DJ Wilson “couldn’t go wrong” with Michigan

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dj_wilson_capital_christian_(dunk)2[1]With his commitment to Michigan on Sunday afternoon, 6-foot-9 stretch four DJ Wilson became the fourth member of a 2014 recruiting class that is finally rounding into form.

The commitment was Michigan’s second in six days, with Kameron Chatman commiting to play for John Beilein last Tuesday. Wilson’s verbal largely shores up Michigan’s need at the four position — though Jonah Bolden will likely be in the mix once he registered a standardized test score — and for now the coaches will turn their attention to the two guard position. It appears to be two-man race between James Blackmon Jr. and Devin Booker, the latter of whom joined Wilson for his visit to Michigan on Friday and Saturday.

Going into this visit weekend, Wilson was considered by many to be a lock to commit to the Wolverines. However, during a conversation with Wilson on Sunday, he said that wasn’t necessarily the case.

“When I visited Gonzaga, I really liked it there and I was kind of torn between the two,” Wilson said. “I talked to my close circle and decided I needed to go to Michigan and see what that’s about and go from there. Saturday night, last night, I talked to my mom about it. We felt like it was the right place for me. The visit counted for a lot, but honestly talking to the coaches for a while helped me a lot and made up my mind. That’s when I committed.”

“It was just talking to the coaches and the players. I decided I’d take a visit there and see if I liked the team. It’s also one of the top public academic institutions in the country,” he said. “I’m really big on my grades, so it was the best of both worlds as far as the basketball team and where that is, and being the cream of the crop academically. I couldn’t go wrong.”

Wilson arrived in Michigan on Thursday, grabbed breakfast with the coaches on Friday morning, watched practice and hung out with the current Michigan players afterward. On Saturday, he toured the campus and was able to speak with some faculty as well as academic support directors in the athletics department.

And then came Michigan’s football game, a 42-13 homecoming win over Minnesota.

“(The game) was crazy. I’ve never been to a real college football game before,” Wilson said. “For that to be my first game, I liked it, it was crazy. I mean, 110,000 people all in one place — and the football team won too. It went well.”

Before the game, Wilson got to spend some quality time with the current Wolverines, and came away confident of the team atmosphere.

“They all have their own personalities. They’re all characters — Mitch (McGary) and Glenn (Robinson III), Caris (LeVert), all of them,” Wilson said. “I like them all. I could see myself playing with them. Maybe not so much Mitch and Glenn because they might leave, but the other guys. I enjoyed hanging out with them. They really liked me and I really like them. It was kind of like they were all brothers and that’s what I’m used to.”

While Wilson clearly enjoyed his time spent with the players, it was clear from talking to him that the coaching staff was one of the major deciding factors in his decision. Already having developed a relationship with Michigan assistant LaVall Jordan throughout his recruitment, Wilson was impressed by the closeness of the whole staff.

“For one, coach Beilein is one of the best coaches in the country with what he’s done with this program,” Wilson said. “Coach Vall, coach Bacari, coach Meyer, they’re all really close. You don’t really find that too often with a coaching staff, but they’re always hanging out together and they’re all characters, too. Coach Vall and coach Bacari, they’re all really funny and stuff. Coach Vall was the one recruiting me, so I’m really close with him.”

A few weeks ago, Michigan was still searching for its answer at the stretch four; now, with the additions of Chatman and Wilson, the Wolverines appear to have at least opened up their options. Chatman is more of a wing player and Wilson is more suited for the post as far as his skill set goes, but both are highly versatile skill players with lots of developing left to do.

Wilson had a good conversation with Michigan’s coaching staff regarding his fit next season.

“That was a big thing for me. We sat down and talked about it,” Wilson said. “With Glenn Robinson leaving, there’s going to be a void at that four position, and coach said that’s probably going to be the position I’m playing, the three and four. … It’s an uptempo offense, so all I have to do is get the rebound and outlet, or if I don’t have an outlet, I can push the ball in transition, which is what I’m doing right now in high school. It was just a perfect fit for me, especially seeing as how I’m going to be playing with Kam (Chatman) and hopefully Devin Booker, those guys can really spread the floor and pass and find the fours and the other guys. And Derrick (Walton), the point guard, can really find players and get them the ball, so it was a perfect fit.”

As far as where he needs improvement, Wilson was honest about his lack of physicality, saying he needs to get in the gym and work on his strength if he’s going to compete at the next level. He’s also working on his ballhandling and foot speed to make sure he can keep up with Big Ten wings defensively.

As Wilson mentioned previously, he was not the only visitor Michigan hosted this weekend — Devin Booker, the 26th-ranked player in the class of 2014, was also in Ann Arbor for his official. And it appears Wilson will be joining Chatman in recruiting the talented wing for the Maize and Blue.

“I hung out with him pretty much the whole trip,” Wilson said. “Yeah, most certainly I’m going to say a few words to him every once in a while, just letting him know he should come to Michigan. I know he likes Michigan. His decision is his decision, but I’ll say a few words to him.”

But before his puts on his recruiting cap, Wilson will take a minute for his commitment to sink in. While he’s happy the process is over, it hasn’t quite hit him yet.

“I’m kind of relieved. It really hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve committed,” Wilson said. “But yeah, I’m happy. I’m happy.”

  • Champswest

    Glad to have him on board. It is hard to believe that only 2 years ago we had to play 6’4″ Zack Novak at the four and next year we will have an abundance of 6’8″+ guys at that position who can also shoot the 3. Things are looking good.

    • jkuofm27

      I know, we are starting to look like Cuse with an outside shot.

      • Mattski

        This would make Jim Boeheim cough up a chunk of lung, but it may be true!

        • guestavo

          We need to find a 6’6 PG to make that comparison work.

          • Webbdog

            We have Levert and Chatman.

          • guestavo

            Neither Levert or Chatman are full-time point guards. Having someone like MCW turns a Syracuse zone from good to great. We do not have that, though a zone defense with our length would be good to employ every now and then.

          • Webbdog

            They could be in Time. And what is a Full Time PG? Is Derrick Walton, who has yet to play a minute in College, or Spike, who played limited Minutes at the position and some minutes off the ball considered Full Time Point Guards?

          • guestavo

            Levert has never shown any vision or ball handling to be a pg. Chatman will see minutes there but I doubt we run a Syracuse zone with him at the helm for any extended period of time.

          • Webbdog

            I dont see us running a Syracuse Zone either, But a John Beilein Michigan 1-3-1??? I can See That, would Love to see that, Often!! Ha Ha..

          • Retiredat23

            Derrick Walton, yes.

          • Webbdog

            Of course, I know this, it was a Rhetorical Question. Derrick Walton in my opinion is just as good if not better than Burke at the same Stage of their Career.

          • David

            Yeah dude – every since you started posting you’ve been nothing but a naysayer. Maybe you should start being a little less snark and a little more constructive like 99% of the people on this board

          • David

            ever*

          • guestavo

            Fairytale platitudes are not thoughtful analysis nor constructive.

          • Michael

            Your grammar is neither impressive nor relevant. Platitudes. LOL

          • guestavo

            Grammar use cannot be relevant, so I can assume you don’t have a great grasp on semantics. Nice try.

          • Retiredat23

            If you don’t critique your team, how can you improve….if someone in Jordan’s inner circle had critiqued his draft picks (assuming they didn’t) maybe the Bobcats wouldn’t have been the worst team in history a few year back.

          • Kenny

            We already have, Chatman.

          • Retiredat23

            He’s not a PG

          • Webbdog

            How can you come on the board and say the kid is not a Point Guard?? We dont know what position he will play in the Future. How about we just call him a player? Was Jalen Rose a PG??

          • guestavo

            Because are roster says so. Chatman may see time spelling Walton, Spike, and maybe Blackmon Jr, but neither Chatman nor Levert will see extended time there.

          • Webbdog

            So I can say Spike is not a PG? Because behind Burke and now Walton he may Spell them but he will not see extended time there right? Or will we have to wait and see what will happen? Whats your definition of Extended time? Zak Irvin can do what Spike did last year.

          • guestavo

            No, Spike is a PG, he just is a reserve. Huge distinction. You are using no common sense. No Zak Irvin cannot do what Spike did last year. He is a wing not a game manager.

          • Retiredat23

            Well Webbdog seeing as our own recruiting page has him listed as a wing and the fact that very few 6’6/6’7 players are PG’s, I can come on the board and say the kid in not a point guard. Rivals lists him as a SF and so does ESPN. Need anything else?

      • Steve2081

        I’ve been thinking the same thing lately.

    • FL Wolve

      Outside of Wilson, who do we have on the roster next year that’s taller than 6’8 that can play the traditional Beilein 4? I think we desparately need Bolden to strengthen that spot.

      • guestavo

        Donnal can play the 4. I even suspect Doyle can give minutes there. Also, Chatman is 6’7 and can play that position. Bolden would be nice, however.

        • FL Wolve

          If Bolden doesn’t arrive in AA, I fully expect Chatman to man that position for at least a year. Donnal looks more like a 5 to me. Doyle is almost certainly a 5.

          • guestavo

            I agree that is the best position for Donnal and Doyle but with Horford here, as well, there is no way they don’t see time at the 4 spot.

  • jkuofm27

    My favorite part of this recruiting class so far is – Oregon, California, Florida and potentially Mississippi and Australia. That means not one recruit from B1G country (excluding Hatch – IN) and that makes UM a truly national or even international program. The stars and numbers can mean a lot, but the fact that we are being considered by kids all around the country really speaks to the job JB and staff has done.

    • guestavo

      UM is a prestigious school, in itself. I love that we aren’t regional like an MSU or Illinois cause that’s how you get burned…

  • Stu Douglass

    interesting that he says TWICE something along the lines of “With Robinson leaving…there will be a void”…somewhat surprised a recruit is so openly saying his new teammate is a guarantee to go pro early.

    • guestavo

      Because, outside of injury, Robinson is guaranteed to go pro. Same with McGary.

      • brian coburn

        And what if he regresses? Sophomore progress is not guaranteed. Look at THJ. I hope he does go pro because I want him to be great this year, but people are too seem 100% confident that will happen, which is strange.

        • guestavo

          I don’t think you understand, Robinson doesn’t have to progress, his tools/ upside is enough to warrant a lottery pick. Draftexpress, NBAdraft.net, and ESPN are all on that same page. McGary is gone. THJ is not half the prospect GR3 is.

          • JVS

            Basic math (aside from just disagreeing with the assumption its an obvious foregone conclusion): 2014 draft GR3/Mitch have probably a pick range of 10-20, with the floor set at 20 b/c of potential. Yearly contract value at the bottom of that is 1.2/yr. The following year, presuming everyone goes out that is being discussed in one of the most NBA loaded drafts of all time, their range probably moves to 5-12, where annual value is closer to 3/yr on the high side. Purely based on this, and how they close out the year there could be an argument to stay only on financials. A lot of ifs, but if they think they will develop further by sticking around to maximize that 2015 pick level, I don’t think its a done deal. There is no shortage of potential in this year’s draft. A big reason why a lot of people in the teens this past year went out while they could.

          • guestavo

            GR3 is a top 8 pick. McGary will not max out anymore than has been. A site like Draftexpress which has the highest reputation possible has said as much. Keep holding on to that tiny glimmer of hope but they are gone after this year.

          • JVS

            Them both leaving is certainly the most likely option, but while you assert its 100% done, I’m saying that there will be arguments for staying, and thus its more likely to be 75-80% at this stage.

            I actually read DraftExpress a lot. That’s why I was surprised when you mentioned it in reference to GR3 going 8 since 12 seems to be their current forecast: http://www.draftexpress.com/nba-mock-draft/2014/

            The only way he goes 8 in this draft is if he establishes a consistent 3 and starts dropping 20/10s (or the top 5 guys all stay).

          • guestavo

            Draftexpress mocks tend to overrated a few freshmen, which is why I think GR3 will be in that 6-10 range, regardless. McGary is a roleplayer at the next level and at worse a end of the first round guy. He will leave. It isn’t 100 percent but definitely overwhelmingly likely, barring injury.

          • Mattski

            Dude, every reply you make is over-the-top aggressive. Why? “I don’t think you understand. . .” Just freaking chill already.

          • guestavo

            You can’t be aggressive through prose… only your interpretation. The only one who is over the top is you.

          • Retiredat23

            Preach it guestavo

          • brian coburn

            RGIII will not be a lottery pick next year without progress.

          • guestavo

            You are delusional. GR3 is already a lottery pick no matter what. I tend to believe and agree with scouts and GMs more than random Internet users and their opinions.

          • brian coburn

            If you care about scouts and GMs opinions, why on earth are you quoting a complete joke site like NBADraft.net.

