On Sunday afternoon, the Michigan Wolverines received some exciting news on the recruiting trail as 2015 prospect Moritz Wagner announced that he would be heading to Ann Arbor next season. He is Michigan's first commit in the 2015 class and will likely make an immediate impact for the team.
He announced the news via Twitter.
Proud that I gonna be a Wolverine and a part of 〽️ichigan next year. Damn grateful for what Alba did for me! This is my club &always will be— Moe Wagner (@moritz_weasley) April 5, 2015
Wagner is currently listed at 6'9" and 184 lbs. He comes out of Berlin, Germany and was speculated by many to be considering between playing in college in the United States or professionally in Europe. Clearly, he opted to head to Michigan to play next season.
Impact For Michigan
It is a significant pickup for the Wolverines for a few reasons. First, the addition of Wagner adds a valuable piece to the lineup that Michigan lacked for most of the season, which is a legitimate stretch four. The Wolverines had plenty of wing options in players like Kameron Chatman, Aubrey Dawkins, and Zak Irvin, but nobody who could produce consistently at the power forward position.
Chatman was decent defensively and came on at the end of the year, but he was still on the bench for most of the season. Dawkins had the ability to be a consistent offensive threat, but lacked the body size to be a solid defensive player at the four spot. Irvin saw some time there over the course of the season, but he is a much better fit at either the two or three spot and with his growth over last season, especially in the passing game, Beilein is going to want the ball in Irvin's hands a lot. In short, none of these three were great options at the specific position coming into next season and now Beilein has a piece that will fit there perfectly.
Along with his general contributions to the lineup, Wagner will also do a lot to sure up Michigan's depth chart and roster. The Wolverines had one open scholarship coming into the offseason and with Wagner's commitment, Michigan now has a full roster. There is still the upcoming NBA decision of Caris LeVert, but Michigan should have a roster that is not only filled next season, but also one that has experience, talent, and depth. The Wolverines have had plenty of talent in recent years, but they should finally have the experience and depth to accompany it next year.
The best part of Wagner's game is his jumper. It's a smooth and natural shot that he can use in both the midrange and long range game. He is going to be deadly in the pick and pop game. His footwork is also decent and he has the ability to use his pivot foot to get clean looks over defenders though it could certainly improve. Wagner also does a nice job of using his length against defenders, getting to the hoop over defenders, and is pretty solid above the rim.
Of course, Wagner also has some areas he will continue to work on for the future. The first is that Wagner is not overly athletic. This is probably an area where he can only improve so much, but he is not going to be a guy who beats people with his speed. His shot release is also relatively slow for a guy that relies a lot on his jumper. Finally, he will likely not be asked to handle the ball much, but he could use some improvement in that area.
It was a major pickup for Michigan and one that could go a long way toward returning Michigan to the NCAA Tournament and the top of the Big Ten in the season or seasons to come.