Michigan freshmen: early look

John Beilein has made his reputation as a great coach, and an already strong portfolio gained further enhancement after Michigan advanced to the national final last season.

But the Wolverines also are beginning to recruit more along the lines of Michigan State, Ohio State and other Big Ten powers. Their current freshman class includes Derrick Walton, last year's No. 43 senior and currently a starter for the (admittedly struggling) national championship contender.

Walton is playing a big 25 minutes per game and averaging nine points in the process. His shooting percentages haven't been spectacular, but he's gaining the kind of extensive experience that should pay off handsomely as he progresses in Ann Arbor.

Zak Irvin was the second-most touted signee in the class. The 6-6 swingman slotted No. 51 among the 2013 group and also has commanded significant playing time, in his case 17 minutes per outing. Irving hasn't been able to find the mark from the field — he's shooting just 28 percent en route to five points per game — but the coaching staff hopes he'll become more accurate over the course of the season.

The other scholarship freshman, center Mark Donnal, also earned top-= 100 prep distinction. Despite the accolades, Donnal exited the high school realm still considered a developmental big man. Even with Mitch McGary's lingering back injury, Beilein has maintained that he'd like to redshirt Donnal this season, if possible.


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