Scouting & Video: DJ Wilson at Max Preps Holiday Classic

Dylan Burkhardt

DJ Wilson helped Capital Christian to the Championship game of the Max Preps Holiday Classic over the holidays. The class of 2014 Michigan commitment has been playing well this season and has led Capital Christian to a surprising 14-2 record on the year. Wilson drew considerable buzz from the national scouts in attendance at the event and continued his emergence after finally getting healthy late this summer.

I was able to get my hands on some full game footage from the tournament and cut up video of Wilson’s games against Orangewood, Etiwanda and Westchester. The embedded media player below has just the highlights (makes, blocks, assists and rebounds) but after the jump you can find a full scouting video (misses, negative plays, free throws) and a written scouting report.

Scouting Video

This footage features all of the clips in the highlights above and a whole lot more (8 minutes) including missed shots, negative plays and free throws.


  • Versatility & ball handling: Wilson got the ball in a number of different of different spots on the floor and looked comfortable. He’s capable on transition, most comfortable on the wing and also scored around the basket. His ability to put the ball on the floor against smaller players was impressive, although I’d like to see more of it.
  • Passing : Wilson’s vision and passing ability stands out most when watching him play. Either in the half court or in the full court he was capable of putting the ball on the deck and finding the open man at the rim or on the perimeter. Whether it was a drop-off pass to a cutter or a kick-out for an open three, Wilson routinely made the correct pass. There are a lot of 6-foot-8 players that can dribble but a small portion of that group are willing passers. His passing ability translates perfectly to Michigan’s perimeter-pass oriented offensive system.
  • Length and athleticism: Wilson looks every bit of his listed 6-foot-8 height and he has very long arms. He can finish above the rim and shows good leaping ability. He’s not a Glenn Robinson III type of athlete but his athletic ability combined with his length is above-average for a stretch four. Wilson also moved his feet pretty well against smaller opponents defensively on the perimeter.
  • Shot blocking: Wilson racked up a lot of blocked shots over the weekend. He protected the rim for a Capital Christian team that didn’t really have any other size. He’s more comfortable blocking shots from the help side but seemed to rack up a handful of blocks in every game I watched.

Need to see more

  • Shooting: His stroke is smooth and he made a lot of threes in AAU action but he never got hot with his jump shot at the Max Preps Holiday Classic. A lot of the shots he took looked good and his form is very good but it was disappointing not to see more jumpers fall. There’s little doubt that Wilson will be a shooting forward for Michigan, so his shooting consistency will be critical to his development.
  • Rebounding: Wilson grabbed a lot of rebounds, and he really does a great job of getting up to grab the ball at its highest point. He showed a great feel crashing the offensive glass and racked up a number of tip slams and putbacks. However, he also lets too many get away. Whether it was bringing the ball low after an offensive rebound or just getting his finger on a ball, he needs to learn how to secure the ball.
  • Finding an offensive niche: Wilson can do so many different things well that he ends up floating around a bit. He seems most comfortable handling the ball on the perimeter and slashing to the basket, but he only had a few opportunities to do that. He’s not always the top priority on offense for his team and can fall out of the game for a few possessions at a time offensively.


  • Hands: Wilson’s length and athleticism helps him get to a lot of loose balls and rebounds but he struggles to grab them at times. Too many times he gets his fingers on a loose ball but can’t grab it with both hands.
  • Strength: This is obvious considering Wilson is listed at 6-foot-8, 197 pounds. Wilson is going to have to add weight once he gets to Ann Arbor. You can’t really play the stretch four effectively at 200 pounds – Glenn Robinson III is listed at 220 pounds, for example – but Wilson has the frame to add the weight and the possibilities are intriguing once he does.
  • Post-up game: Wilson attempted a few post-ups but didn’t look comfortable. He doesn’t seem to have a go to move on the low block and never really seemed to make it a priority to establish position down low.

