A Short Sermon on Moritz Wager


#1

Who knows if Wagner leaves for the draft, but either way there are two home games and a handful of other one left this year, so let’s appreciate what he’s doing. A big who can shoot 3s, put in on the floor, and clean up the defensive boards is huge.

Amazingly, Mo has become one of the best defensive rebounders in the conference and in the country. In Dylan’s preseason over/under, he took the under on 3 double-doubles, and it was totally reasonable. Mo has 6, including 3 in the Big Ten.

Despite a couple clunkers and a mid-season injury, he’s averaging 15 and 7 with 40% 3pt shooting for the season, 14 and 7 with 41% 3pt in the conference – and doing it without a guy like Walton setting him up night in and night out. He also walked into Breslin and dominated MSU with 27 and 8 (on 13 shots and 8 FTs), leading the team to a hugely satisfying win that’s also the cornerstone of the tourney resume.

And he’s keeping his emotions in check but still leading the team in enthusiasm and encouragement. Plus he’s turning it on down the stretch, averaging 19-10 over the last three games.

He may not have turned (so far) into the surefire first round pick we might have hoped for, and he may still have defensive weaknesses, but he’s having a great season and having fun doing it.


#2

Mo has been a pleasure to watch. Love his passion and energy that he displays. Hopefully we get one more year out of him, but if not, I’ll definitely enjoy the last handful of games with him.


#3

Good post. Moe’s draft stock might not have improved coming back for another year but he’s definitely a better and more consistent player. He’s turned himself into a really good defensive rebounder. I was worried we were going to be a terrible defensive rebounding team and that’s actually our biggest strength thanks in large part to Moe. He’s cut down his foul issues which has been big as well.

If this is his last year (and my guess is that it will be) we definitely will be a different team going forward as he’s brings a uniqueness as a stretch 5 that isn’t easy to duplicate. Teske and Castleton should bring more rim protection but certainly won’t be as skilled offensively. If they decide to play smaller but more athletic guys in Johns or Livers at the 5 some, that should make it a more versatile and interchangeable lineup but again they aren’t 6’11 shooters who can also take it to the rim off the bounce.


#4

I bet those were more related points than unrelated points.

I know it’s a bit little brother-ish, but even if this is “all” he added this season (and it’s obv not), I would have been thrilled. That was an important one for the long term narrative.

The season isn’t over! I’d be OK with a red hot tourney performance that vaults him up the boards. Or I’d (selfishly) be OK with him coming back next year :wink: And if we get neither (i.e. we get 14-15 and 7 for the rest of the season and he goes pro), then I still greet your post with an “amen” and a “hear hear”. Thanks, Mo!


#5

Good post. I would have posted it myself but my writing skills suck.

Wagner’s rebounding is for real.

I think he makes an NBA roster next year. His shot and quick first step (relative) is going to take him places. Now he can legit rebound … he’s an excellent college big man. Like to see more patience and balance with his post game.


#6

Great post, Mo has continue to develop every year and he is almost underrated this year.


#7

Almost hard to remember what the offense was like without an elite pick-and-pop 5. Moe has been productive, so much fun to cheer for, and a great ambassador for the program. Sure wouldn’t mind him sticking around, further entrenching the perception that our program is ideal for the stretch 5.


#8

He may not have turned (so far) into the surefire first round pick we might have hoped for

If he’s not a first-rounder, that’s more because of physical limitations than anything. The guy’s a great player at the college level.

(And actually I’m hoping he’s a surefire first round pick . . . in 2019 :wink: )


#9

For what it’s worth The Athletic ranks him in the mid 70s as far as NBA draft prospects for this year.


#10

I wonder where he was ranked before the B1G tournament/NCAA tournament, last year. Moe’s game lends itself to beautiful outpourings; i.e. the timely (for player and for club) Louisville game…but also lends itself to ugly duds; i.e. the not-so-timely Oregon game. Moe could probably make his year in 2 weekends, buoyed by his new, shiny rebounding numbers.


#11

Well, he was a late 2nd rounder/undrafted after the NCAA tournament last year so he was probably an undraftable prospect before that.


#12

Better make it 3 just to be safe…


#13

He’s a fun guy to watch. Maddening at times. Exciting always. One of my favorites. I hope he blows up in the tourney and leads us to a championship and then goes in the draft. I think reality says he comes back next year if he loves Michigan/college as much as he’s indicated.

I suspect his NBA feedback would be

  1. get stronger top and bottom
  2. be consistent in shot mechanics
  3. swing out to the wing a bit more/work on ball-handling
  4. improve defense