Mark Donnal - Redshirt Discussion

I feel this is a good venue to discuss this. There has been ongoing debate here and elsewhere as to whether or not Mark Donnal will redshirt this year. I’d like to get UMHoops readers’ thoughts on it.

I’m personally in the camp of him finding time by the end of the year, yes he would have to overcome likely 2 of Morgan, Horford, McGary, and Bielfeldt to do so. I just think he is the only true “stretch four” we have on the roster. Yes, GRIII filled in well at PF last year to knock down a few threes, but Donnal is the only one 6’7" or taller that has (reportedly) a reliable outside shot. And I’m talking beyond the 3 point line.

I think that about half-way through the season, Mark has a chance to overtake Bielfeldt in the big-men lineup, which would conceivably give him garbage time, though I’m not sure it would be worth burning a redshirt just for that. However, if there is another injury to Horford or Morgan like last year, or (heaven forbid) Mitch, then I don’t see how you cannot play him. I obviously won’t be rooting for an injury, but it’s something to consider.

What are others’ thoughts on this? From what I’ve seen, it’s a rather polarizing topic among UM fans.

In a nutshell, barring injury or some other unusual situation, you don’t redshirt good players in college Bball. Nobody does. Unless he’s only good enough for garbage time (which would be a big disappointment), you get him out there and let him contribute. If we end up throwing 9 or 10 quality guys at the opposition, so be it, but we’ve got enough talent in the pipeline that there is no reason to save a guy like Donnal for a “rainy day”.

I feel that people underestimate the impact that Donnal can potential have on this team. Unlike last year where the offense was being generated by two individual we are are going to see more a balanced offense. JB’s teams have always had two very good shooter on the court at the same time. Thus is why Novak played the 4 most of his career. Similar to a couple years with Evan being the stretch 4 and keeping defenses honest, being that second shooter. we are going to need more shooters on the court with certain lineups. If you have walton, Levert,McGary, GRIII who is going to be that deep threat. If Donnal can gain some weight and get the defensive concepts I think he plays alot.

There’s a big minutes crunch in the post obviously but I think there’s room for a shooter with legitimate size on this roster. Donnal’s minutes probably come down to how well GR3 can handle the wing and how ready Donnal is to play.

Should be very interesting to see how minutes play out, especially when Beilein experiments early in the year.

If he’s better than the other options, play him. If not, consider a red shirt. Most freshman bigs are pretty raw.

Yes, the non-conference schedule will be very interesting. I’m sure we’ll be trying out all sorts of different lineups, especially against softer opponents. I’m thinking that McGary, Robinson and Albrecht/Walton are likely to be fairly well settled, and the decision about how much we’ll play a bigger lineup will hinge on whether the trio of Stauskas, LeVert and Irvin or the trio of Horford, Morgan and Donnal is more effective. Some of that will depend on what our opponent is throwing at us, of course. One intriguing possibility is to put two bigs (McGary and Morgan) out there, and play Donnal as essentially a tall 3 (if his outside game turns out to be as effective as hoped). He could be a very tough matchup for most other SF.

He could end up playing a Christian Watford-type role, which would certainly not be unwelcome. But @BlueBasketeer, I don’t think he’s quite quick enough to play significant minutes as a stretch 3.

No, you’re right…I don’t think he’d be suited to a stretch 3 spot as a regular position, but in certain situations, it could be an advantage. I think Beilein will be able to throw out a lineup to confound just about anyone’s defense.

looking at his pic in the frosh photo, IMO he needs to gain a significant amount of strength before he can be thrown into the post.

Well, the new roster lists Donnal at 6’9" and 230 lbs, which is not particularly skinny. Scout and Rivals had him at 215 and 200 when he was being recruited, so if his listed weigh is accurate, he’s already bulked up some. Strength is another matter of course, but I don’t think he necessarily has to add much more weight to be able to hold his own in the Big Ten.

Idk looking at the picture, he looks like he will have trouble playing in the interior in the big ten regardless of what he is listed at without adding a significant amount of strength.

I’ll definitely be focused on Donnal, McGary, and Robinson in the early part of the season. I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on how the rest of the team is going to be. Donnal won’t be as strong as Horford and Bielfeldt, but he can obviously contribute some things. If McGary hasn’t developed his 4 skills this summer, there is potential for Donnal at the 4 IF he can prove able to defend either the 4 or 5 AND can put the ball on the floor offensively, at least enough to keep the defense honest. If McGary has developed his 4 skills enough to get significant playing time there, I see Donnal having a harder time at the 5 simply because of strength. But he definitely has more skills than anyone else we have, but he’d have to bang a lot especially in the B1G. It’ll definitely be interesting. I could see an offense where we have the 3 and 4 in the corner and Donnal around the free throw line…he’d definitely be a good pick and roll or pick and pop option at the 5.

How would you compare Donnal to Smotrycz (game)?

How would you compare Donnal to Smotrycz (game)?

Didn’t see a ton of Evan in HS but Donnal has more natural back to the basket game (even if he needs to add size at the next level) while Smotrycz was a more comfortable passer/ball handler on the perimeter.

How would you compare Donnal to Smotrycz (game)?

Didn’t see a ton of Evan in HS but Donnal has more natural back to the basket game (even if he needs to add size at the next level) while Smotrycz was a more comfortable passer/ball handler on the perimeter.

I would say Smotrycz is a much better 3-point shooter (beautiful, effortless stroke) - it’s hard to imagine Donnal being that good - and Smotrycz is better at putting the ball on the floor, but I think Donnal’s passing is underrated. And although Donnal will have a hard time initially defending, I can’t imagine him being worse than Smotrycz as a defender. If he has a better attitude and work ethic than Smotrycz had at Michigan (I wish him the best at Maryland), Donnal should be solid, with the potential of being very good.