New 2018 ESPN NBA Mock Draft: Wagner in 2nd Round

Submitted by azul97 on March 20th, 2018 at 10:06 AM

Paywall with ESPN Insider

Mo Wagner going 2nd round (#49) to Jazz

Also of B1G interest:

Jaren Jackson 4th Overall to Magic
Miles Bridges 12th to 76ers
Keita Bates-Diop 17th to Pacers
Tony Carr 41st to Pistons
Vince Edwards 53rd to Hornets

Strange but with JJJ going 4th overall I did not see Ben Carter in the Top 3. Assume that ESPN will have this fixed right away



March 20th, 2018 at 10:26 AM ^

There is no way Wagner is not given a scholarship, but if he does come back, where does the attrition come from...?

Signed Freshmen:
1) Johns
2) Brazdeikis
3) DeJulius
4) Castleton
5) Nunez

Returning Players:
6) Simpson
7) Matthews
8) Poole
9) Livers
10) Teske
11) Davis
12) Watson
13) Brooks
14) Wagner

Either someone is asked to do a prep-year (too late for that?) or someone is strongly suggested to look for more playing time elsewhere...


March 20th, 2018 at 10:43 AM ^

Attrition happens.  Someone mentioned this on a WTKA podcast and Webb seemed say something like 'it would work itself out'.  AKA there's probably a person or two looking for more playing time elsewhere.  Honestly, I'm looking at Ibi Watson.  He's gotten barely anytime and has been passed by freshman and a transfer.  I've got no inside info, but, come on, the writing is on the wall there.

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 10:51 AM ^

I don't know where it's going to come from either, but I hope it's not Ibi Watson. I think he's tracking. Remember Duncan Robinson and MAAR two years ago when we were awful and barely squeaking into the tourney? Glad they stuck it out. Watson is getting minutes. He's on the doorstep. I have the feeling he'll be a guy we'll love to have as a Senior.


March 20th, 2018 at 11:10 AM ^

Tracking what? He has looked completely lost in most of the minutes he's played and is shooting 39% from 2, 33% from 3, and 54% at the FT line. Woof.

Seems like a nice kid, but doesn't look like a B1G caliber player right now.

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

He's the 10th guy right now on a deep squad that doesn't need him. 

Maybe he wants more playing time and leaves. If he's here in two years, he's probably a starter or 6th man who is responsible defensively, doesn't turn the ball over and hits his fair share of open shots. Zak Irvin was relatively awful and still had a key role on last year's Sweet 16 team as a decent defender and one-trick pony on offense with his elbow jumper. Watson can easily get to Zak Irvin level.  

Ah, who am I kidding? It's not like anybody has ever developed under John Beilein, right?




Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

"Awful" was a bad word choice. In my defense, that was meant in concert with "relatively" as in relative to his recruiting ranking, Mr. Basketball accolades and expectations as a Freshman.  When we brought in a Top-25 recruit, I'm sure your expectations were solid mid-range glue guy that'll be here for 4 years.

He was a useful player and I too, would be happy if Watson became as relevant as Irvin. And I don't think that's very much to ask.

I'm going to let this go. I honestly don't care about Ibi Watson. This is by far the most I've ever considered his personal future. I care even less about the legacy of Zak Irvin.


March 20th, 2018 at 2:24 PM ^

Get out of here with this.  Zak Irvin averaged 6.7PPG on 42.5% 3-point shooting his freshman season.   That's pretty solid contributions for a guy getting 15 minutes a game. 


Ibi Watson isn't even a shadow of Zak Irvin currently.  It would be beyond fantastic if he "got to Zak Irvin level". 

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 2:37 PM ^

Circumstance aren't even remotely the same. Watson is the 4th guy in the 2/3 role behind Matthews, MAAR & Poole.  Last year he was the 4th guy behind Irvin, MAAR & Robinson.

There weren't even 4 guys for that role on Irvin's freshman team. He was the 3rd option. Somebody had to give the 2/3 a breather and the only guy on the roster was Irvin.  If Jordan Poole weren't on this team, Ibi Watson would be getting 15 minutes per game and your stat pull would be way more relevant (like, at all relevant, where now it is not).

If you want to tell me Freshman Irvin is better than Poole, that would be something you can statistically compare because they both found minutes. I'd say Poole was better (recency bias, plus I know where Irvin topped out and I hope for more out of Poole) and if that's the case then Freshman Zak Irvin wouldn't have had any playing time, same as Watson, and his stats would be measured in decimal points.



March 20th, 2018 at 11:17 AM ^

I mean Rahk was terrible from 3 early, but he shot 41% overall, playedin 29 games with 19 min ave as freshman which increased to 36 games at 29 min per game shotting almost 46% form the field and increasing to 36% from 3 as a sophomore.  And Duncan, for his limitations was an even better 3 shooter from the get go than he is now.  

Ibi Watson has not shown either of those yet.  And he's behind Poole with a highly rated class of scorers coming in.

