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March 24, 2014
Hoops: D.J. Wilson enjoys huge game in finale
Michigan basketball's Class of 2014 might not have been as heralded as its 2012 and 2013 groups, but it might prove to be comparable on the court. Fort Myers, Fla., Bishop Verot three-star Ricky Doyle and Portland, Ore., Columbia Christian's Kameron Chatman both had big years, and Sacramento, Calif., forward D.J. Wilson ended his career in style with one of the best games of his career.
Playing against powerful (and much bigger) Bishop O'Dowd High School, featuring 6-10 Ivan Rabb, the nation's No. 3 junior recruit, Wilson finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in running the floor, hitting jumpers, dunking and defending in a 70-60 loss, the Sacramento Bee reported.
"I put in a lot of work to get better - we all did," Wilson said. "It's not the way we wanted to go out, but we played hard. But you've got to hand it to them."
Added Capital Christian coach Devon Jones: "D.J. really stepped up and had the game of his career. He's going out the right way."
Thin but talented, Wilson has shown he's probably better than his No. 135 national ranking. He was held to eight points the first time against Rabb and O'Dowd, but he went toe to toe with one of the nation's best juniors. Rabb countered with 26 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots.
"It was the end for D.J. Wilson, Capital Christian's finest player and, like so many of his teammates, a young man of class and character," the Bee wrote. "He insisted he would have a better showing than his first showing against O'Dowd and backed it up."
He and his teammates made O'Dowd "dig deep," O'Down coach Lou Richie said.
"They're well coached, they have great kids, and they play super hard," he said. "We struggled at times tonight, but that had everything to do with Capital Christian. [Wilson] definitely showed what his potential is. Our game plan was to let him beat us with perimeter shooting. Well, he showed he could do that, and about everything else. He was amazing."
The Cougars finished 28-4, including a semifinal win over defending NorCal champion Mitty in which Wilson scored 13 points, added 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.
"A lot of people didn't think we could do anything like this as a small D-V school, but we showed what we could do," Wilson said. "We grew up together, a lot of us, since elementary school. We found a brotherhood, and we love each other."
Wilson got the same vibe when he visited Michigan, one of the reasons he pledged, and will continue his career in Ann Arbor when he arrives this summer.