Bottom Line

Wilson is a prototypical fit for the stretch four position at Michigan. He has the shooting ability, the ball skills, the length and the athleticism. He’s taller and longer than anyone Michigan has played at that position under John Beilein. That’s not to say he doesn’t have a ways to go in his development.

He needs to get stronger, he does need to play a bit harder at times, be more assertive offensively and play more physically. Many of those things will come naturally with time in a college strength and conditioning program. Michigan missed out on some big name stretch fours in the class of 2014 (Keita Bates-Diop, Kevon Looney, Donte Grantham) but Wilson looks like a great replacement that didn’t materialize until very late in the recruiting period. With the combination of Wilson and Kameron Chatman, Michigan has two very versatile big forwards to potentially replace Glenn Robinson III.

  • Dr_ZC

    Dylan, we have 11 scholarship players out of the max 13. We will lose Jordan, so for sure we will have at least 3 scholarships left for 2014-2015. We are bringing in 4 scholarship players. Doyle, Wilson, Hatch and Chatman. For this to work, assuming that Mitch returns for his Junior year, we will either have to say sayonara to Glenn, or offer Hatch an academic scholarship, since the chances of him playing are rather slim. How do you see the scholarship situation shaping up?

    • Retiredat23

      No guarantees Mitch will come back for a junior year. Even with his injury, if his pal Glenn jumps to the NBA I’ll bet Mitch will too, even w/ poor draft stock. Some team will gamble on him in the first round, and I’d argue it’ll be a good gamble.

    • gpsimms

      A couple years back when we signed Mitch McGary I kept getting on Dylan about the scholarship numbers. It didn’t sit right with me that we didn’t have room for everyone to come back *and* all the new freshman to fit.

      Dylan kept telling me ‘it will work out.’ I didn’t really care for that response because I felt it ‘working out’ might turn out to be something like Colton Christian being essentially told to go elsewhere.

      I thought that was a pretty likely outcome, and I was upset for the kid that it might happen.


      THEN, out of the blue, Carlton, Smot, AND Colton leave the team. Well, I highly doubt Beilein told all 3 of them to get out of town to make room for McGary. The fact of the matter is that it’s basketball, and in this day and age, kids go pro and kids leave for all kinds of reasons.

      I have no idea who might stay for another year, but I will add the thought that it is very possible Stauskas goes pro. He’s such a versatile offensive player. The other thing is he is such an NBA junky that you know he has always dreamed of going. If he continues to be the leader on this team offensively and we do well in the B1G, he’d be a first rounder and I bet he’s gone. (Obviously this is total speculation).

  • Fred Z in Ann Arbor

    True that on willing 6’8″ passers!

  • jblair52

    I can’t wait to see how he does when he adds 20 lbs. and goes through a college S&C program.

    Passing ability is undervalued. Those long arms – I’m thinking assists for back door slams all day.

    • Retiredat23

      Agreed. I was going to comment on how much fun it would be to see this kid after he hits the weights in Ann Arbor, but you beat me to it! The skill is there, the strength and muscle will come in time.

  • One note on this footage. I don’t think it includes his best game or his worst game. Essentially his middle/average performances.

  • Fab 5 Legends

    Wow he does look improved – hope that trend continues – as mentioned in the article he & chatman have high ceilings @ UM

  • Champswest

    Based on his need for added strength and our depth at the 4 next year, he looks like a probable red shirt.

  • guestavo

    Really excited about this kid.

  • black6

    It seems to me that our 3 and 4 positions are getting an upgrade in size with Chatman and Wilson…. Chatman 6’7 or 6’8…. wilson 6’8 or 6’9…. We have good size with Glenn, Nik, Caris and Zak all 6’6… but when we played Arizona, Stanford, FSU and even ISU – we got a dose of what GREAT size looks like IMO…

    To be able to trot out a line up that features a 6’6 two guard, a 6’7 or 6’8 SF in Chatman and then a 6’9″ Wilson at 4 plus a McGary or a Donnal or a Horford – all 6’10” at the C position? that’s serious size…..