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 12:06 PM ^

Robinson and MAAR were forced into action through NBA early entries and injury. They were underclassmen contributors on bad teams - forced into meaningful playing time before they were ready. 

Watson is the 10th man on a 30-win Sweet 16 team. He has only played about 200 minutes in his college career, where Rahkman doubled that his Freshman year alone.

And that's not because MAAR was awesome. 2014-15 Michigan was depleted by losing 3 guys to the draft and 2 more to graduation. They had just two upper classmen - Max Bielfeldt and Caris Levert who missed half the season. Rahkman was thrown into the fire, so yes, he accumulated stats.

Watson's behind Poole. Yeah. And Simpson was behind Walton. Remember when everybody stressed about Zavier Simpson? What was that? 2 months ago? It's funny what happens when spots open up, guys mature and find their role, isn't it?  

I'm dumbfounded by the lack of general awareness in these replies.




March 20th, 2018 at 12:18 PM ^

I mean, Caris Levert played more and put up much better stats as a young freshman on a loaded team than Watson ever has.  Watson's minutes and stats look more like Bundridge's before he tranfered.  I mean, we've heard that Watson is crazy athletic, but what have you seen on the floor that makes you think he's anywhere close to being a major contributor?  There are still minutes to be had on this team.  It basically only has 3 rotational players for the 2 and 3, MAAR, Matthews, and Poole.  And they don't have a PG that can spot up shoot really well to take up some of those 2 minutes like Beilein has had with Burke, Albrecht and Walton.  There's room for Watson, but he hasn't sniffed meaningful playing time yet.  

I mean, I hope I'm wrong.  I prefer players to stay and develop, and there will be plenty of room for minutes next year, and freshman have their limitations.  But I'm just being realistic based on what we've actually seen with our own eyes.  They'll need some more 2-3 mintues for sure with Rahk leaving.  I personally was wondering if we'd see more minutes at the 2 go to Brooks or DeJulius if they can be good shooters.

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

I never said he'll be Caris Levert. I can't imagine how you got that out of my post.

I never said he'd be a "major contributor". 

Yeah, sure, there's ton of room for Watson. There are 3 guys splitting 80 minutes at the 2/3. MAAR averages 35 mins, Matthews 30 and Poole 13.  That's 78 minutes accounted for. Which one of those do you want to decrease?  Do you want less Rahkman? Less Matthews?  

Start there. Which of our starters do you want to bench so you can feel better about the progress of our 10th man?


I'm not even a big Ibi Watson fan. I just know that Seniors develop and mature and become more responsible and trustworthy in terms of ball security and shot selection. I never thought this place would find the concept of a player improving so outrageous.


March 20th, 2018 at 11:23 AM ^

I hope we find a way to keep him around, too.

Dude can absolutely jump out of the gym. He's our best hope for highlight dunks in the near future. Also, his effort is real. When he's on the floor, you know he's out there because he's deflecting a pass or diving on the court or flying in for an offensive rebound. I hope he finds his shooting stroke because he has all the makings of an excellent player.

However, he got passed by Poole almost immediately this year. With Simpson and Matthews entrenched in the starting lineup, the path to playing time on the wing is shooting, shooting, shooting. Nunez can shoot it, and that might be more important next year than all the other things Watson brings to the table.

Guy Fawkes

March 20th, 2018 at 1:18 PM ^

I'd say because BIG guy development takes a little bit longer than guards. Davis is also a year behind Teske so there would be nice spacing there. If Wagner did return and then graduate the big men would be Teske (senior) Davis (RJunior) and Castleton (RFrosh)


March 20th, 2018 at 2:06 PM ^

Next year with MAAR gone, who is Poole’s backup at the 2?  Nunez… Our least heralded recruit?  Sure. we can shuffle around a bit, but as far as returning production for positions 2,3, AND 4, we only have Poole, Matthews, & Livers.

Furthermore, barring injury to Wagner or Teske, Davis will in all likelihood be riding the pine again next year.  So its 2 years of potential production for both dudes. It’s certainly not OBVIOUS… well, unless you’re John Beilein!

Wait a minute, Guy Fawkes = Beilein?!  I never really got a masquerad-ie / anarchist vibe from you, but I guess that Che Guevara tattoo on your shoulder makes a lot more sense now

Naked Bootlegger

March 20th, 2018 at 11:29 AM ^

Two things regarding Robinson and MAAR from 2 years ago:  they were getting regular PT and contributing.   Hell, Robinson set the early season 3 point world on fire two years ago - dude couldn't miss.   I'm happy they stuck around, too, but they were key rotational pieces two years ago.   

I think some of our current bench guys that don't receive regular PT can develop, if given time to mature and/or opportunity.   I thought the same thing about some recent transfers.   But natural attrition occurs.  The lure of increased playing time and a fresh start is very appealing to some players.


