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Will Michigan target Franz Wagner stay in Germany or commit to Michigan?

Moritz Wagner’s younger brother is set to make a tough decision about his future

Texas A&M v Michigan Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are still in contention for a top international recruit, Franz Wagner. For months, Wagner has been contemplating whether he will continue to play professional ball in Germany for Alba Berlin, or come to Ann Arbor and play collegiately for Michigan.

Wagner is a highly talented small forward who has a ton of potential. Many experts have projected Wagner as an NBA caliber player, someone who would easily be a top-50 recruit in the 2019 class if they ranked international players.

Franz is 6-foot-7, 190lbs, but plays more of a guard-style than forward on the floor. He has very impressive mechanics on his shooting stroke and hits shots consistently from behind the arc.

The German guard played 9.5 minutes per game in 22 games for Alba Berlin last season. He averaged 2.5 points and 1.5 rebounds per game playing professional basketball as a 17 year old.

A move to Michigan could mean much more playing time for the young prospect. There is also U-M familiarity because of his brother’s (Moe Wagner) experience with the Michigan basketball program.

Franz said in an interview with Draft Express that he was still living with his parents in Berlin while playing professional basketball in Germany. The familiarity that he has at home with his parents is something that will be very difficult to give up.

John Beilein flew out to Germany on a dime to visit the Wagner family in the recruiting effort of Moritz. He did the same in late-April for Franz after the Wolverines 2018-19 season. Then, Franz visited Ann Arbor when the team was without a head coach after Beilein signed with the Cavs.

Moe sat down with Zach Shaw of The Michigan Insider and said, “his younger brother wasn’t going to commit to a school without a coach, but noted that the younger Wagner is aware [of] Michigan, particularly if its assistants remain on the staff.”

Moritz concluded the interview saying “he’s my brother, and we live our different lives. He’s not the same person. So if he wants to (go to Michigan), I’m obviously very involved and wish him the best with everything, but I’m not going to tell him what to do.”

If Wagner was to come to Michigan, he would have to rely on a new face, Juwan Howard. The only member of the Beilein-Moe Wagner era that is still on Howard’s coaching staff is Saddi Washington. The good news is that Washington played an integral part in the development of Moritz over his three seasons in the maize and blue.

Franz also told the Morgenpost, a newspaper in Berlin, his worries about playing in the United States. He mentioned that only two European players who headed to college actually made the NBA, one being his brother. He also praised his coach, Aíto García Reneses, who has been a head coach since 1973.


Does Michigan land Franz Wagner?

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