The Michigan Wolverines would have been one of the favorites for next year had Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr not declared for the NBA draft. Still, with both Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III returning and a great recruiting class coming in, the future looks very bright in Ann Arbor.
Michigan signed just three players for its 2013 class, but all are Top 100 recruits (according to ESPN). Zak Irvin, the sixth ranked small forward in the Class of 2013, highlights John Beilein’s recruiting class. Irvin has size and shooting ability with the ability to knock down outside shots both in transition and coming off of screens.
In Derrick Walton, Beilein hopes to have found his Trey Burke of the future. The Wolverines are excited about Walton’s pace with how he aggressively pushes the ball after makes or misses, always keeping the pressure on the defense. With the aforementioned NBA departures, Walton will likely have to take on a big role in Michigan’s offense, and it will be key to see how quickly he can adapt to the college game.
The final piece of Michigan’s recruiting class is power forward Mark Donnal, a player who Beilein hopes will be able to take some pressure off of McGary and provide the Wolverines with another scoring big man. While Donnal is still developing and his game is still improving, there is a lot to like already. At 6’9″, Donnal can play above the rim, but his repertoire includes much more than that. He has developed a reliable face-up jumper extending to about 17 feet, which really makes him a dangerous offensive weapon.
While a second straight trip to the National Championship Game is unlikely, Michigan has the pieces it needs to remain competitive in the Big Ten.