Michigan recruiting German forward Moritz Wagner

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan head coach John Beilein recently traveled to Germany to recruit Berlin forward Moritz Wagner.

Wagner is a 6-foot-9, 194 pound forward who came up with Alba Berlin youth program and is now a member of the senior team that beat the San Antonio Spurs in October.

Wagner has yet to sign a professional contract with Alba Berlin and is strongly considering attending college in the United States. John Beilein traveled to watch Wagner and met with his family. The news was first reported by BZ-Berlin and Wagner confirmed the Michigan interest.

“John Beilein flew especially for Wagner in Berlin,” BZ-Berlin wrote (translated). “The coaching legend met with Wagner and his family. A scholarship to Wagner Beilein have not yet offered. But (Beilein) is said to have expressed a strong interest and invited the Berlin (to visit) the (Michigan) campus.”

Duke and UConn have also been linked to Wagner, who plays with former UConn forward Niels Giffey at the club level. Michigan appears to be the first school to travel to Germany to recruit the talented forward.

“To study has always been my goal and that is parallel to the sport in the United States at the best,” Wagner recently told Berliner-Zeitung (translated). “On the other hand, it was always my dream to become a professional. Because the temptation is great, tackling issues. This is both cool.”

Wagner was born April 26th, 1997 and would be a member of the 2015 class. He recently told BZ-Berlin that he will make a decision on his future, signing professionally in Germany or attending college in the United States, after the season. He has reportedly been offered a four-year contract by Alba Berlin.

“We are in a constant exchange,” Alba’s sporting director told Bild, “and I am confident that he will remain with us.”

European Prospects scouted Wagner in May and was impressed with his versatility.

The young Moritz Wagner is a really interesting prospect for the future. Used as a PF on multiple occasions, Wagner showed that he has an outside game and that his future should be on the SF position. He can shoot from outside, either on catch-and-shoot situations or in the Pick and Pop when being the screener. Wagner can also put the ball on the floor which works particularly well when used against taller power forwards. He is also able to drive with direction changes and finish against stronger or taller players in the paint. Athletically, he is looking good and with his overall length, he is a good vertical presence on both sides of the court. Wagner really needs to be used on the wing positions in the future as he has the tools to become an interesting long small forward in the future. It will be interesting to see if ALBA can do this as they will lack some inside presence in the next generations of their NBBL roster so that Wagner risks to be used as a pure PF or even center next season.

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  • Cory

    Irvin to the 2, Kam to the 3 and Moe at the 4 next year! I can dream, right?!

    • Steve2081

      Or you could keep Zak at the 3 and just move Kam to the 2. His handles and passing are legit.

      • A2MIKE

        ,To me, this is the play. And if Irvin goes pro then it makes even more sense. I feel like this may be more an indication of where Beilein thinks Irvin could have a breakout season, and wants to make sure he has options, plus it sounds as though they may have contacted Michigan. Still intriguing.

    • Andrew

      Personally I think people are over looking Dawkins. I predict if Levert or Irvin go pro that Dawkins will be a starter next year.

      • Steve2081

        Not overlooking him. I just don’t think he’ll he the best option at any position. DJ is a better 4. Kam is better everywhere. MAAR is a better 2.

        I have a him locked in as the 6th man of the year next year.

        • Dean

          Thank you for your expert opinion. I am glad we have someone that is able to compare a German player with people he has never even played against. Why are you not on Michigan’s staff as head scouter?

          • Steve2081

            I was replying to a post talking about Dawkins. That is who I was talking about. Not once did I even mention Moritz.

  • Madrox

    I like the translation of Beilein being a coaching legend.

    Recruiting this kid does make me curious about how the 2016 class may eventually shake out. Not a lot of open spots right now and still a few really good guys Michigan is chasing. I fully trust Beilein, just think the next two recruiting years could get interesting.

    • BigHouseBoyz

      He is a 2015, we don’t have a verbal for 2015 and only one for 2016. I don’t think you stop recruiting anyone and continue to look into options that fit your program. This kid looks to be very athletic and a very good shooter. If he wants to come to Michigan, you find room for him!

      • Madrox

        I am not disagreeing with you, you take talent when you can get it. I was just saying if you take this kid that leaves only 1 more spot open in 16, with that number increasing if anyone (Walton, Irvin, Chatman) go pro early.

        A bird in the hand and what not, but Michigan seems to have a decent chance with a lot of really talented 2016 players and as it currently stands not a lot of openings. Again, I have full faith in what Beilein is doing, its just intriguing to me that Michigan may not have room for all the talented players they are recruiting. Good problem to have.

