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The Re-Recruitment of Wagner and Wilson

The chances of seeing them in the maize and blue one last time? Pretty good.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan vs Louisville Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

After an emotional 2016-2017 season with many ups and downs, the Michigan basketball team was able to finish strong and get into the Sweet 16, narrowly losing by 1 to Oregon. It left the Michigan faithful with a lot of optimism for the next year.

Then came the announcement by forwards Wagner and Wilson that they were both - for the moment, at least - declaring for the NBA draft. The momentum went from full of optimism to complete uncertainty. The fan base has no right to doubt John Beilein, but it does have some precedent to doubt whether Michigan, under Beilein, can reload this quickly.

Funnily enough, Wagner and Wilson were two players who went from occasionally making headlines in the Big Ten to being nationally covered in the matter of a month. At the end of the season, both were projected by some boards to be 1st round draft picks to the NBA.

So, on Monday, April 10, both declared they were going to enter the draft via Twitter. However, neither of them hired agents, which means they could still decide to stay after participating in the combine. Now that the combine is over, here are each of their chances to stay.

Moritz Wagner

Wagner did not perform well at the combine. An article by Fox Sports regarding winners and losers in the combine did not have a positive review of him. His shot was off and he did not impress with his athleticism in comparison with the other draftees. In an interview with Bill Simonson on May 13, on the Huge Show, Michigan Insider Chris Balas claimed he was absolutely sure Wagner would return.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Indianapolis Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

He had a great sophomore season and who could fault him for wanting to work out at the NBA combine, but going into the draft at this time would be unwise. The fact of the matter is he still has some work to do. Most of the time, he was a liability on defense. He rebounded poorly and got in foul trouble regularly. He also had trouble passing out of double teams. These are all fixable issues, but he needs to fix them. Conclusion: Wagner is coming back.

D.J. Wilson

It’s not necessarily that he didn’t perform well at the combine, he didn’t perform much at all. He was held out by a quad injury and couldn’t showcase any of his athletic ability or gameplay. He really could not afford for this to happen. He is not high profile enough of a prospect for NBA teams to take a second look at him, or even to take a gamble on him if they did.

Michigan v Oregon Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Wilson had a great sophomore season, but he had a lot of extended time and some whole games when he disappeared on the glass and the scoreboard. His shot at the NBA can only improve with another year in college. Conclusion: Wilson is coming back.

There you have it. Michigan fans should be VERY optimistic about seeing this duo return. They are both great team guys, love Michigan, and there’s been no fall out from the team or coaching staff from their decision to try the NBA on for size. Beilein knows it. Chris Balas knows it. Fox Sports apparently knows it. Wagner and Wilson are coming back.