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November 16, 2012Michigan basketball coach John Beilein announced Friday the signing of 6-foot-9 forward Mark Donnal (Whitehouse, Ohio/Anthony Wayne HS), 6-foot-6 guard Zak Irvin (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern HS) and 6-foot guard Derrick Walton Jr. (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) to National Letters of Intent to join the Wolverines for the 2013-14 academic year.
"We are excited Mark, Zak and Derrick have joined the Michigan Basketball family," said Beilein. "These are three young men coming from outstanding families with strong academic backgrounds. They are very talented young men who also value being great teammates. They will fit right in as we continue to build a positive culture within this basketball program."
A two-year starter for Anthony Wayne High under coach Bryan Borcherdt, Donnal had a breakout junior season, averaging 19.6 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Generals. He earned Associated Press Division I All-Ohio third team honors as well as the AP's Northwest All-District first team accolade in 2011. He added All-Northern Lakes League first team honors, as well as the Toledo Blade's All-Blade Team (Best of the Rest) honors after his junior campaign. He helped Anthony Wayne to a 15-7 record and the district championship game in the state tournament. As a sophomore, Donnal averaged 14.9 points and 6.3 rebounds.
"We have loved Mark's potential from the first time we saw him," said Beilein. "He is very skilled, has the ability to shoot, and is very young, so he will grow into his body. We like the idea that he is a developing big with a very high ceiling. At 6-9 he will be tough enough to play center and skilled enough to play as a stretch power forward."
A two-year starter for Hamilton Southeastern under coach Brian Satterfield, Irvin averaged 18.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a junior, earning 2012 Indiana "Core" Junior All-Star team honors as the Royals posted a 22-3 overall record and carried the state's No. 1 ranking for a majority of the season. Over the last two seasons, Hamilton Southeastern has won back-to-back Hoosier Crossroads League titles, winning 18 straight conference games. As a sophomore, Irvin averaged 10.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists as the Royals went 20-4 overall, winning the Class 4A Sectional 9 title before being eliminated in the 4A Regional quarterfinals.
"We have been tracking Zak for four years now and it has been incredible to watch his overall development," said Beilein. "He possesses the ability to play any perimeter position. He is an outstanding defender and shooter and really loves to compete. We are looking forward to coaching him because of his versatility, length and attitude."
A three-year starter for his coach and father, Derrick Walton Sr., at Chandler Park Academy, Walton averaged 26.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 7.3 steals per game to earn 2012 Class B All-State first team honors from the Associated Press, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. He has helped the Eagles to three straight Charter School League titles and to the 2012 Class B regional title game. During his breakout junior season, he scored 47 points and had 12 rebounds against Detroit Crockett (March 9, 2012) and posted a quadruple-double against Chavez Academy (Jan. 31, 2012) with 34 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals. This past summer, he played for Team USA in the Albert Schweitzer Tournament in Mannheim, Germany. He played in all six games, averaging 7.7 points. 1.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
"Derrick's excellent point guard skills and natural leadership will make him a great addition to our roster," said Beilein. "His outstanding court sense tells him when to pass or score. He sees the floor extremely well on both offense and defense. His teammates will love playing with him because of his team-first attitude."
Michigan will lose five seniors from this season's roster: guard Eso Akunne (Ann Arbor, Mich./Gabriel Richard HS), guard Josh Bartelstein (Highland Park, Ill./Phillips Exeter Academy [N.H.]), forward Blake McLimans (Hamburg, N.Y./Worcester Academy [Mass.]), guard Corey Person (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central HS) and guard Matt Vogrich (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest HS).