        • BigHouseBoyz

          I agree, good problem to have. I know 13 scholarships is the max, but someone mentioned on this board the other day that B1G allows teams to over sign by one. I have never heard that before. If that is true it would give us two spots for 2015 and then add for any early departures as you mentioned. Even more interesting

          • Over signing by one is more of a November thing… Don’t think Michigan has to worry about that. By April they will know what scholarships they have.

  • Bluebufoon

    Young man looks like a heck of a prospect but I don’t think we have room for a 6-10 PF ? I don’t think we have enough minutes for him with Chatman and Wilson, along with Donnal and Doyle– I don’t see how we fit this fellow into rotation.

    • BursleysFinest

      But knowing that freshman routinely go pro (admittedly not out of UM recently), I think you always recruit the best talented fits for your team and find room. You never know if a Chatman or a DJ Wilson will unexpectedly blow up and end up declaring.

    • I think guys that are 6-9, 6-10 with skill and worth flying to Germany to meet with are probably guys that Beilein feels are good enough regardless of anything else. Guys that you’ll find a spot for.

    • zeroskie

      It’s the perfect opportunity to move Chatman to the backcourt and have him play minutes as a guard that can sometimes post up on other guards. Personally I all for it.

  • jkuofm27
  • Wayman Britt

    Kid must be pretty good for Beilein to make a special trip and to fly all the way to Germany just to see this kid. I wonder if there was contact in August when the team was in Italy.

  • Kenny

    very intriguing development. It seems that move Chatman to backcourt is a viable option.

  • Mark Worthley

    invited the Berlin at the university campus

    Change to:

    Invited the German to visit campus.

  • JohnNavarreIsMyHero

    Are there any potential NCAA qualifying issues with a guy like this?

  • Brandon

    Any news on Dozier’s announcement?

    • Brandon

      Just saw the new post.

      • BigHouseBoyz

        Ask and you shall receive!

  • John

    Guys guys guys. Look at the tape. Beilein would ideally like to play him at the #5. He is a top of the key shooter. Wilson is going to be a #4. Chatman is going to stay a #4. Look at the JB system and what he values.
    JB values diversity at each position to create mismatches among certain players/opponents.
    The JB #4 plays on the wing. Wagner=Pittsnogle.

    • Trask

      Beilein has said that Wilson can play either forward spot 3/4, and Chatman most likely projects to a 2 in the NBA, could even play point guard in a pinch. Plenty of room.

  • BlueRising

    Was any mention made here about Duncan Robinson being in the mix? Then Teske. You can never have enough projected talent. It’s ridiculous to make projections on what position a player is going to play and if that position is already filled by another recruit. None of the players discussed have played a minute of D1 college basketball. Any of these players could take longer than expected to develop like Donnal. Could transfer like Smotrycz, could fall into the McGary category of injury and suspension, or not even be close to the star they were projected to be like Glenn Robinson. Recruit all the talented players you can land and let the players sort it out based on performance and rate of development. Can’t turn down a world class player like this German kid because playing time issues might occur by prediction of performance.

  • BlueRising

    Uhhh …. Guys I wrote my post below before actually watching his video which I did just now. …. My comments on projections versus actual performance upon arrival still hold true … But this kid is a TALENT. I thought I was watching what Dirk Novitzski may have looked like at 18. Forget how well he shoots the ball and his ability to finish at the rim with either hand and his timing on block shots … He reminds me of Dirk because at 6’10 look at how fluid and fundamentally sound is his footwork. That’s ridiculous. He’s a Beilen type coached Player already. You can tell this kid has been coached on footwork fundamentals for many years by somebody who really knows how to teach. He’s a combo of Doyle and Donnal skill sets on steroids.

  • BlueRising

    Last comment before heading to sleep. This kid should be groomed as a Big who can play with his back to the basket, use his size, footwork, agility and ability to finish with both hands to attack with an aresenal of slick post moves in the paint and then use his shooting ability to hit fade aways or nail jumpers as the trailer on the break or in pick and pop situations. Not sure why a 6-10 player should ever be playing small forward unless they are Kevin Durant, or have no ability to play with their back to the basket, or can’t or won’t battle for rebounds … This kid will be no small forward, and if he ends up in the 6’11 / 7’0 height range he’s a center.

  • geoffclarke

    A couple thoughts: (1) he said he is deciding whether to play college hoops in America or go pro at the end of his season (last game 4/30/15 – http://www.albaberlin.de/spielplan/20142015.html). Plenty of time for other colleges to get involved and for Michigan to know a bit more about our other recruiting efforts. (2) Obviously he’s good or Beilein wouldn’t have gone over there, but for me I’d like to see more video. Obviously he can shoot well, but he doesn’t exactly have a pure form. I may be way off, but the competition level in this video is a little suspect. They’re not clogging the lane on defense or closing out on outside shots.

  • Chris De Sana