March 20th, 2018 at 12:23 PM ^

This isn't after a freshman season.  It's now been two years.  And it's not like there are some lights out shooters keeping him on the bench.  MAAR, Dawkins, LeVert, Albrecht, Chatman, Walton, Irvin...all managed a heck of a lot more contribution in their first two years.  Watson's contribution is more in line with Dakich his first two years.

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

Not one of those guys had the depth and upper class in front of them that the young guys on this team have. Poole is special and broke through. Livers did out of pure necessity because Robinson was god-damned liability (as a Senior!) until Yaklich found a way to hide him. Now Livers is a bench player. Watson, as a SG, is behind MAAR and Poole. That doesn't mean he sucks, it means he's not as good as those guys right now. 

Again, are you betting that John Beilein won't be able to develop and find a role for Ibi Watson?  That's bold.


March 20th, 2018 at 2:02 PM ^

I mean Irvin was getting 15 mintues a game with a team that had Stauskas, GRIII, Levert and Walton all getting starters minutes.  And had sophomore Albrecht getting 15 minutes per game.  That's like the same mintues Livers gets.  

What's the deal with dieing on the Watson hill here?  I don't think many here want Watson to leave; we'll all take raw athleticism and experience on the team.  But come one, he hasn't shown anything yet to suggest he's ready to break out into a siginicant role at all.  Just seems like the usual senarios where someone may want to find a pasture with a bigger role for them.  

Pepto Bismol

March 20th, 2018 at 2:26 PM ^

You're right. I've said elsewhere above that I honestly don't even care about Watson. I'm not dying on the Watson hill. It's just the logic battle that I'm fighting now. And you're helping make my point. 

Yeah, Irvin played 15 minutes as a Freshman. Who was in front of him? Levert & Stauskas. Who else was available for the 2/3? Nobody. Look it up. There were zero other 2/3 sized individuals on that team.

GRIII, McGary, Walton, Morgan, Horford, Albrecht, Bielfeldt and a bunch of towel waivers. That was it. There was no other option than Zak Irvin.

So Irvin got the minutes as the backup to those guys. 

Poole is getting those minutes now and Watson is the 4th guy in that rotation that is unnecessary because there's really only enough minutes for 3 guys.

Albrecht got backup PG minutes behind Walton the same as Simmons/Brooks are getting non-Simpson minutes.  I fail to see where PG playing time has anything to do with Ibi Watson. He's buried where none of those other guys were.

MAAR's freshman year roster was depleted from two straight Elite 8+ runs. Levert was hurt. Spike was hurt. You had Irvin, Walton and a grab bag of warm bodies that ended up with no postseason. That's why MAAR got minutes as a no-name 2-star freshman. 

The next year was exactly the same. Spike and Caris missed more than half the season. All you had with experience was Irvin and Walton. MAAR or Robinson HAD to play. Off the bench, there were no other 2/3 options other than Aubrey Dawkins. 

Those situations are VASTLY different from this year which has an established 2 & 3 and (knock on wood) no injury trouble to open up a spot.  If he doesn't beat out Rahkman, Matthews or Poole, there is nowhere for Watson to play.  

Sure, if he were reallly good, he could beat those guys out. But just because he hasn't doesn't mean he's dogshit. There's a level of ability that is less than those three guys and better than "horrible". In two years, he's the veteran that true freshmen will have to beat out for minutes and I'll bet that battle goes the way it always does.



March 20th, 2018 at 12:20 PM ^

Forgot about that.

But you don't necessarily need a wing in on that though, just a shooter... He could've put in Simmons, Brooks, or even Teske to spread the floor and make them gaurd the paint. Beilein went out of his way in an interview to mention putting Ibi in on that play because he hasn't missed a shot in a while... If it was truly just out of necessity, he didn't have to mention a player on the back side of the play.


March 20th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

Need to absoutley keep Davis.  Because then in the 2019-2020 season you love Wagner and have Senior Teske (provided he stays, which I'm guessing he does), sophomore or RS frosh Castleton, and then a true freshman.  That is not enough depth at center to weather an injury and be OK.  Plus, bigs take time to develop.  But, heck if Mo comes back, maybe Davis decides he can get more PT somewhere else and wants to transfer.  


March 20th, 2018 at 10:45 AM ^

A prep year for Castleton would make sense in this scenario.

That would also spread the centers out a little more because the next year we would have:

Teske Sr.

Davis RS Jr.

Castleton Fr.

Then when you lose Teske you’d still have an experienced Davis and Castleton.

Mr Miggle

March 20th, 2018 at 11:40 AM ^

One or two players will transfer for more playing time. Quite willingly, with no need to push them out. It happens nearly every season, including with players they would like to keep. Conversely, when has Beilein ever pushed someone out that wasn't a 5th year player?

Also the suggestion that Wagner is not let back is completely insane. He's only been here 3 years and is guaranteed to keep his scholarship as much as anyone else.