Michigan is now 5-0 in Big Ten thanks to Nik Stauskas’ big three pointer against #3 Wisconsin yesterday. The step back three came with Michigan clinging to a 68-67 lead with under a minute to play. To me, it wasn’t the three that should be noted, it was his cool demeanor as he shook off his defender and calmly set his feet on the most critical possession of the game. It’s something I’ve noticed about Stauskas – he’s an amazing shooter, but don’t typecast him as a leadfoot sniper that stands around waiting for his point guard to create shots for him.
Stauskas’ Abilities Goes Past Shooting After Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. bolted to the NBA, Mitch McGary out with an injury, and Glenn Robinson III not playing up to expectations, Stauskas (and Caris LeVert) has stepped up to the plate.
Though Stauskas comes in known primarily for his outside-shooting, there’s something different about the 6-6 Stauskas, something different than what you envision when you think of a great three-point shooters in a college environment.
Not only can Stauskas stroke the three, but he’s capable of putting the ball on the floor, driving to the basket, and put down some nasty two handed dunks in traffic. It’s one of the reasons that the Canadian guard is the Big Ten’s scoring leader. Here’s some highlights of Stauskas showing some nastiness at the basket:
His dunk against Florida State:
Another two handed dunk against Indiana:
Stauskas two handed whammy vs. Minnesota: Hmmm. You see? These aren’t just fast break dunks; those are two handed dunks in traffic. Now Nik isn’t not putting down two handed jams every game, but it’s happened enough where the Michigan bench doesn’t jump up from shock, they jump up to their feet because they’ve seen that shit, and that shit’s exciting.
On top of his athleticism, his shooting and dribbling abilities, there’s a healthy level of cocky arrogance and aggression about Stauskas that you don’t normally see with “three-point specialists” — Nik Stauskas’ game has swagger.