Michigan steals one out of California

Michigan went cross country to reel in 6-foot-9 big man D.J. Wilson. The talented 2014 prospect showed significant development at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic this past week.

One of the pleasant surprises of my five-day swing through California was Sacramento (Calif.) Capital Christian School big man D.J. Wilson.

Last time I saw Wilson in action was the summer of 2012. At that time he stood 6-foot-6 and played like a combo forward, now Wilson is every bit of 6-foot-9 and plays the game differently.

"He has had a lot of set backs and a lot of people talking about how he wasn't physical enough or wasn't good enough and he used all that as fuel," Capital Christian coach Devon Jones told Scout.com.

"Now he's playing with a chip on his shoulder and he doesn't want to lose," he added. "He has a mentality that he wants to win a state championship."

To go with Wilson's physical development, there's also been skill development. Wilson has a very good stroke out to 22-feet and he consistently made jump shots in the two games I watched at the MaxPreps Holiday Classic.

"He's versatile," Jones explained. "He's going to hit the three. He's going to post you up. He's going to run in transition and dunk on you. He's going to do it all. He's had three or four games this year with triple doubles and over 10 blocks."

How has it been watching Wilson's development?

"It's been fun to watch, but it's also been frustrating because I push him really hard," Jones said. "However good he's doing now, he still has a long ways ago. We know that. Michigan sees what he could be and that's what I'm pushing him to be."

John Beilein and his staff at Michigan have a reputation for picking up undervalued prospects and developing them into high-level players. Wilson's recruitment didn't pick up until late in the summer.

Michigan beat out Gonzaga, Columbia, California, Colorado, Boise State, Nevada and USC for Wilson's commitment.

"I think coach Beilein and their staff feel that all they have to do is put 25 pounds on this kid and he's going to be a stud," Jones said. "He's a really skilled 6-9 kid. There aren't many of those in the country."

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