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.
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.
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.