DJ Wilson commits to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt
on

i[2]Michigan’s class of 2014 recruiting continued to heat up today as 6-foot-9 forward DJ Wilson committed to John Beilein and the Wolverines.

Wilson committed after his official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend where he was offered a scholarship. He had previously taken official visits to Columbia and Gonzaga.

Wilson is rated as a three-star prospect and a top-150 recruit according to Rivals.com. His exposure over the past year has been limited due back injuries that caused him to miss up to six months of playing time.

Wilson is Michigan’s fourth commitment in the class of 2014, joining Kameron Chatman, Ricky Doyle and Austin Hatch.

More on Wilson including rankings, background story, scouting reports and video after the jump.

Rankings

  • Scout: Three-star
  • Rivals: Three-star, #135
  • ESPN: Three-star
  • 247: Three-star, #219
  • 247 Consensus: #162

Background

Wilson flew relatively under the radar because he missed six months of playing time over the last calendar year due to back issues. He finally returned to action in July on the AAU circuit and caught the eye of a number of major programs. He played very well in Milwaukee (including a great game against Kevon Looney) where he began to draw attention from Michigan and kept up that steady play in Las Vegas.

Wilson entered July with a handful of mid-major offers from the West coast including Columbia, Pacific, Northridge, LMU and UC Santa Barbara but by the end of the month he was hearing from Michigan, UCLA, USC, San Diego State, Cal, Harvard, Princeton, Gonzaga, Auburn, Boise State, Colorado, Boston College, Portland, Santa Clara, San Jose State and UC Davis. His offer list to date includes Michigan, Gonzaga, Columbia, USC, Cal and Nevada among others.

He settled on three official visits, to Columbia, Gonzaga and Michigan and committed to John Beilein on the final trip.

He averaged 9.7 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for Capital Christian (Sacramento, CA) and helped them to the state semi-finals.

Scouting

The first things that stand out when watching DJ Wilson are his length and three-point shooting ability. He also has above average ball skills for a player his size and is capable of putting the ball on the floor for a few dribbles toward the hoop. He’s not a guard in a bigger body (like Kameron Chatman), but he’s more capable than many players his size.

He needs to improve his assertiveness and aggressiveness to excel at the next level. Right now there’s a passiveness to his game and that will be magnified against strong competition. Defensively, Wilson has the length to block shots but gets pushed around on the defensive glass. His aggressiveness is partially due to mentality but also strength as Wilson just doesn’t have the frame to bang down low. Athletically he appears above-average on film which is more than adequate given his long arms.

From our video evaluation here at UM Hoops:

Watching Wilson play, everything starts with his jumpshot. His form is picturesque and quick and his consistency was impressive in the film that we watched. He loved shooting corner threes but was comfortable at the top of the key as well and even knocked down a handful of mid-range jumpers.

A lot of players have a jump shot but not many have the size and length that Wilson does. At 6-foot-8, pushing 6-foot-9, he has incredibly long arms which allow him to get his shot off anywhere on the floor. He moves fairly well in the open floor and while he’s not an elite athlete, he’s athletic enough to make the most of his length around the rim. He blocked his fair share of shots and picked up a few easy put-backs due to length alone.

Scout.com:

Wilson has missed a lot of action over the last several months due to injuries but he was back on the court Saturday and looked really good. Wilson hasn’t stopped growing and has now hit the 6-foot-8, 6-foot-9 range, only adding to his value as a prospect. Wilson played harder than he has in the past, scored on the offensive glass and hit three triples off the catch. He’s a project but no doubt has upside.

Rivals.com:

Wilson’s Team Superstar didn’t have the best day, but against the Las Vegas Prospects during an earlier game he showed plenty of promise.

What jumps out immediately about Wilson is his ability to stroke deep jump shots and the ease with which things seem to come to him on the offensive end. Because of his size and skill, he plays as a both a plus-sized wing or a face-up four who can stretch defenses and knock down shots.

Video

Fit & Outlook

At 6-foot-9 with length, a great shot and above-average ball skills, there’s little question that Wilson is a great fit for John Beilein’s offense. However, he needs to gain significant weight before he is ready to play at the high-major level. His early impact potential will be based on how much strength and aggressiveness he can add before his freshman year.

