The Wolverine

June-July 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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point game. I've gotten much better at that. I've also been working on my footwork down low, and I just keep on getting stronger so I can keep get- ting down low at the next level." Added strength will be critical at the next level, Dakich added. "He needs to work on getting his big. He plays in a good league, not a great league, in high school. Going to the Big Ten, confidence will be a big thing." Scout's Take: "Mark has been very heels in the paint when he posts up," he said. "He's always been a guy that, when someone gives him resis- tance, he moves off the block — and that's not good. When he gets resis- tance, he's got to fight through it, and he's getting better at it. "Mark has a good frame, and he's strong enough, but he has to get stronger. Confidence is going to be good," Bossi said after seeing him in April. "I really didn't know too much of what to expect of him. I saw him last summer and liked him, but I didn't have a great feel for his game. Now I do. I thought of him as more of a physical bruiser, and I think he can do some of that, but his skill level as a scorer and play around the basket have improved. He can step out and even hit some 17-footers to three-pointers. I didn't anticipate him developing so quickly." ❏ Austin Hatch Still Hopes To Play At Michigan Donnal, who measures 6-9, 210 pounds, averaged 19 points per game as a junior despite opponents frequently double- and triple-teaming him. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM ing him during his sophomore year, and he found it at Michigan. He saw no reason to extend the recruiting process, and he hasn't looked back since pledging in June 2011. That doesn't mean he's stopped working — on the contrary, in fact. He averaged 19 points per game as a junior despite being double- and triple-teamed frequently, improving his jump shot and his footwork. "He's really well coached in high school," Indiana Elite AAU coach Dan Dakich said. "His high school coach has his footwork straightened out. He's taught him how to post up strong. "Last year, Mark just kind of drifted a lot, but he's really improved in those areas. He's always been able to shoot, pick and pop, things like that. He's learned how to stay down on the block and make plays, and his high school coaches have really helped that evolution." Donnal has developed a solid, turnaround fade-away hook, but he's still working on a jump hook. He can score with a solid up-and-under move or step out and hit the jumper. He hit five triples in front of Beilein in a high school game this year. "I've definitely been working on my shot," he said. "I've been work- ing on my midrange game and three- Hatch said of U-M, "I'm still going on a full basketball scholarship. I'll still be on the team and all of that and go to practice and everything." was on top of the world. He'd just committed to Michigan, and he and his father fielded several interviews to discuss his future. Weeks later, everything fell apart. On June 24, 2011, Dr. Stephen Hatch and Last June, Fort Wayne (Ind.) Canterbury standout shooting guard Austin Hatch his wife, Kimberly, were killed in a plane crash in northern Michigan that left Austin critically injured. Austin recovered from a punctured lung and rib injuries, but he's still recuperating from a serious brain injury. Family asked that reporters respect their wishes and not contact him while he recov- ered in Fort Wayne. Regardless, the Detroit Free Press caught up with him in early May for an interview. Hatch said he still hoped to play for the Wolverines in 17 months, even though doc- tors had yet to clear him to play high school ball, and credited Michigan head coach John Beilein for keeping his spirits high. "He is one of the best guys that I know. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM supportive of me and everything. It's pretty cool. "I'm still going on a full basketball scholarship. I'll still be on the team and all of that and go to practice and everything. But I just don't know if I'll be quite as good as I was before. I still have over a year until then, so a lot can happen." First things first, he needs to continue in his recovery. Hatch said he's become more aware of things over time, to the point that his doctors are amazed at his recovery. "They said I'm doing as good a job as they've ever seen at making the process go faster, but there's not a way you can just make a brain recover overnight," he said. "My speech is a little bit slower because I had a traumatic brain injury … I still have all the intelligence, it just takes me a little more work to access it. All the knowledge is still in my brain, but it's just kind of hiding. It's taken every bit of the last 10 months to learn it. " — Chris Balas JUNE/JULY 2012 THE WOLVERINE 27 He's unbelievable," Hatch said. "He says you're not going to be as good at basketball — not yet. It takes time. He understands my road to recovery is not going to be an easy one. It's going to take a lot of work. He's still

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