Wagner returning to Michigan, Wilson staying in draft
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Moe Wagner is coming back to Michigan, while D.J. Wilson is staying in the NBA draft.
The Wolverines announced both decisions Wednesday. The two standouts said last month they were putting their names in the draft without hiring agents, but Wagner decided to withdraw and come back for his junior season.
“I gained a great deal of confidence from this process and I have a clearer picture of what I need to do in order to fulfill my dreams of playing professionally in the NBA,” the German said in a statement. “Michigan is where I need to be right now and I am really excited about coming back. I learned a lot about myself and my game at the combine. I feel like I still have a lot to prove on this level and cannot wait to compete with my brothers for another ring.”
Michigan won the Big Ten Tournament last season and made the Sweet 16. The 6-foot-11 Wagner, who is from Berlin, averaged 12.1 points per game as a sophomore . The 6-foot-10 Wilson averaged 11 points and was the leading rebounder for coach John Beilein’s team.
Wilson, who like Wagner had two years of college eligibility left, said it’s the right time to pursue his dream of playing in the NBA.
“I am confident I have the drive, work ethic and maturity for this next step,” he said. “It’s never going to be easy, but if I have learned anything at Michigan, perseverance pays off.”
Wilson’s departure means Michigan loses three starters. Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin were seniors.
Transfers Charles Matthews (from Kentucky) and Jaaron Simmons (Ohio) will likely be crucial next season as the Wolverines try to avoid a significant decline in the backcourt. Beilein now can plan on having Wagner back. His mobility and 3-point shooting touch make him the type of big man who can handle being a focal point on offense.
“Moe loves Michigan and he is excited about becoming a leader on next year’s team,” Beilein said. “His incredible personality and enthusiastic demeanor is a great plus for this team and his brilliant future.”