Nik Stauskas Commits to Michigan


Michigan’s season ended on a bitter note versus Duke last weekend but John Beilein and his staff haven’t wasted any time before getting back on the recruiting trail. First it was 2011 big man Max Bielfeldt that committed on Friday. Now 2012 Canadian wing guard Nik Stauskas has opted to pledge his commitment as well.

It’s even Facebook official:
Stauskas is Michigan’s second 2012 commitment, joining forward Glenn Robinson III, and chose Michigan over Kansas, Iowa State and Wake Forest among others. We have a full roundup of scouting reports, videos, rankings and thoughts after the jump.

Offers & Rankings

Stauskas reportedly held scholarship offers from Butler, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Stanford and Wake Forest before making a decision. He was rated a 3-star prospect by all three major scouting services.



Stauskas had a strong AAU season with Grassroots Canada and an even stronger prep season at St. Mark’s Academy this winter. Stauskas named to the NEPSAC Class AA second team and played very well at a number of major tournaments.

Stauskas has terrific shooting range but is more than just a shooter. He does a great job attacking the basket and is an able finisher in the lane. He shows a very good feel for the game and appears to be a solid passer as well. He’s not a great athlete in terms of lateral quickness but he’s an above average leaper. His skill set and shooting ability combined with his 6-foot-5 (and growing) size make him a very intriguing prospect. One scouting website called him a “high major shooter deluxe” and that’s probably fitting; a shooter first and foremost that can do enough of the little things to elevate his game.

New England Recruiting Report (Jan. 17th, 2011):

Finishing with a team-high 24 points on 9-16 shooting, Stauskas showed his versatility as a dynamic scorer with a variety of tough drives to the basket and multiple jumpers from behind the arc.  A solid athlete with a knack for scoring the ball, the six-foot-six junior takes and makes big shots and is more-than-willing to mix it up on the other end as a capable on-ball and team defender.

More from NERR (Dec. 11th, 2010):

Sometimes overshadowed by the dominating inside-outside tandem of Tarczewski and Murphy, Stauskas showed off the versatile offensive skill-set that makes him a potential high-major prospect in his own right.  The 6’6” wing in the class of 2012 single-handedly broke the game open midway through the first half on Friday, culminating his own nine-point scoring spree with an emphatic two-hand dunk in transition.  Finishing with a game-high 19 points, Stauskas shot the ball smoothly from behind the arc, attacked  the rim aggressively from the wing, and got into passing lanes on the defensive-end to create steals that led directly to scores.


Strengths: Stauskas is a well built swingman who can really shoot the basketball. He has good size for the two-guard and has gotten noticeably stronger within the last year. He is a big time shooter who makes shots in bunches and can never be left unchecked anywhere within 25 feet of the rim. He can handle and pass the ball in the open floor, will attack bad closeouts off the dribble, and isn’t afraid to mix it up inside the paint to battle for rebounds.

Weaknesses: Although Stauskas has definitely gotten stronger this year, it may not be good weight. While he is neither especially quick or athletic, he seems to have even lost a step and needs to tone his frame and cut up his physique. He consequently struggles to keep people in front of him on the defensive end of the floor and isn’t a threat to create his own shot off the dribble. He needs to learn to play lower to the ground in order to maximize the quickness he does have and also must continue to develop his handle.

Easily forgotten amongst his two more highly touted classmates, Stauskas showed he can be an effective player at the Division-1 level as well. The scouting report on Stauskas entering the tournament was that he was a good shooter but not much else. Against Life Center Academy, Stauskas showed his range — finishing 4-of-10 from behind the arc — but he also didn’t limit himself to the perimeter, and led his team in scoring with 24 points. A heady player with solid court awareness, Stauskas makes up for his lack of quickness and athleticism with solid defensive positioning, even if he does struggle to keep his man in front of him.

NBE Basketball at NBPA Camp 2010:

Stauskas had no trouble with the uptick in competition at this camp and seemed to relish it from the get-go (dropped 17 in his first game). Big guard/wing who has a nice handle, has a dead-eye from deep and finishes through contact. Youngster I was eager to watch and really impressed me. Will enjoy any chance I get to see him in July as well. Plays with a lot of confidence and looks like he could still be growing. Very strong player with deep range and a good athlete to boot. High major 2 guard without a doubt. Plays AAU with Grassroots Canada. Underrated IMHO but that won’t last long.


Bottom Line

Stauskas is a great fit because of his size and shooting ability. He’s versatile enough to play numerous positions in Michigan’s offense – most likely the two and three – and will be a great complement to some of the other guards on Michigan’s roster. Joining the roster after Stu Douglass and Zack Novak graduate, there’s also a pretty significant hole in regards to three point scoring production.

Stauskas fills Michigan’s final available 2012 scholarship, as you can see on our full scholarship breakdown here. [Update: Morris testing the draft waters means that he’s almost assuredly gone after his junior year, leaving one additional scholarship in 2012.] Considering the potential of early draft entries and attrition, I would suspect that Michigan will continue to pursue 2012 options but also put the full court press on 2013 prospects heading into the summer.

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