Adidas Invitational: Day One Notebook

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A pair of Michigan commitments and one 2014 offeree were in action during the opening night of the Adidas Invitational on Wednesday in Indianapolis, Indiana.

2013 commitments Zak Irvin and Mark Donnal performed well in front of Michigan coach John Beilein and assistant coaches LaVall Jordan and Jeff Meyer despite suffering opening night losses. Michigan coaches were joined in the Indianapolis bleachers by coaches from top high major programs throughout the Midwest and entire country.

Irvin’s Eric Gordon All-Stars fell 66-63 to Memphis Magic Elite, while Donnal’s Indiana Elite South team narrowly lost 71-70 to Team Bradley Northwest Panthers.

Donnal continued to show progress with his footwork and demanded the ball, scoring 14 points in his team’s loss. He fought through double teams to get to the rim and always put himself in good position to get involved on the glass. He had several offensive rebounds and put-backs for easy points, and was dominant on the defensive end with four blocks and affecting several attempts that missed. Donnal’s improvement defensively and on the glass has perhaps been most noticeable in recent weeks.

Irvin turned in the best performance of the night, impressing with 19 points, 14 of which came in the second half. The Eric Gordon All-Stars trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, but the 6-foot-5 guard’s defensive tenacity sparked a late comeback that almost saw Eric Gordon escape with the win.

Irvin’s length continued to bother opposing guards as he got his hands into passing lanes and seamlessly turned defense into fast break offense. His team, which hadn’t played together in over a month, started slow and didn’t take its first lead of the game until midway through the second half on a clutch 3-pointer from Irvin. He scored three 3-point field goals and had several key baskets to keep his team in the game down the stretch.

Irvin and Donnal both took recent trips to Ann Arbor to participate in open gym against current Michigan players and recruits. Irvin, who was regularly matched up against Tim Hardaway Jr., said he was happy to be competing with his future teammates and already feels like he’s a part of the team.

bluiettprofile021711[1]All three Michigan coaches also watched 2014 offeree Trevon Bluiett on Wednesday night. We missed Bluiett’s opening game due to a travel and scheduling snafu but the 6-foot-5 wing scored 16 points in an opening loss. With the maximum allotted three coaches in attendance, it’s clear that Bluiett will be a Michigan focus throughout the July evaluation period. Matt Painter and Purdue assistant Jack Owens, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and assistants from Illinois and Kansas State were also on hand watching Bluiett, per the Indy Star. The talented scorer enjoyed an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor in June, where he added a U-M offer, and has also taken recent trips to Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Butler and Xavier.

Michigan coaches will get a chance to see their other 2013 commit, Derrick Walton, play with his Michigan Mustangs team as the Adidas Invitational continues throughout the weekend. 2014 guard Devin Booker, another 2014 offer, is also expected to earn plenty of attention from Michigan coaches as he tips off play on Thursday morning with his old, hometown, Grand Rapids Storm teammates.

2014 guard Bryant McIntosh also had a strong Wednesday night performance, scoring 16 points in a near-comeback effort against the Atlanta Celtics, and added an offer from Kent State.

Elsewhere: 2013 big man Vitto Brown and 2014 targets Peyton Allen and Darreon Reddick are participating in the Reebok Breakout Challenge in Philadelphia. 2013 forward Reggie Cameron is at the Nike Skills U in Washington, DC. Sean O’Mara shattered a backboard at the Elite Academic Showcase while Keita Bates-Diop is playing with the Illinois Wolves at the Chicago Summer Challenge.

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