honestly, one and done players have taken a negative effect to college basketball. If you Look at the last few champions… Florida, Kansas, North Carolina, Duke, n UConn all did not have one n done talent.  I’d rather have a team of good committed players that bleed maize and blue rather than a team of 2 or there superstars that are committed to making an nba roster.