          • guestavo

            Draftexpress says the same exact thing and they are as legitimate a draft site that you will find. GR3 is their number one Big Ten prospect over Garry Harris and McGary for a reason. In their scouting video they pretty much said his potential will make him lottery bound no matter what.

    • serious

      I’m sure these are the coaches’ words, and I’m sure the staff mentioned multiple times that Glenn is not coming back.

  • jblair52

    Anyone know what his wingspan measures? He looks like he could tie his shoes without bending over haha

  • Indiana_Matt

    The Zags wanted him and they were a #1 seed last year with a rep of having players with high basketball IQs. USC wanted him and their coach obviously has a thing for athletic players (Dunk City). So he’s got basketball smarts and some bounce to his step… I’m glad we got him. I think by time he’s an upperclassman he’s going to be really nice.

  • Wayman Britt

    The class of 2014 is taking hold, now we need the crown jewel – Booker or Blackmon. If we don’t get at least one of them it will be a nice class, but not a top team in the nation class.

    • Jersey Jay

      I understand what you mean when you say crown jewel. However how far off is Chatman from these two? IMO he is on par with Booker and a hair below Blackmon.

      • MattD

        In my opinion Chatman is superior to Booker.

        • guestavo

          agreed :)

          Supposedly Kelly Oubre has “big news coming Tuesday.” If he is commiting, it will certainly be Kansas, since he hasn’t visited Kentucky, which means Kentucky will press for Blackmon Jr and Booker, plus have the minute to go around :(

          • mattD

            There must be a conspiracy, you and I agree on something!
            All kidding aside though, Jerry Meyer says it could be cutting the list to 2(presumably UK/KU) or Oubre just picking KU as you state above.
            In my opinion, I’d much rather have Blackmon – he’s much better creating his own shot and his athleticism is superior to Booker. Booker has the prototype frame for a 2, but his film dictates that he’s a poor man’s Stauskus(average ballhandling, not really a distributor in comparison to Stauskus). I think he’s purely a spot up shooter at the collegiate level at this point in his development to be honest

          • guestavo

            Now he changed it to *Kelly Oubre is committing. I really think if we get Blackmon Jr, he would start over Stauskas. I don’t know now since Booker and Blackmon Jr are their only wing recruits.

          • mattD

            The question becomes do those 2 individuals want to play together and compete with one another?

          • guestavo

            Well, Cal can claim that the only guards that they have next year is Ullis and no one else. I do think Aaron Harrison and Young will be back but Cal can still claim they won’t before the spring comes. Which is better, Ullis or Irvin,Chatman,Walton,and Stauskas?

          • mattD

            If I’m Blackmon, I’m looking at what Michigan did with Trey Burke and thinking I’d love to have the ball in my hands 80% of the time and have that type of freedom. Blackmon is a better athlete and shooter than Burke was in high school, don’t necessarily know if he has the same type of change of direction that Burke had though. I think our system under Belien compliments Blackmon perfectly.

          • guestavo

            We have Walton, so I’m not sure how we would be telling him that? Blackmon Jr would have an easier time beating out freshman Ullis over sophomore Walton.

          • mattD

            True, but Walton is a pass first PG(although I suppose Ulis is as well), so I think Blackmon could theoretically have the ball for a good portion of possessions.

          • Webbdog

            Wow, a Poor mans Stauskas? I’m Done. Please show me Film you have seen that indicates Blackmon is Superior to Booker as an Athlete. While youre at it show me film that shows you Bookers lack of skills as a Ball handler. Last I looked he looked Quite athletic Matching Andre Iguodala Dunk for Dunk in their little One on One. Why is Booker ranked so high (much Higher than Stauskas ever reached and higher than Blackmon in some rankings) in the rankings If he lacks all of these Qualities as a Player you speak of? Is it favoritism or did he earn his rankings on the circuit? Its not like he flew under the radar, from the looks of it he has been going head on with the best in the nation to build his lofty standings in the Rankings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLh_hnW4B2U

          • Webbdog

            Ha Ha .. He said a Poor Mans Stauskas when if anything it should have been a Poor Mans Steph Curry/Next Steph Curry. From what Ive seen and read That is the comparison I come up with in regards to Devin Booker. Steph Curry and Miles Simon of Arizona. James Blackmon Jr. Comparison would be Anderson Hunt of UNLV and Maybe Steve Francis without the Bounce. Stauskas at best his comparison Would be Bob Sura of FSU in time, or Brent Barry of Oregon State.