Michigan assistant Bacari Alexander talks Mark Donnal’s development and compares Moe Wagner’s game to current and former U-M greats.

Michigan assistant basketball coach Bacari Alexander talked to media last week during U-M’s media day activities. In part-3 of our interview with Alexander, he discusses development of toughness in sophomore PF Mark Donnal, and compares freshman PF Moe Wagner game to current and former Wolverines.

I have to ask about Mark Donnal, at times we always knew he could shoot, is he willing to be a more body on the inside? Are you seeing that this season early on?

Bacari Alexander: “We’re really developing that in Mark’s game now. He came as a big that could stretch defenses 17-feet to (3-point range). Now it’s time to mix it up in that third year. We want to see him not only banging more, but getting those traffic rebounds more, giving us extra possessions on the glass. And the work he did in spring and summer that got him back up to 240-pounds is something that is really encouraging. By far it’s probably his best spring and summer off-season that we’ve see during his time here at Michigan. And early indications are showing that it’s paying off.”

One last thing on Moe Wagner, I don’t really know his game, is there another player you can even compare him to? What does he bring out there? Is he so raw that he has so much potential? What is it about him that stands out right now?  

Bacari Alexander: “His intelligence is at a really high level. What we are hopeful that he can bring some of the elements to the table that past players like Zak Novak brought. Zak was known for his shooting, his toughness, and his grit. But he was also known for his high I.Q. and skill level in terms of passing and making others better. So we want to continue to develop him in that way.

“But more importantly, he is a guy in certain situations, foul trouble, things of that nature, you can also use in your freshman year. When I think back of Caris LeVert waiting in the wings during his freshman year and emerging late at home against Michigan State all the way to the Final Four, Moe Wagner could be a very big piece for us not only early in the season, but throughout late in the season as well.”

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