    • guestavo

      Imagine the lineup with Caris at PG for periods of time.

      • kam

        thats too big haha the refs would call a tech on us!

    • mikey_mac

      Don’t forget about our boy Ricky Doyle.

    • BlueBear_E

      I don’t think that Wilson is going to be ready to play major minutes against top competition next year. If Robinson leaves, (feels good to just type that, but I now feel like it is a possibility after his sliding draft value, Mitch’s possible return because of surgery, and draft class strength) the 4 minutes next year go to Chatman and Irving. Which scares me a little.

      That line-up has the potential to exist for long stretches in two years when Wilson is a sophomore (redshirt frosh?). McGary and Horford will be gone by then so it would be Donnal / Doyle / possible freshman stud manning the 5 at that point.

  • gobluemd16

    His rebounding was actually looked surprisingly good to me, but I was really disappointed by his shooting, at least in those videos. He made one, maybe two jumpers in total and a lot of his shots were way off. His form looked good, but a lot of those shots were open. He will need to add strength, as noted, but a good project to add to the team.

  • jkuofm27

    I admittedly was a little discouraged after missing on Looney and Grantham, but I watched some stuff on Wilson the other day and now with this I really think he has potential. He has all the skills, size and athleticism that you would want in a Beilein stretch four. He just needs to be polished up and beefed up. That is what makes him the three star as opposed to a four or a five star. But the long term outlook is better, because Looney was probably a one and done, Grantham might be a two and done and Wilson will probably be a four year guy. I have to remember that Michigan does not want to be Kentucky, getting guys like Wilson, Donnal, Levert, Albrecht, etc. will only build stability in the program for the longterm. McGary and GRIII are nice, but this thing was built on Novak and Douglass hustle, headiness and heart.

    • guestavo

      Wilson will be rated higher than Grantham (who is a low end top 100 player right now)

    • Adam

      Yeah Grantham is barely rated higher than Wilson and I think Wilson has more upside. Grantham is definitely not a two and done type of player though.

      • jkuofm27

        Maybe, but current 247 has Grantham as 63 and Comp as 87, while Wilson is 223 and Comp is 161. Wilson might get the big school bump as I like to call it. 2-3 star guys that get picked up by big schools typically get a bump by the scouts, because they don’t want to look bad if the coaches saw something they didn’t. You see it a lot in football.

        • guestavo

          Or maybe 247 is severely underrating him like they do all of our recruits. JB has shown to have a better eye than Meyer, Daniels, etc

          • David DeMember

            JB’s been finding diamonds early dating back to Morris… I would think rating companies will start taking notice when JB sends an offer out. Outside of his first few classes, he’s be mining gold in 2-3 star land.

  • jemblue

    Dylan, I know this is off-topic, but do you think there’s a chance Mitch might return this season? Apparently, he’s actually going to class tomorrow. If he’s able to walk already, that might change the picture a lot.

    • David DeMember

      Mitch comes back for the tourney in shape, we make another run to the Final Four and then I awake from my nightly dream.

  • Chris De Sana

    The two biggest things that got my attention were that his ability to block shots with the off hand and rebounding the ball at the peak. Two qualities that will serve him well when the quality of the opponent improves.
    That said I think Donnal is a better fit at the “stretch” 4; far better shooter at least what we have seen on this site.

    • Wilson shot the ball pretty well here.

      Beyond shooting, Wilson is a much better fit for the stretch four. His ball skills are significantly better than Donnal (who has more of a traditional post up game and face up jumper game). Donnal isn’t going to bust a cross over move and then drop the ball off to a cutter, even in HS.

  • Bluebufoon

    Damn–if we get four years out of DJ Wilson I will be shocked. His potential is off of the charts. Its rare that Coach Beilein, whom I love, recruits a kid who is a quality defender but DJ Wilson is a shot-blocking machine.

  • Webbdog

    Go sit in the Corner Matt D.!!

  • Webbdog

    In 2 Years Max… Kevin Looney Who???