Mailbag: Bolivia, Stauskas Comparables, Nice Places To Put Money Comment Count

Brian December 5th, 2012 at 3:53 PM

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Greetings from Bolivia!



Kevin is in Bolivia, and he wanted to add something to the blog's many ways to say "you are going to Bolivia." This our community.

Stauskas comparables.


Stoudamire and Korver. I know I broke the rule that white players have to be compared to white players.

Hey Brian,


What’s the ceiling for Stauskas?

I had hoped coming in that he could turn into our version of Jon Diebler but if you look at his early numbers, they compare pretty favorably to Diebler’s senior season, especially on a per minute basis.

I’m sure there is some regression this year but coming it’s also not crazy to expect some year to year improvement.  Can we expect him to be a 20ppg scorer by his junior year?  Should we be worried about him leaving early??


We of course don't know yet after just eight games, only three of which came against tourney-type competition. But I think you're both right and wrong that it's higher than Diebler. The wrong part: Diebler was literally the most efficient offensive player in the country as a senior and he wasn't far off his junior year. Stauskas can't really do better than 50% from three long term, unless he is literally the greatest shooter in the history of college basketball.

The right part: a large part of that stemmed from Diebler's role in the offense as Guy Who Sits In Corner And Rains In Threes Generated By Sullinger Guy. His usage and %shots dipped significantly in his final year, and he took about 80% of his shots from long range. Stauskas is currently at just over 50% and has a free throw rate that ranks.

We've just seen him start running the pick and roll productively, attacking the basket productively, and displaying a crossover Tim Hardaway Jr. envies. Stauskas has shown the potential to generate shots, not just take them. (This doesn't show up in the stats yet, it is an eye thing at the moment.) He's also just a freshman, one playing with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. Once those guys are in the NBA, his usage should rocket upward, not decline.

Statistically, the guy's long term future may be more like Salim Stoudamire, who did this in 2005 for the Arizona outfit that lost to the Williams/Brown/Head Illinois team in OT for the right to go to the Final Four:

Salim Stoudamire 2005

ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% AR TOR FTR FTM-FTA 2PM-2PA 3PM-3PA
126.1 22.2 24.6 64.7 13 19.3 32.1 122-134 90-179 120-238

That's 91% from the line, 50% from 2, and 50% from three with a nearly-even split between shots inside the arc+FTs and threes with a high usage rate.

That was good enough to see him go at the top of the second round as a senior, but Stoudamire is 6'1", not 6'6". Also I'd guess Stauskas would have a better assist rate just based on what we've seen so far.

Other bigtime snipers in the Kenpom age are not particularly good fits just because they often come from small schools on which they were far and away the best option, so they take up huge percentages of their teams shots and subsequently fire at a lower percentage. Stephen Curry put up over 30% of his team's shots in his three years and was the #1 guy in usage as a senior with a whopping 38%; he shot "just" 39% from three as a result. Same thing with Jimmer Fredette and JJ Redick.

The exception is Kyle Korver.

Kyle Korver 2003

ORtg %Poss %Shots eFG% AR TOR FTR FTM-FTA 2PM-2PA 3PM-3PA
129.6 N/A 25.2 63.2 17.6 15.8 30.6 109/120 54/122 129/269

Again around 90% from the line, 44% from inside the arc, and 48% from three, but with reasonable shooting rates and a good assist output. At 6'7", Korver is also the closest comparison in terms of height.

That's about the ceiling since Stauskas is going to spend his career with guys like Burke and Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin and GRIII and so forth and so on. Pretty nice ceiling.

As far as the other two questions: it's really hard to be a 20 PPG scorer unless you've got a usage rate in the Redick/Fredette/Curry range and I don't think Stauskas will have to be that guy, so no, and it doesn't seem like any of these snipers save Curry was coveted by the NBA early. Korver and Stoudamire were second round picks; Fredette and Redick went at the tail end of the lottery after four-year careers; Curry was the seventh pick after three years. NBA teams are going to want to see if Stauskas can carry a team and get to the rim before they spend a high draft pick on him, so I'd bet on three or four years.


to tie all the coaching changes together, any chance Scott Loeffler ends up back at michigan in some sort of QB coach capacity?


No. Borges doesn't want to work with a QB coach after he didn't like it in his two years at SDSU, and for whatever reason I've heard that Loeffler is not likely to return in any capacity under Hoke.

Besides, who's leaving to make room? These guys are pretty tight-knit. I would expect the only coaching changes Michigan deals with in the near future are because of retirements from Jackson and Mattison, and there's going to be a war for Jackson's spot between Wheatley and Hart, amongst others.


I know one of the negatives of the conference expansion you've personally taken umbrage with is the potential damage that could result from the excess money generated in the years to come by the Big Ten Network and its competitors. They'll run out of things to build, as you say. Corruption is always just around the corner.

Is there some rule against directing profits back to the university, or the endowments of the schools? I seem to remember Bill Martin always gave a million or so back to M at the end of the fiscal year. What would be wrong with that model? Doesn't the athletic department exist for the benefit of the university?

Secondly, and most people will probably not agree with me on this point, but couldn't the breadwinners of the conference more fully share their good fortune with the poorer members? After all, we wouldn't be Michigan if we didn't beat up on Minnesota year after year. Doesn't their participation in the Little Brown Jug count somewhat financially? I'm no socialist, but the better we all do in the B1G, the better for M.

Class of 2004

Athletic departments are rarely profitable because they don't have to be, and the will expand to fill the available money. Whether it's by adding sports, building new facilities, or increasing the amount of money coaches get paid, there will always be too much money being spent to have any meaningful impact on the rest of the university. We're talking about a few million dollars of surplus; the University of Michigan's 2012-2013 budget projects an operating revenue of six billion dollars.

I mean, on the other side of the coin campuses like Rutgers slap a surcharge on their students of a couple hundred dollars. Compare that to tuition costs. Right: it does not compare.

As far as helping the less fortunate, what's left to share? Every school in the league gets an equal cut of all bowl and TV revenue, even nonconference games. Even the gate revenues are shared to some extent. If any Big Ten team getting a conference cut of 22 million dollars can't stay afloat, they do not deserve to be afloat.

The excessive revenue sharing is actually a problem, IMO: since there is little financial incentive provided by having a more attractive television product, the gate is the thing. Thus many boring games against not good teams.


Prior to Brady's arrival, M always seemed to have backs capable of breaking tackles at the LOS or at least pushing the pile forward for an extra 3-4 yards.  Even under the finesse regime of RR, Minor Rage could break through tackles and get extra yardage. In Brady's tenure, when the backs don't have a gaping hole, they are either stopped cold at the LOS or bounce once or twice before being stopped cold. Size does not seem to be an issue since both Fitz and Rawls are way bigger than Mike Hart who was always able to advance the pile a few yards.

Do you think this is an issue with talent, are they being coached differently than before, or is it somehow an OL issue?  Hard to understand since Fred Jackson has been the lone constant over these periods.

Wolverine in Savannah

A combination of talent and OL and possibly some decline in Jackson.

There is a point at which any coach gets too old and cracks start appearing in the foundation as they age. This is clearest with head coaches (SMILE) but it happens with everyone in all walks of life. I'd imagine it's particularly acute in jobs like football that will suck up any and all available time if you let it, which you have to until you're old and institutional like Jackson. Jackson's probably approaching that point where he's a tree that sometimes remembers he's a football coach.

And then there's the talent. Denard has some talent and just set a Michigan record for yards per attempt. It is possible to run long distances still. Rawls and Smith and to a lesser extent Toussaint—who did have a nifty 2011—have never shown similar capabilities. The stable at running back is legitimately thin.

And there is an OL aspect to this as well. When you're trying to dodge or tackle a guy downfield usually you've got some steam and/or some space. You have neither in the backfield, and neither when two guys are converging on you, or one guy is totally unblocked. It's a lot easier to power through a guy standing still or still dealing with a block or coming from an outside angle because he had to. When they're a train running on the same track as you, things get bad.

All of the above! Hopefully two of the three things get fixed soon.


Flying Dutchman

December 5th, 2012 at 4:11 PM ^

I will take a shot at Stauskas collegiate ceiling:   think Adam Morrison.     Good size, ridiculous shooter, kind of fits in to that semi-athletic semi-awkward white guy thing. 

Considering Michigan plays a tougher schedule than Gonzaga and with probably more talented teammates also having the ball, I think Nik will be a 4-year player and will probably score a 20-pt/game clip or near to it for the last 2 years.

Don't take into account anything from Morrison's professional non-career.   That doesn't count.


Blue boy johnson

December 5th, 2012 at 6:18 PM ^

Having watched Nik, I think he has more upside than Adam Morrison.

RIp Hamilton is a guy I would make some comparison to  Nik Stauskas. Rip was a 7 pick in the NBA, played on very talented UConn teams and had to fit into his role in college and pro.

Nik and Rip's games have differences and similarities but I am kinda feeling the comparison

EDIT: Klay Thompson (Washington State) is another decent comparison. 11th overall pick in NBA draft after 3 years of college. Probably a little more athletic than Nik but probably not quite the shooter. Just thinking upside, not saying Nik is there yet.


