Friday Night at Spiece: Austin Hatch, Mark Donnal, Derrick Walton and more

Dylan Burkhardt

hatch[1]Michigan recruiting targets and commitments were in action on Friday evening for the start of the annual Spiece Run ‘n Slam Invitational in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The early highlight was seeing Austin Hatch in attendance, getting some shots up before tournament action began. He worked up a sweat and showed that he still has a deft shooting touch, but has a long way to go before being in playing shape. His recovery is understandably a slow process but he continues to put in the work. Hatch stuck around to support fellow Wolverine commitment Mark Donnal as well as his AAU teammates on the Spiece Indy Heat.

More on Wolverine commitments and targets including Mark Donnal, Derrick Walton, Vincent Edwards, Keita Bates-Diop and others after the jump.

Mark Donnal shows skills in loss

2013 Michigan commitment Mark Donnal faced a tough zone defense from All-Ohio Red and his Indiana Elite South team was beaten fairly easily. However, Donnal still managed to hit some deep 3-pointers and show off a handful of strong post moves where he was able to finish in traffic. Donnal’s impressive performance shouldn’t be lost in what was a disappointing game for Indiana Elite, his versatile inside-out skill set will only continue to improve before he ends up in Ann Arbor. Donnal finished the game with 22 points and knocked down three triples.

Derrick Walton facilitates Mustangs victory

Derrick Walton led the Michigan Mustangs in an easy night cap victory over the Peoria Irish. Walton didn’t have to provide much in the scoring column but did knock down a triple en route to 11 points, focusing more on distributing the ball throughout. Walton found shooters on the perimeter and also created a number of easy baskets around the basket after collapsing the opposing defense. He’s a true point guard that’s more than effective in the half court but is lethal in transition.

Trevon Bluiett likely to earn Wolverine offer

2014 target Trevon Bluiett opened play with 12 points an easy victory over I-90 Elite. Bluiett is wired to score the ball from the wing and showed off his ability finishing around the bucket while also stepping out and knocking down a couple of shots from the perimeter.

Bluiett is in no hurry to make a decision, noting that he could wait until the end of the summer before his senior year, and is letting the process play out. Bluiett mentioned that Michigan coaches continue to hell him that they love his game. He talks with not only coach Beilein but also with assistant coaches Jeff Meyer and Lavall Jordan. Michigan doesn’t offer prospects until June 15th of their sophomore seasons but Bluiett “has a good feeling” that a Michigan offer is forthcoming – he shouldn’t be worried.

King James 16U picks up opening win over REACH

Jeff Meyer watched the King James 16U team intently last weekend in Akron – we also posted scouting video of Vincent Edwards and Javon Bess earlier in the week – and the Wolverines have been paying attention to 2014 star Vincent Edwards. Edwards was impressive on Friday night, finishing with 15 points and taking over the game for a stretch in the second half before putting it away. Edwards is a big forward who can also score from the perimeter — he had a few very nice takes to the basket. Javon Bess had some good drives of his own, but his shot wasn’t falling. He showed an ability to share the ball and did nice work in transition.

Other Notes

  • 2014 forward Keita Bates-Diop showed flashes of his potential but looked relatively passive in an 11 point loss to the Louisville Magic.
  • Sean Sellers and Bryant McIntosh cruised to an easy victory over the Clutch Players. McIntosh reported that he plans to attend Michigan’s College Practice camp in June.

Dylan Burkhardt and Joe Stapleton contributed to this report. Stay tuned to UM Hoops for more from Spiece in the days to come.

  • TKWolverine

    Great job, guys. I hear that the LeVert visit went VERY well, BTW.

    • FGCU Maize Rage

      Is there a timeline for LeVert’s decision?

      • SamGoBlue

        I think I read somewhere (maybe here) that he wanted to decide by early next week? Either way, it will be very soon and it seems that things may be pointing our way FGCU. I would really like the pick-up.

        • DingoBlue

          I believe there was a possibility of a decision early this week. I would like the pickup as well.

    • That’s definetely the word. Michigan was in a strong position before the visit and it sounds like it has only gotten stronger.

    • maxwells_demon

      Are there any particular reasons that might explain why he was under the radar until the end of his senior season? Injuries, playing behind another stud until senior year, bad AAU team, whatever? Or just a late bloomer?

      • Fresh

        i think it is a combination of late bloomer / growth spurt 2 1/2 inches something like that

  • Wayman Britt

    That’s is great news that Austin Hatch is on the road to recovery. He has been through so much. Sounds like he is going to be able to live a normal life – physically. If he can recover to play Big Ten basketball that is icing on the cake.

  • A State Fan

    Good to hear that Hatch is improving, could someone give me a quick recap of what happened to him in the accident? What injuries did he have?

    • maxwells_demon

      Head injury that was bad enough to require induced coma. Broken ribs and punctured lung. It sounds like there are still lingering effects from the head injury, not as mentally quick as before, but it’s coming back.

  • SamGoBlue

    And of course tremendous news about Austin Hatch. I wish there was some video of his shooting, that would be incredible to see.