DJ Wilson + Mo Wagner = Damn good young front court

Five games into the B1G conference, DJ Wilson is 1st in FG%, 4 in 3pt FG% (at 61%!), T-9 3pt FG made, T-13 blocks, T-11 ORbs.

Mo Wagner is T-15 scoring, 6 FG%, T-8 FT%, T-9 steal, while shooting 55% Fg% and 44% 3pt%.

Their season numbers ain’t shabby either. These two guys have sophomore eligibility. I’m not sweating this season yet like some people but those who don’t look at that front court coming back for the next two years and see promise – hmm.

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The frontcourt is good and its ironic that they emerge after losing the wing talent needed to make the best use of them. The NCAA is about perimeter talent but UM definitely has all of the surrounding cast to put around a star or two.

Yea. We really need to dj to play hero again and step it up on the boards on d. He really carried us a lot on d in msg. We need that effort again.

Nice stats, but there are still so many mouths to feed…to really take this team somewhere they need to rebound both ends.

Wilson and Wagner both have a long way to go defensively. Both also show immense progress on offense. DJ’s offensive numbers right now in Big Ten games are insane.


I’d sacrifice a bit of the offense for a considerable upgrade on defense.

Yea djs offense is awesome but his best role is trying to carry our d and be a garbage man. Hitting both boards hard and defending like he did at MSG. He was everywhere. He was the main factor of why our d was so good. Guarding everyone, protecting weak side and closing lanes. I remember thinking holy shit this guy is a one man wrecking crew.

Those games were 2 months ago. We have a much larger sample size of what this team and individuals are on defense. Teams get more video and opposing teams make adjustments. I guess you can hope with more experience DJ improves defensively but we have been saying this about a lot of players at Michigan in regards to defense.

Blocks and steals are defensive stats.

They’re long guys, decent athletes, with fine motors. Sure, they can improve defensively and on the boards. But a couple bad results and some 3s going in has obscured the main story of the season so far - a damn good sophomore 4-5 combination.

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The defense is clearly terrible and needs to be the primary concern, but if Maryland actually misses a few 3s, then we are sitting at 3-2, feel good, and actually getting to enjoy talking about the massive positives that are Mo and DJ’s development.

Agree with @MattD, though, wish DJ would use some energy on D to get a few more blocks. The kid is playing top 3-4 minutes in the conference, though.

I think people need to remember that neither of these two have played a lot of basketball at the college level. They are still figuring things out ( what they can and cannot do etc.). I too was just hoping for energy and defense from DJ but he has given the team quite a bit more. Those two guys will have to carry the team next year and I thinks we will see a jump.


Through 7 conference games, DJ Wilson and Mo Wagner are collectively averaging, per game, 27 pts, 10 rbs, 2 asts, 2 blocks, 2 steals, shooting 45% from 3 (and averaging 3 a game), shooting 62% on 2-pointers, shooting 82% on FTs (averaging 5 makes a game).

Mo could work on turning the ball over less and getting a few more boards. He’s up to 29 minutes a game but we could probably get him another couple minutes. Continue with that tougher D and these guys really could be something, especially considering they have two years left after this one.

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I completely reject the idea that there is an equivalence between DJ and MO in terms of the quality of defense they play. Wagner is solidly below average and DJ is solidly good and showing promise to be very good in the future.

It is fascinating that we all watch the same games and come to such different conclusions. I wonder if people view DJ as lacking defensively because smaller guys seem to be able to beat him off the dribble for the first few first step–but he almost always seems to recover quickly to contest midrange and layups.

DJ has been our best defender, in my opinion.

I, at least, wasn’t equating their defense. I do think they’ve both played tougher D lately than they had in the couple games prior. DJ is a better defender than Mo, although the latter does get a lot of steals and has shown some promise too. Going forward their offense/defense combo could be very good at the 4-5 positions.

DJ has not been solidly good on defense in my opinion.

Adequate, sure, but good? Not so much.

That said, DJ is much better than Wagner on defense. Being blunt about it, Wagner is terrible on defense. His rotations are non-existent much of the time and he fails to box out.


Sorry, I was responding very late to old comments on this thread–not your comment.

I agree that there are good reasons to be hopeful with these two defensively. Teske too.

Wagner has the most room for improving on defense.

Ah, I probably could’ve figured that out by looking back a bit. And Mo does have room for improvement on D. He may never be a huge load down there, but he is long and can be pretty disruptive and should be a big net positive.

The Wisconsin game definitely showed Mo’s recipe for on-ball defense success, imo: jockey for position early, and use his quick/active hands when the opponent is making his post moves.

Hard to say, with his off-ball/screen defense, because it’s just so porous. he’s obviously quick enough to be good at it, once he figures the spacing/awareness out.

I don’t think DJ is solidly good either. He’s probably our best, and he definitely has the potential to be solidly good, but his rotations and on ball defense need lots of work.

DJ Wilson is the one player on the team who will switch with any position on the floor. He needs to discover that he should have the ability to play off quicker players and still have the ability to recover on jump shots.

Wagner needs to use any quickness advantage he has on defense. Coaches need to make him practice pnr defense everyday. Plus his overall defensive awareness is lacking. I think it comes with experience.