Michigan's DJ Wilson stays in NBA Draft as early entrant

Lynette Rowe
May 25, 2017

FILE - In this January 7, 2017, file photo, Michigan forward Moritz Wagner (13), of Germany, goes to the basket, defended by Maryland forward Damonte Dodd (35), during an NCAA college basketball game at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. Michigan announced Wednesday, May 24, 2017 that Wagner withdrew his name from the 2017 NBA draft and will return for his junior season.

The skill level that Wagner displayed might have been enough for an National Basketball Association team to take a second-round chance on him, but he can solidify his draft stock next season if he gets stronger and improves his defense and rebounding.

U-M head coach John Beilein and the coaching staff have been meeting with Wilson about his decision.

Pistons beat writer Rod Beard tweeted that he has heard Wilson has a first round guarantee from the Utah Jazz, who hold two late first round picks.

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On the 2016-17 season, Wagner averaged 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds a game, while Wilson averaged 11 points and 5.3 rebounds a game.

"I am confident I have the drive, work ethic and maturity for this next step", he said. "It's never going to be easy, but if I have learned anything at MI, perseverance pays of".

If this 2017-18 group wants to compete at a high level and contend for the Big Ten Conference championship, some players are going to need to step up. "It has truly been a blessing to have had the opportunity to attend MI, and I will forever be grateful to Coach Beilein and his staff for taking the chance on me". He also shot 37.3 percent from three-point range last season.

Wagner and Wilson both factored big in Michigan's exciting late-season run that included a Big Ten Tournament championship and a spot in the NCAA tournament's Sweet Sixteen. "We wish him and his family the very best, and we will always be rooting for him during this draft process and for all the years to come".

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