December 5th, 2012 at 4:19 PM ^

Re: running backs - the Hoke running backs are basically Fitz, and the occasional underclassman Rawls, and Fitz has never been a tackle breaking runner. So it's not that Hoke running backs don't break tackle, it's just that the one RB who has gotten significant carries under Hoke is more of a finesse guy than a tackle breaker.

And Fitz is not bigger that Mike Hart. He might be an inch taller, but Hart was stout, unlike Fitz.


December 5th, 2012 at 4:29 PM ^

but did number 21 in the Stoudemire pick have a flappin banana in his pocket, or was he just REALLY happy for Salim's latest 3 pointer?


hurr hurr.  


December 5th, 2012 at 4:35 PM ^

I think it is odd that someone would think RBs under Hoke have been bad but were fine under RichRod. That is not my recollection.

RB has been a problem for a while now. Since Chris Perry in 2003, only Mike Hart and Denard Robinson have been a consistent run threat. And if you recall 2003 and Perry's 52 carries against MSU, he was the only one able to tote the rock even then. Then you're back to the ridic OL of 2000 before you get a decent running game again.

I think this supports the conclusion that the OL is the real culprit and has been for more than 10 years.


December 5th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

True, except by the mid-00s, we started to have a situation where one or two guys on the line were great, one or two were fair, and one was not where we wanted to be.  That's how you have situations like the famous pic from the 2007 OSU game.  The o-line play definitely was in decline territory by that time.  Especially depth.  It was a disaster by 2008.


December 6th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

Seem to remember it being an official blog from the NFL Europe website.  (M education pays off.)

Also Jonathan Goodwin took Baas's former position as starting C for the 49ers.  Drafted by the Jets, then was starting center for the Saints in their 2009 Super Bowl Season & reserve 2010 Pro Bowler.  Maybe not a big star, but he's had (and still has) a very productive pro career.  (Was that the third guy you were thinking of, Jasper?  Drafted in 2002.)


December 5th, 2012 at 4:48 PM ^

The last question states that Rich Rod had a powerful back that could gain extra yards in Minor. Minor was actually recruited by Carr, so even though he played under Rich Rod he was actually a Carr recruit. I don't think this is a issue with the Hoke Era. because he is still dealing with the cards he was dealt to a certrain extent. You have to remember Hoke only has 1 and half classes that he is recruited and those are all underclassmen.

On top of that I do agree that our OL has not played good this year. Good OL play can make even a average back look good.

By no means would I say the backs not powering through runs or breaking tackles is a coaching issue at this point. Fitz is a finesse guy all the way. Vincent Smith weighs 160 lbs soaking wet. And even though I like Rawls let's face it, he was a kid that only MAC schools and low BCS schools had offered. There was a reason for that.


December 5th, 2012 at 4:56 PM ^

has the intellectual imagination of Einstein, the acuity of a Phil Roth around 1985 and the football smarts of Fritz Crisler. Lastly, he remains as youthful and cogent as Bo circa 1969. Fred Jackson, my friends, is not a tree.


December 5th, 2012 at 5:11 PM ^

obs not a college comparison but watching Stauskas plays and seeing his potential reminds me of a little bit of Ginoboli. Not super athletic but can get to his spots on the floor. Above average passer and clutch from 3pt range.

I didn't look at any of the stats but I imagine Stauskas will have a higher 3pt% then Ginoboli. The latter is more just clutch whereas to this point Stauskas has just been a sniper of late.


I guess I just would like to see him evolve to a player with Manu's skill set. Probably won't get as many playmaking opportunities until Burke is gone though. Probably when it's he and GRIII's team in a couple years.



December 5th, 2012 at 5:17 PM ^

Okay, let's face it, Stauskas has exceeded all of our early-season expectations.  He's been great in all aspects of his game and the fact that we're comparing him to some great players should put a smile on our faces.  But let me temper expectations slightly:

  • Stauskas thru first 7 games:   .957 FT%/.522 2P%/.621 3P%
  • Smotrycz thru 2011 non-conference:  .719/.565/.579

We all know how that turned out.  It seems unlikely that Stauskas would suffer a major drop in performance like that, but as more film is out on him, as the schedule gets tougher, and if an injury forced him to play as the focal point of the offense I could see a bump in the road.   


December 5th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

I refuse to believe that Fred Jackson has anything to do with the failure of Rawls and Toussaint to churn out extra yards.  What is he doing in practices and games to prevent those guys from gaining yards?  

"Hey, guys.  Go out there and run until somebody hits you, and then fall down!  Now, has anyone seen my Metamucil?"