As far as late gambles go, there’s a lot to like about the Wilson commit. There’s a reason he’s undervalued (he missed six months due to nagging injuries) and he’s a perfect fit for what John Beilein wants to do.

Wilson is a four in Michigan’s offense and will help revamp Michigan’s front line along with Ricky Doyle and Kameron Chatman given the likelihood of Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III entering the NBA Draft after this season.

Next up, expect the Wolverines to put the full court press on shooting guard prospects James Blackmon Jr. and Devin Booker (who also visited this weekend). Both players are expected to decide by the end of the month and have taken official visits in the last two weeks. Blackmon will visit Kentucky on October 18th while Booker will trip to Missouri that same weekend.

Because Donte Grantham chose Clemson, the Wolverines could also continue to recruit Australian forward Jonah Bolden. Bolden doesn’t plan to decide before the early signing period and has yet to take official visits because he needs a standardized test score.

  • JVS

    Class filling in nicely! On to the SGs…

  • Mattski

    Welcome, Mr. Wilson!

  • mattD

    Welcome to the Michigan family DJ. Let me be the first to say that although I have been a skeptic, I would love nothing more than for you to make me look a like a complete fool. As with any Michigan player, you have my full support.

    • ajerome33

      Your rigid and ridiculous analysis of a player based on a few youtube videos has already made you look like a complete fool. Also, while it is great you are supporting DJ, nobody really needs MattD’s endorsement on a recruit. I am 100% positive that our coaching staff knows what they are doing. Please get over yourself.

      • mattD

        “Rigid and ridiculous” – alright I’ve had about enough of the BS. Let’s tell it like it is here, the truth of the matter is that people claiming my analysis on Wilson is “ridiculous” based on limited film are absolute hypocrites in every sense of the word. How, in any logical fashion, can my analysis of Wilson be “ridiculous” based on the premise that I haven’t seen enough film, when you haven’t seen enough film to justify saying that film on Wilson is favorable? Total contradiction, and quite frankly, you make yourself look stupid in the process.
        It is absolute BS and we all know it. Just be honest here and state that you are going to blindly like kids that Michigan recruits and call it a day. Any other justification is just pure stupidity.
        If you want cheerleaers, go to a pep rally. I’m not here to be the “yes man”, I’m here to give my honest opinion/analysis on basketball. If you don’t agree with it, that’s fine, but as I stated before, let’s have logical and objective dialogue, rather than blind support for any kid that has Michigan interest. If you don’t like it, that’s your personal problem, take a hike buddy.

  • Jersey Jay

    This is a good get. Land 1 of Booker or Blackmon and they have an outstanding class on hand.

  • guestavo

    YES!!! Also happy to hear we will still recruit Bolden…

    • Tyrell

      I am glad to hear we might continue to go after Bolden (although it looks like he might be the third option due to timing).

      • guestavo

        We have two scholarships left.

        • Tyrell
          • guestavo

            Yes. Hatch is on medical scholarship. GR3 and Mcgary are gone REGARDLESS. Max leaving is insurance, as well as Horford not getting a 5th year.

          • Tyrell

            Where are you getting your information!?

            GRIII and Mcgary leaving early is a smart educated guess, but it is not a guarantee. Horford is not going to loose a year of eligibility that he has already been given! No one is going to kick Max out of the program, nor should anyone, and I haven’t heard of any rumors that he is unhappy or wants to leave. Finally, as for Austin, give me an article that says he is going to be on a medical scholarship! I think you might be the only one floating that around.

          • guestavo

            Draftexpress.com Realgm.com NBAdraft.net

            They are gone no matter what. McGary already is good enough to get drafter first round as a blue collar role player. GR3 would be a lottery pick no matter what year due to his measurable.

            Beilein has gotten rid of players before.

            Plenty of guys in the know on other UM boards have said he will get a medical scholarship.

          • arsenal926

            Saying Beilein has got rid of players just isn’t true. If you’re talking about the year smotrycz Brundridge and Christain transferred all had their reason and none were forced out.( Michigan was below the scholarship limit due to those transfers)

            Hatch may be granted a medical hardship scholarship but until he is you can’t assume it will be granted as they are incredibly rare.However, Hatch’s case is as unique as it gets.

