Michigan Basketball: Franz Wagner a breakout candidate in 2020-21

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Michigan Basketball

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 14: Franz Wagner #21 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Franz Wagner was a pleasant surprise for Michigan Basketball last season. After recently deciding to return for his sophomore season, he will be more than ready to take the Big Ten conference by storm for the 2020-21 season.

The last name of Wagner likely holds a very special place in any Michigan Basketball fan’s hearts. The weight of that affection can be attributed to Moritz Wagner, who led the Wolverines to both a Big Ten Tournament victory and a National Championship appearance back in 2018. He was the star of the show, through and through, which is shown by his decorated resume.

In 2018, he was a Wooden Award preseason nominee. He capped off that said season with a Big Ten Tournament MVP award and also found himself on the NCAA All-Tournament team in March. The product out of Berlin, Germany etched himself in Michigan Basketball history for good.

Little known to anyone though, at the time, that Moritz had a younger brother who would soon aspire to etch himself in Wolverine history right beside him. That would become rather common knowledge by last season when Franz Wagner announced himself to the college basketball universe in quite impressive fashion (similar to the way his older brother did).

Franz, who was only the 114th nationally-ranked prospect according to 247Sports, likely gave Michigan fans a sense of déjà vu when he shot onto the scene last season. The 6-foot-9, 205-pound hybrid forward averaged a solid 11.6 points per game, 5.6 rebounds per game, 1.3 steals per game and 1.0 assists per game in his debut season. This was good enough for him to score a Big Ten All-Freshman Team spot (something even his brother never accomplished).

Now, after electing to return for his sophomore season, Wagner has some very high expectations to live up to for the 2020-21 season (thanks to both his brother and his performance this prior year). Luckily for Wolverine fans, he’s more than ready to live up to those expectations.

Wagner showcased many promising attributes last season as a freshman; things that – under an expected larger role this next season – he should be able to let further shine under the spotlight. Those attributes are as follows: shooting potential, cutting and slashing prowess, and a great defensive pedigree. Each of those following attributes will be broken down in this article. and will hopefully highlight why Franz is set to carry on the highly-coveted Wagner name in 2020-21.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse