Ann Arbor, MI – Rapidly rising sophomore Nik Stauskas tied his career high with 26 points in leading the Michigan Wolverines to a 75-67 victory over the previously high scoring Iowa Hawkeyes on Tuesday night.
Stauskas scored 15 of those points in the first half as Michigan carved out a four point halftime lead and later took the margin to eleven points. Stauskas also added five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in another of several recent breakout performances.
Literally not on any 2014 NBA Mock Drafts eighteen months ago, Stauskas has played his way onto 2nd round boards and most recently into a very possible 1st round 20-30 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.
Always considered one of the best catch and shoot wings in the collegiate ranks, Stauskas has recently raised eyebrows with his play off the bounce. Coach John Beilein’s offense affords Stauskas numerous screen roll opportunities with the #5 man out of numerous sets and actions. He has become extremely adept and versatile with this weapon.
He steps back for the trey initially or he uses various changes of pace and or direction to keep the two defenders guessing as to what he’s going to do- all the while eyeing the roll man for an opening or for an opportunity for himself to pull up for a deuce or to take it to the rim.
If the defense forces him left, he takes the opportunity as he is sufficient or better going that way- especially with the extra space. As he gets deeper into the lane, he gets fouled often and he hits a high percentage of his attempts there.
Stauskas’ body has improved significantly since he enrolled at Michigan and his athletic ability has always been somewhat underestimated. From a stereotypical catch and shoot player in the half court and in transition, he has developed a diversification with the ball that makes him a dangerous threat in any offensive situation.
Don Sicko is a Scout and Correspondent for NetScouts Basketball.