Michigan junior center Mark Donnal is getting more and more comfortable with John Beilein dialing up plays for him.

Michigan junior center Mark Donnal is getting more and more comfortable with John Beilein dialing up plays for him.

When Michigan needed a bucket Sunday afternoon at Maryland, John Beilein called on junior center Mark Donnal

And Donnal, clearly turning a corner in his career as a Wolverine this season, picked up the phone and answered time and time again despite the loss to the Terrapins.

Donnal finished with a game high 25-points in 29 minutes, triggering every key run for Michigan, a noticeable drop off in play when forced to the bench in foul trouble.

For the soft spoken Ohio native, assuming the role of No. 1 option at times is an all new experience with the Wolverines.

"It's basically just a read for me and for the guard, whoever they want to throw it to, whoever is open," Donnal said. 

"If I'm open and the defender is kind of sagging off like they did a little bit last game, then I have the opportunity to shoot it."

Seems simple, right?

Donnal's progress throughout his career has been anything but simple, though. Redshirting his freshman season, Donnal struggled to maintain a prominent and productive role until the midway point of this year.

Donnal's break out performance came against Illinois, scoring 26-points to lead Michigan to a win in Champagne. Sunday's loss at Maryland looked eerily similar.

"Whenever he calls my number I'm ready to take those shots," said Donnal. "He had confidence in me after I made the first one to keep dialing me up."

"He just saw the way they were guarding it and I basically just knocked one down and the next play we had a good look for Zak for a three ball," he added. "There was just a bunch of different options out of that play that kind of worked out well for us."

In constant search of a big man capable of stretching the floor in his system, Beilein has at the very least found an option in Donnal.

Following Sunday's loss, Beilein gushed over how much the offense improves with the insertion of a big pumping in perimeter jumpers.

"Just having a guy that's able to shoot outside, it kind of opens things up for driving lanes for everybody," Donnal said. "It's been a big part for me to make sure I'm able to make those shots."

Video by Sam Webb.


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