            As far as the Horford and Max comments those are just ridiculous in every sense of the word.

            I would feel comfortable with Michigan oversigning by 2 with the assumption GR3 and McGary are gone next year but anything else would be pretty shady IMO.

            My best guess is Michigan can take 1 more scholarship player in the early signing period and once they get official word on Hatch Maybe 1 more player.

          • guestavo

            College Basketball IS shady.

          • Tyrell

            Some programs are, but not a JB program (knock on wood).

          • guestavo

            College Basketball IS Shady. Regardless of if a college, coach, player isn’t, the foundation itself is shady.

          • Tyrell

            Thanks arsenal926! I am glad someone else said something about those comments.

          • Tyrell

            OK, like I said show me a link to the information. And you are saying medical scholarship – are you talking about him getting being a medical redshirt freshman or is that something different altogether (because I can’t find any information on the internet regarding medical scholarship)?

          • guestavo

            All I know is that JB and staff will put Hatch on some kind of scholarship that doesn’t go against our scholarship count. This should be done by the Spring so we could go after Bolden.

  • DingoBlue

    Welcome DJ! Get 1 of Booker/Blackmon and put a bow on it until late signing period!

  • guestavo

    Wait til he grows into his body, feels comfortable in his own skin, and fills out….

  • Steve2081

    Very happy to have him

    You can see the improvement from the bottom video to the top video. He looks so much quicker and fluid in the top video. Love the 5 second call he draws at the beginning too.

    .If we end up with Booker or Blackmon I’m going to pee in my pants.

    • DingoBlue

      Re Booker/Blackmon: yes, this class I think is already pretty solid but one of those two would take it over the top.

  • Tyrell

    HYPOTHETICAL:

    I understand the desire to land a five star shooting guard, especial one like Booker since we have been recruiting him for so long, but IF we were to land a commitment from either Booker or Blackmon Jr. would we be too deep at the guard position? I understand depth is a good thing to have and we all trust the coaching staff, but just draw up a mock depth chart for the 2014-2015 class (excluding GRIII and McGary).

    • guestavo

      Walton/Spike/Chatman/Blackmon Jr?

      Stauskas/Irvin/Levert/Chatman/Spike/Walton/Blackmon Jr or Booker?

      Irvin/Levert/Wilson/Stauskas/Chatman/ Booker or Bolden?

      Chatman/Donnal/ Wilson/ Bolden?

      Horford/Donnal/Doyle

      *Chatman can also play the 1,2,3 if needed and Blackmon Jr can play PG

      * We run 2 pg lineups as well : Walton/ Spike Spike/ Blackmon Jr

      * Everyone that can play the 2 can also play the 3

      * Wilson and Bolden also can play the 3

      The versatility and depth won’t be an issue but the minutes will be interesting

    • Steve2081

      I’m not sure there is such a thing. It just depends on the kid.

      But there probably would be an odd man out with Stauskas, Irvin, LeVert, Chatman, and another guard.

      If one of them does pick us I have to assume that they are ok with the possibility of not getting much playing time as a freshman. Our coaches seem pretty honest and these kids probably know the situations pretty well by now.

      If we miss on both I’m sure that will be one of the bigger reasons why though.

      Maybe Levert will keep growing and become a 4 opening up some PT on the wing.

      • guestavo

        Chatman is a 4 for at least his freshmen season. Problem solved. Now if we add Bolden, then we may have minutes issue, but I think Spike would be okay taking a backseat.

        • Tyrell

          No that does not solve the problem. Chatman at the 4 does not solve the problem at the 2, where Stauskas and Booker/Blackmon Jr. to share 40 minutes. And I don’t think either of them would be happy doing that because Stuaskas averaged 30 minutes last year.

          • guestavo

            Blackmon Jr can play the 1 and backup Walton, so that definitely fixes that problem. Levert and Spike will have to be reserves for a little longer.

          • Tyrell

            I don’t think either of them would be happy with that and I don’t think it would be fair to ask them to do that. Especially with all the praise LeVert was getting over the summer from the coaches and from Timmy! Plus, even if Blackmon Jr. commits and becomes a back-up point guard, he wouldn’t get much more than 20 minutes of game time (which is not very many minutes and it would probably not increase the following year unless someone would transfer out of Michigan and I don’t think anyone wants any of our guys leaving early for that reason).

