Juwan Howard’s first year at head coach for the Michigan Wolverines early on looked like it might be a bit of a struggle without any proven offensive playmakers on the team, but that outlook may be changing now that German wing Franz Wagner (yes, the brother of Moe) is Ann Arbor-bound for his freshman season.
During his play at the FIBA U18 European Championships from July 27 to Aug. 4, Wagner averaged 24 points, nine rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks per 40 minutes played.
#German forward prospect Franz Wagner has excellent size for a wing at 6-8 with decent length. @DraftExpress got a glimpse of what makes him such an intriguing prospect at the 2019 @FIBA U18 #European Championship in #Greece >> https://t.co/SbM1s6NiIU pic.twitter.com/Oi74W8Ythm— DraftExpressContent (@DXContent) August 12, 2019
Jonathan Givony of ESPN (ESPN+ content) broke down Wagner and his skill-set coming out of the tournament. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say.
“Wagner has excellent size for a wing at 6-8 with decent length and a frame that is on the narrow side and will certainly need time to fill out.
He’s aggressive in the open floor, highly creative with the way he finishes around the basket. He shows potential attacking closeouts for pull-up jumpers or even stepbacks from beyond the arc. He’s also a team player with a mature approach to the game on both ends.
Wagner has excellent shooting mechanics and made 38% of his 3s this season (and 90% of his free throws), so it is likely that he’s a better shooter than what he demonstrated at this tournament. His lack of strength, average athleticism and overall inconsistent play led most scouts in Volos to surmise that Wagner will need a few years of seasoning at Michigan.”
Wagner committed to Michigan back in early July and enrolled not too long after that, giving the Wolverines a potential future star to build around. Like his brother, it may take a few years for things to click for him, but the potential he brings to the table is apparent.
Wagner is a four-star prospect and the 27th-ranked small forward in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. He joined a 2019 class that includes another four-star forward in Cole Bajema (Lynden, Washington).