The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2018 THE WOLVERINE 79 BY AUSTIN FOX T he 2018 MLB, NBA and NHL drafts have come and gone, and once again Michigan had some im- pressive showings in each. MORITZ WAGNER GIVES BEILEIN YET ANOTHER FIRST- ROUND NBA DRAFT PICK Heading into the NBA Draft June 21, there was plenty of specu- lation that forward Moritz Wagner could be a first-round choice — but it was far from a given. He wound up going No. 25 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers, signify- ing the third straight year U-M has seen a player taken in the first round (Caris LeVert in 2016 to the Indiana Pacers and D.J. Wilson last year to the Milwaukee Bucks were the previ- ous two). In fact, Kentucky and Duke are the only two other schools in the entire country that can also boast that ac- complishment. Wagner's first-round selection also marked the seventh time that head coach John Beilein has seen one of his Wolverines come off the board in the draft's opening frame, and the ninth time he had a draftee during his ten- ure in Ann Arbor (since 2007-08). In chronological order, the previous eight were — Darius Morris (2011, Lakers), Trey Burke (2013, Minnesota Timberwolves), Tim Hardaway Jr. (2013, New York Knicks), Nik Staus- kas (2014, Sacramento Kings), Mitch McGary (2014, Oklahoma City Thun- der), Glenn Robinson III (2014, Tim- berwolves), LeVert (2016, Pacers) and Wilson (2017, Bucks). Of the bunch, Morris and Robinson were the lone second-round choices. "It was a lot of hard work, and a lot of people helped me get to this point," Wagner said after coming off the board on draft night. "I'm so incredibly grateful to be here. I'm speechless." The Berlin native's play last season at U-M was a big reason the Wolver- ines were able to make it all the way to the national championship game. He averaged 14.6 points and 7.1 re- bounds per contest, and was named second-team All-Big Ten by both the coaches and media as a result. Wagner announced his intentions to go pro April 14, just 12 days after the Maize and Blue's magical cam- paign came to an end with a 79-62 loss to Villanova in the national title game. On draft night, ESPN college bas- ketball analyst Jay Bilas broke down what the 6-11 big man brings to the table for the Lakers, whose general manager is former U-M basketball player Rob Pelinka (1988-93). "He's mobile, crafty, fundamen- tally sound, and though he's not a great athlete, he does a solid job on the glass," Bilas explained. "He's not a great rebounder, but blocks out every time, which speaks to his fundamentally sound nature. "Wagner can stretch you out a little bit and make a three, and he's a good passer. He's gotten better year after year at Michigan. He can be a little emotional at times, but he's another great kid in this draft." Since Beilein first took the Wolver- ines to the national championship in 2013, the team's eight NBA Draft Moritz Wagner went No. 25 overall to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Draft June 21, making U-M one of just three schools — along with Kentucky and Duke — to produce a first- round pick in each of the last three years. PHOTO COURTESY NBA ENTERTAINMENT   MICHIGAN IN THE PROS Wolverines Have A Strong Presence In 2018 Pro Drafts

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