Michigan's running backs aren't that talented outside of Fitzgerald Toussaint, and it looks to me like Toussaint got slower since last year.  Maybe he didn't work hard enough in the offseason, maybe he put on some bad weight, maybe the S&C program didn't prepare him properly.  Would it be surprising that a kid who got a drunk driving charge and was suspended for the first game might not have been in great football shape to start the year?

Michigan often had a stud running back like Tyrone Wheatley, Chris Perry, and Anthony Thomas to tote the ball.  A couple surprises appeared along the way, like Biakabutuka and Mike Hart.  Otherwise, the talent just hasn't been there (Chris Howard, Clarence Williams, Sam McGuffie, Michael Shaw, etc.).

There is no stud on the roster right now, and the mediocre guys hearken back to the days of Clarence Williams.  Mediocre running back play is nothing new at Michigan.  It's just that it's magnified because the quarterback play from Denard Robinson was so terrible.  And you'll notice that Toussaint, who averaged 4.0 YPC on the year, had 34 carries for 202 yards (5.9 YPC) in the three games that Devin Gardner - who can actually throw the ball - played quarterback.


December 5th, 2012 at 6:06 PM ^

If Denard's "terrible" QB play makes running impossible, how was Denard able to run so much? I don't think Denard was a better thrower last year, yet Touissant got many more yards.

And the Gardner games hardly change my perception of 2012 Fitz. He got a couple big runs and a lot of futile carries for 2 or fewer yards. He was not a guy like Hart who could carry the ball 20 plays in a row and keep the chains moving.


December 5th, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

I'm not sure it's fair to lump Sam McGuffie into the no talent pool.  He had the worst Michigan line I've seen in my lifetime to run behind and had concussions (probably to some extent caused by the poor line) and family concerns that cut short his Michigan career.  We don't know what could have been with Denard and McGuffie in the same backfield.

I also think we're giving too much credit to Devin improving Fitz's rushing numbers.  The three teams that have a tenuous understanding of how to play defense that Devin and Fitz played against together probably contributed more to the boost than anything Devin did.


December 5th, 2012 at 7:58 PM ^

McGuffie has since ended up at Rice, where he has put up pedestrian numbers (240 carries, 1047 yards, 7 touchdowns; 97 catches, 979 yards, 9 touchdowns).  I don't think 4.4 yards per carry and 10.1 yards per reception as a receiver qualifies as being supremely talented.  He's not a bum, but really, he's just a guy.


December 5th, 2012 at 5:53 PM ^

Isn't some of the issue on the OL that RR both recruited and trained for OL who were slightly lighter and more mobile for the zone-blocking scheme, and now we're trying to get some of these guys to pretend that they're Wisconsin-esque big lugs meant mostly just to push the other guy backwards on every play for all intents and purposes?

And this isn't a knock against RR btw, just an argument that we've talked so much about how Denard has had to adjust and now the transition to a more integrated passing offense with Devin being difficult in some ways, and I think you can say that the line has to undergo a similar transition, and it's the toughest thing to change because it takes OL longer to become play-ready, so we're first seeing Hoke's guys next year maybe.

Urban Warfare

December 5th, 2012 at 6:34 PM ^

In regards to athletic department spending, OSU's athletic department contributes about $20 million to the school's general scholarship pool annually.  They also paid for approximately half of the Thompson Library renovation out of athletic department revenue.  OSU is obviously in a different situation than smaller schools, but there is no reason an athletic department at a major university has to be a financial black hole.   


December 5th, 2012 at 7:38 PM ^

While Texas had a bit to do with conference realignment due its desire to be more heavily compensated via its network, etc.,, it is obvious that in the B1G that Michigan, Ohio, PSU and possibly Nebraska will be real revenue generators due to the size of their facilities, ticket prices, etc..  Michigan and OSU also have very large fan bases and TV viewership that corresponds to the fan bases..

Does anyone think that there will come a time when the powers that be look for a bit more of the pie due to the unequal revenue they generate?


December 6th, 2012 at 1:34 AM ^

Mattison needs to stick around for at least another 5 years. I think in the next two years he will build one of top 5 defenses in the country! This will bode well for Michigan to win plenty of B1G championships and potentially a NC!

The Wolf

December 6th, 2012 at 10:17 AM ^

I think we all hope that he stays around for another five years . . . or 20, whatever the case may be.  Somewhat obsessively, I must admit that I find myself wondering who will/would be the guy to take over for Mattison.  Years in advance so many things can change, I know, but I can't help but worry now that we have seen the effect that such a proven commodity can have on the team.