Wagner wraps up European Championship with 32-point effort

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
Moritz Wagner

Michigan’s Moritz Wagner spent part of his summer representing his home country and sharpening his skills overseas.

After a slow start in the FIBA Under-20 European Championship in Greece, Wagner erupted for 32 points to power Germany to a 79-73 win over Iceland Sunday and a seventh-place finish in the nine-day, 16-team tournament.

Wagner, a Berlin native, shot 12-for-19 from the field (1-for-2 on 3-pointers) and 7-for-8 from the free-throw line, with six rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes in the victory. At one point in the third quarter, he scored 10 straight points over an 86-second span to turn a seven-point deficit into a 51-48 lead for Germany, which finished 3-4 in the tournament.

Wagner, a 6-foot-11 junior-to-be, led Germany in scoring (16.1 points) and rebounds (5.3) in seven games. He ranked second among all forwards in points per game and tied for 11th among all positions.

He also tied for fifth in free-throw shooting at 80.6 percent (29-for-36) and 11th in overall field-goal percentage at 50.6 percent (41-for-81) despite shooting 16.7 percent (2-for-12) from 3-point range.

Wagner, 20, got off to a rough start in the tournament with back-to-back single-digit scoring performances in group play – lowlighted by a 2-for-13 shooting night in the opener against Sweden – but found his rhythm and closed out with five straight double-figure showings.

After scoring 10 in the final group play game against eventual tournament champion Greece, Wagner posted a pair of 23-point outings in a three-point win over Turkey in the Round of 16 and a four-point loss to Lithuania.

Wagner’s performance was an encouraging sign since he figures to be a focal point of Michigan’s offense and take on a larger role this year after averaging 12.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in 38 games as a starter last season.


Twitter @jamesbhawkins