Exit: Moe Wagner Comment Count

Ace April 14th, 2018 at 11:29 AM


An all-timer. [Marc-Gregor Campredon]

Moe Wagner has made his decision. In an article he penned for The Players' Tribune, Wagner announced he'll enter the NBA Draft and sign with an agent, foregoing his senior season at Michigan. Wagner's lengthy, heartfelt farewell (titled "Thank You, Michigan") makes it clear this wasn't an easy choice, but he has some familiar footsteps to follow:

Alle träume klingen verrückt. Bis sie wahr werden.

This is what it says on the poster that I have on my wall. I’m looking at it now, in my apartment in Ann Arbor, as I’m telling you this story. It’s German, which you probably guessed, and it means: All dreams are crazy. Until they come true. (Good saying, right?) And then beside these words is a picture of Dirk Nowitzki — who is basically my idol.

Wagner is projected as a late first- or early second-round pick, an improvement over his stock last year, when his rebounding and defensive limitations had him projected closer to the bottom of the draft. Wagner improved both this year, especially rebounding, and while his defense is still a big question mark, his offensive skill set at his size will get him a contract and a roster spot.

This is the end of Wagner's remarkable collegiate journey. He came to Ann Arbor from Germany as a lanky wing, outgrew the position almost immediately, spent his freshman year struggling to earn playing time behind Ricky Doyle and Mark Donnal, and then became the key piece of John Beilein's five-out offense as a sophomore and junior. That doesn't mean we won't be seeing him around town, however.

Ann Arbor will always be the first American city that I ever really knew. In my opinion, it’s the perfect place to live — not too big, not too small. You get all four seasons, great sports, and some of the nicest and most genuine people I have met. I’ll miss Ann Arbor a ton and come back as much as I can.

Wagner's exit has significant ramifications for next year's team, of course, and we'll dig into those in greater detail this week. Jon Teske is now your surefire starting center next year, which will make Michigan a more defensive-focused team (with a greater defensive ceiling) but he'll be an offensive downgrade barring a breakout on that end—while he improved greatly at the pick-and-roll, he doesn't provide the same pick-and-pop, spead-the-defense threat. Austin Davis is most likely to settle into the backup role while talented freshman Colin Castleton—a Wagner-like player with plus rim protection—gets used to the system and adds some needed bulk.

Danke, Moe.

Comments

jmblue

April 14th, 2018 at 11:40 AM ^

As expected.  He got better every year and helped us win some big things.  Short of a national title, he'd pretty much done everything at this level.  

I'll never forget him putting us on his back against Louisville, at Breslin this year, and against Loyola.  Beyond that, he was such a fun player to watch.  I'd like to see his brother follow in his footsteps here.  

Good luck Moe!

Ramblin

April 14th, 2018 at 11:45 AM ^

Great work by Moe to make the show!  Great work by the coaches in helping him get there.  Another quality kid comes to Michigan as a relative unknown and leaves as a legend and possible first rounder.  Simply awesome if we all take a step back and think about it from the perspective of "did Michigan do this kid right."    

As a Wolverine, I wanted him back, but it's about doing what is right for him.  I honestly think the time for him is now.  Kill it in the league Moe.  Thanks for the memories and for doing Wolverine nation proud.

As for Mathews, I think another year would serve him well.  I guess we shall see.  Either way, go blue!!!

rc90

April 14th, 2018 at 11:53 AM ^

The silver lining is that this news means I don't have to think how The Victors sounds in German any more. Weil es nicht gut klingt.

corundum

April 14th, 2018 at 12:20 PM ^

What an awesome career. Dude brought the emotion.

I'm hoping to see a lot of small ball, somewhat positionless basketball next season with Livers at the 5 when Teske needs a breather. Would give us a different looks that can be 5 out and allows some more offense to enter the game at the 4 spot.

ILL_Legel

April 14th, 2018 at 12:38 PM ^

Happy for Moe to be one step closer to his dream! Great messages for kids of all ages in his article.

I am old and have watched a lot of Michigan basketball but Moe is top 3 favorite of all time! I wish everybody could go about their lives with the passion and intensity he brings.

UofM Die Hard …

April 14th, 2018 at 12:39 PM ^

Great person and great player. Go get that money and live your dream.

Always Go Blue

Coach B just keeps sending great players to the NBA and, more importantly, great people out into the world.

Hello recruits? ;)

M-jed

April 14th, 2018 at 1:33 PM ^

I knew it was coming but was stilled shocked to see it in print. Good for Moe!

And his letter is really good! For the 52nd time, read it if you haven’t already. I’ll read it to my kids, too. Dream crazy!

GoBlue in IA

April 14th, 2018 at 1:43 PM ^

It's been fun watching you in the maize and blue; you are the embodiement of a true Michigan Man.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you've imagined". 

Forever Go Blue

BursleyHall82

April 14th, 2018 at 1:43 PM ^

He exceeded it, both individually and as a team, like perhaps no one ever has. Has Michigan basketball had a team and player that overachieved as much as this one?

Danke, Moe.

Wolverine4life01

April 14th, 2018 at 1:45 PM ^

The letter he wrote was very well written and so thoughtful of his teammates and coaches. Really going to miss seeing him in the maize and blue, but will enjoy watching him on the next level. Great character kid. Good luck in all you do Moe Wagner!!!

Blueverine

April 14th, 2018 at 1:49 PM ^

He's really become one of my favorite all-time Wolverines.

Two things from the Final Four: One, at the team hotel, Moe's parents were around a ton and amiable with everyone who approached them. We passed a group of young ladies who had Moe's dad take a picture of them with Moe's mom. When they walked by our table, we said a quick hi and "Make sure to send us Franz!". They laughed.

Two, after the hotel send-off for the championship game, everyone started walking to the Alamodome together. Very reminiscent of Hoover St. on football game days - a sea of maize and blue. Charles Matthews mom was next to us and I asked her if Charles had one more game (like Loyola) in him and she said "Oh yeah!" Then I said Ann Arbor is really nice and he would really like another year there and she said, "Oh he's not going anywhere. He's getting that Michigan degree!"  Well, let's hope that is indeed the case and next year looks bright again.

Hail-Storm

April 16th, 2018 at 9:12 AM ^

to his potential at Michigan for a while.  I am happy for all the players that make it to the NBA, but it's harder with some when you don't get to see them at full potential at UofM, or just for a short duration.  DJ Wilson, and McGary we got great tournament play, but didn't get their dominance for a whole season. Stauskus, Trey, and Wagner, we got a full year of great play.  

Just means next man up.  Hard to question Beilein's ability to develop a couple more players  to fill in.

Also think that Teske could be fine on offense if the PnR can be run succesfully similar to how Morgan wsa used.  This means the point gaurd will need to be more deadly with a spot up shot though, so not sure.  I'm sure it will be another fun team to watch.