Video & Analysis: Juwan Howard Praises Franz Wagner

Brandon Brown

Freshman guard Franz Wagner has now played in five games and he's starting to find his groove. The big youngster didn't shoot that well against the Hawkeyes, going 4-for-10 from the floor, but scored 18 points, including nine from the free throw line, in 28 minutes of play. 

He continues to improve from the outside and while driving to the basket while he gets into basketball shape and gets his legs under him. He's been pretty good as a defender and has also really made a difference when it comes to securing rebounds or tipping contested boards to uncovered teammates. He's going to be a go-to guy in the lineup and Juwan Howard knows it.

"He’s a big part of our team," Howard said. "As time goes he’s going to become one of the best players to ever play at Michigan."

That's pretty high praise, but Howard knows greatness when he sees it. He said that about Wagner, among other things when speaking to the media after the game.

Brown's Breakdown

I agree with Howard and think Wagner is going to be an absolute stud before it’s all said and done. At 6-9, he simply does things that most guys his height can’t do. He has a knack for getting the edge when he’s driving to the basket regardless of who’s guarding him and he’s been finishing at the hoop a foot or two above the rim because of his length.

Call it hyperbole if you want, but I think of Giannis Antetokounmpo when I watch him. He’s obviously not as tall as Giannis, and I’m not saying he’s going to be the best player in the NBA, but some of the things he does are reminiscent.

The way he’s able to dribble once or twice from the top of the key and finish at the rim over top of defenders while using good angles to score is rare combination of ability, length and skill. He continues to get better from behind the three-point line and as he adds more confidence, weight and strength, he’s going to be virtually unguardable with the ability to score from all areas on the court.

How good do you think Wagner can be? How will he be playing at year's end? Comment below!!!