          • guestavo

            You have no idea how LeVert or Spike would feel. Blackmon Jr can get 25-30 minutes backing up the 1 or 2. The best of the crop rises and those that don’t make the cut either work harder, wait their turn, or transfer.

          • Ben

            There is a difference bewtwwen problem and good problem.. We are speaking off good problem. Bad problem would be not havingplayers. Good problem having 10 guys that think they should be on floor. great problem is having all 13 school players good enough to see floor. Get best players you can and let them battle. You don’t recruit anyone and tell them they wont have to battle….and that they will be a role player…..maybe walk ons.

          • Tyrell

            I am just saying it could or might become a problem if a team has too many capable players battling for the same position. The “problem” can arise when the players don’t get the playing time they are accustomed to and therefore look at other colleges for that playing time.

      • jkuofm27

        One other possibility (and this is a long shot right now) is Stauskus or Irvin could blow up this year and be added to McGary and GRIII leaving, which then opens up a potential need or definite role at least for Booker/Blackmon. I think Irvin has the game to be our high usage guy and with his size, defensive ability and all around offensive game pro scouts could fall in love with him quickly.

  • jblair52

    woohoo! 6’9″ with length. Excited to see him work hard and be successful.

    • jblair52

      after seeing that latest video…holy cow…I can’t wait to see this boy in BLUE! He’s got great ball skills and will be postorizing players. He might not be physically able to hold his own in the post but at 6’9″ and long arms he can at least alter shots. Novak, Smot, and even GRob struggled to do that portion.

      • jkuofm27

        Shooting size on the perimeter is so deadly with JB’s system. Look at how often Stauskus at 6’6/6’7 was able to get up shots even with guys on him. If this kid is 6’8/6’9, possibly even 6’10 with those arms, he will be really hard to close out on and alter his shot.

  • AADave

    I was skeptical about going after Wilson since he wasn’t as high in the recruiting rankings but he could be very underrated for several reasons – he’s still growing, has above average skills for a big man and was off the radar due to injury. And it’s important to remember that his ranking isn’t too bad – he is in the top 150, after all.

    Despite their recent success, it’s obvious that Michigan is still not in the very top tier of recruiting. But that’s not a bad thing. Beilein seems to prefer players who aren’t top 10 “one and dones.” McGary and GR III (who ended up not being one and done) are the exceptions. Beilein still prefers and lands top level talent, just not necessarily those ranked at the very top. He’s had a knack for identifying underrated talent and coachable players with good character. So many of his players (Morris, Burke, Hardaway, GR III, Stauskas and Levert come to mind) eventually become elite talents although they are not when he recruits them. In McGary’s case, he had slipped in the rankings but under Beilein’s tutelage, he has risen again to lottery pick caliber. In this last class, I strongly suspect that Walton, Irvin and Donnal will be even better than their already high rankings.

    I have confidence that Beilein has the recipe for on the court and off the court success, high quality coachable players with good character and great potential.

  • A2JD

    I’m not super pumped from the videos (mostly because he’s so skinny) but I have faith in Coach Beilein and staff that they know a whole lot better than I do about who will help the team. If he’s good enough for them, he’s good enough for me. Welcome to Michigan!

  • AADave

    I’m wondering how much room we have for more recruits. It looks like we’re officially one over the scholarship limit for next year right now. If McGary and GR III both leave as expected, we’d be one under. That leaves space for only one more recruit in this class and then one more opening in 2015. I don’t see how we can take more than one additional player in this class and the next one. We’re pursuing multiple 2015 recruits and have already offered 3 of them. I think it would be wise to have a spot for at least one of the Jalen guards in that class. It looks like we’ve already oversigned/overoffered for this class and the next class even accounting for the expected early entries. Am I missing something here? Is Hatch’s scholarship somehow not going to count against the limit? Is somebody else, perhaps Bielfeldt, expected to leave before using up his eligibility?

    • guestavo

      Hatch will be on medical scholarship more than likely. Max may leave. Horford may not get a 5th year. On top of that, I would not want either of the Jalens over Blackmon Jr, Booker, or Bolden. GR3 is gone regardless of how his season goes as he is a “potential guy”. Mcgary will be gone.

      • Tyrell

        You really need to stop guestavo. Horford is not going to loose a year of eligibility and your comment about Max leaving early is just unsubstantiated speculation unless you know something that no one else does.

        • guestavo

          That’s the way college basketball works. If we want Bolden and one of Booker/ Blackmon Jr, we will have the room.

          • michaeltheorignal

            That’s the way college basketball works? To not give a 5th year to a good Big Ten Caliber center? Sheesh. We will actually really need Horford next year. I’m delighted he will still be on the team.

          • guestavo

            I doubt that happens but if we oversign…. Most likely Hatch will receive a med scholly and come spring, we can decide to pursue Bolden.

      • BlueBasketeer

        Well, just for example, what if McGary tears up his knee halfway through the season and ends up staying a third year while he rehabs, rather than trying to enter the draft as damaged goods? Not saying that will happen, of course, but the point is, he and Robjnson leaving is in no way guaranteed. Lots of things can happen.

        • guestavo

          Injury is the only way that happens.

    • BlueBasketeer

      We seemed to be squeezed pretty tight on recruits right now, and we can’t be absolutely sure that McGary and Robinson will both go early. Not that Wilson is a bad get, but sometimes I think we move too fast on guys who don’t have a lot of other big-time offers, when we still have offers out to guys like Booker and Blackmon.

  • Guest

    Devin seemed to really enjoy his Michigan official according to his Twitter

  • Ben Sheler

    Booker seemed to really enjoy his Michigan official according to his twitter. The guy is so hard to read and is really good about not giving any idea of where he is going so any kind of indication he liked his visit is really good.

  • Wayman Britt

    DJ definitely has the length and will fill a role with this team. You definitely need role players. I just wish I knew more about his back injury. For a teenager to have back problems for six months does draw some red flags. I hope it is nothing that will plague him over his career.

    Welcome Mr. DJ Wilson.

  • Mattski

    No expert, but the recruiting dynamic must be changing some now. In the past few years, Beilein has been incredibly discerning in turning more lightly regarded recruits into bona fide stars. They came because they wanted to be part of building a great program and were very appreciative of his belief in them. They also came secure in the knowledge that they could play a leading, if not starring role on Beilein’s teams.

    But now, on a team packed with talent, that’s less and less likely to be a promise Belein and the coaches can make. That means that some fine players could choose to go where a starring or starting role is more assured. When players turn us down now, these may number among the reasons. Players and their families–especially the kind of kids we want–are extremely savvy. Go to Kentucky and ride the pine, you still may get a strong look from NBA teams; not sure if that follows at Michigan, at least not yet.

    Just speculating, but that could mean bringing in a few more role players and projects. Personally, I’m very happy that a character kid with terrific upside like Wilson is on the way. And–I don’t know if I’m alone in this–I’m happy if we don’t become Kentucky, with nothing but one-and-dones, and retain a little bit of a hungry, underdog edge. Michigan always looks better to me from that angle than the entitled-and-indignant side (see the football program).

    • guestavo

      NBA teams scout globally now. The team does not matter. They will find you.

      • Mattski

        May be right. And Wilson looks so promising in the new video Dylan posted that project may not be the right word at all. . .

        • jkuofm27

          I agree. After watching more videos and learning about the back injury and such, I really like him. As the article points out, he may not be ready when he walks in the door, but I trust the staff to get him ready. Somebody said in another post that he reminded them of Christian Watford and I can definitely see at least elements of that in his game.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    interesting…really good class so far…if we get Blackmon or booker…it will be a class to remember

    • Jay

      Do we even have room for more recruits? Since the next NBA draft is supposed to be loaded, there is a chance that McGary and Robinson decide to stay an extra year. Wilson gives us 13 scholarship athletes for next season and if no one decides to leave we will have no room left for any new recruits.

  • Indiana_Matt

    The coaches went after this kid for a reason. What they have done with 3 star kids has been remarkable. Very excited!

  • Bigrange

    Wow, this class has made a jump in the last week. Welcome to the Michigan program DJ!!! Now let’s close this class out with a great shooting guard!!!

  • mikey_mac

    His size and game as described in the post remind me of C.J. Fair, who we should all know well at this point.

  • Destiny

    hes my brother! good job DJ