Mark Donnal listed as a junior on official roster

I noticed the official roster has him now listed as a junior, not a redshirt sophomore. Is he in a similar situation as Max Bielfeldt, where he likely won’t be invited back for a fifth year, and they just decided to make it known already?


Good catch… Here’s the roster

Pretty sure a month ago he was listed as a RS Sophomore.

I don’t know why they’d make that decision already, unless it was Donnal who already decided he doesn’t want to play a 5th year (honestly could see it).

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Also telling that Beilein has been talking about the “Core Four” all offseason, which doesn’t include Donnal (who has been around just as long as Zak and Derrick).

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Interesting point… I always just figured it was because they all played on the Elite Eight team, but you almost forget that Donnal was in the same class as Derrick and Zak.

Does Donnal have a viable role in a Coach Beilein offense? I’m not sure he does. I am not ready to write him off but he needs to carve out a niche this season. I don’t think he can guard 4’s but I don’t think he can guard 5’s either. Offensively he’s a 4 I think, but not an ideal one. Maybe he’s a tweener.
With Doyle on the roster, and 2 legit 5’s in the '16 class, plus the emergence of Wagner and Wilson, I can see why Coach Beilein might not see the need for a 5th year for Donnal.
I’ll be pleased if Donnal proves me wrong.

If we’re talking about fit for his skillset, I definitely think it is the five mostly because he can’t really do anything that Michigan needs out of a four.

In an ideal world, he could grow into Jordan Morgan with a jumpshot. It just doesn’t seem like we’ve gotten much closer to that over the last two years.


I’m thinking he can stand in the corner and shoot 3’s if he’s a 4. I’m having a hard time seeing him thrive as a 5. Definitely get the impression he’s not comfortable doing the things Coach Beilein demands from the 5 offensively.
I think both Wilson and Wagner are better fits at the 4 and the 5 than Donnal. At the 4 they’re more fluid and athletic, at the 5 they have more promise as offensive rebounders.

I understand what you’re saying, but can you see Donnal cutting to the ball on the wing, catching, facing up and making the right pass?

No I can’t.
He started at the 5 against Le Moyne, I just can’t see that as a viable long term occurrence.
I guess you’re forcing me to the conclusion Donnal will never be a major contributor on this team.

I think it makes a lot of sense. Its pretty easy to see that Donnal is not a great fit for this team long term. And with Teske and/or Davis coming in there will be a logjam at the 5. Better that Mark knows the score now so he can graduate and play a 5th year somewhere else if he wants.

My guess would be it is the polite way of maybe nudging him towards a transfer after this year to open an additional scholarship earlier. Worst case it opens one in two years if he stays as a senior, even earlier if he transfers.

I don’t think that is a fair assessment to say he can’t do anything that Michigan needs out of a four. I know he can shoot the ball from behind the arc a heck of a lot better than DJ and Kam. We haven’t had anyone with size be able to make the three point shot since Evan Smotrycz left.

Can you ask John Beilein why Mark has been reclassified.

He doesn’t meet with the media until Thursday, but I would guess it would come up.

It wouldn’t make any sense for Mark to transfer after this year unless he graduates. He took his RS already and you get 5 years to play 4, and he would still have to sit out a year after transferring. So he can play one more year somewhere else, might as well get his degree here and have a chance of playing next year. Seems like the message is simply that he’s not guaranteed a 5th year.

What’s interesting is that he is, at least for now, the starting center! Even though Max ended up playing a lot, he was buried deep on the bench when they reclassified him. But I guess it makes fair warning that he’s not guaranteed anything past next year. Also, as they’re sitting on 13 in '17 right now with Poole, it makes sense to assume they’re going to recruit as if they can use his scholarship, and they can revisit the situation then if other attrition happens, etc.

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Still don’t understand why he’s the starting 5 over Doyle, and if he really deserves to be the starting 5 why would we want to lose a year of his eligibility?

What difference does it make that he reclassified?
It doesn’t change his status, years of eligibility or graduation status.

Technically doesn’t mean anything. But it implies that he will not be invited back for a 5th year, like when Max was listed as a senior last year.


As Reegs said, it implies that he won’t be a 5 year guy.

So they changed his classification so that they could imply that he won’t get a fifth year? So maybe he will get a fifth year or maybe he won’t. Like I said, what difference does this make?