The Stauskas Effect.

Submitted by MichiganMan14 on March 5th, 2014 at 2:39 AM

I will be the first to admit that I've been as critical about Nik Stauskas as anyone.  I questioned his ability to combat athletic on ball defense.  I questioned his short area quickness and his consistency.  I also cringed watching him defend other elite wings.  Nik Stauskas is not a finished product....but I'll be damned if he is not the Player of The Year in the B1G.  This kid has shown such tremendous growth in just a year's time.  He has transformed from a corner shooter to a playmaking offensive machine.  Nik Stauskas has answered the bell and his contributions this season have spearheaded the best conference run in recent Michigan History.


I'd like to bounce some ideas off of my fellow Michigan enthusiasts of which I'm referring to as the Stauskas Effect.  There are several chain reaction events that I have identified and have attributed to the development of Nik Stauskas's game.  These are opinions and this post is meant to spark positive conversation so please chime in! 

The Stauskas Effect:

1. Led to the Pressure-Less development of Caris Levert in a sort of Robin-like role to Nik's Batman.  Caris has been able to ease into the #2 scorer role without the pressure of the opposition's top defender.  This will be huge next season as Caris may be a #1 option.

2.  Nik's development has also lessened the pressure to rush Zak Irvin into the fold which likely makes Zak a 3-4 year player all while allowing Zak to have substantial contributions this season.  I see a lot of Nik in Zak and I believe that Zak is in for a huge jump next season.  Caris Levert's assertion offensively and GR3+ The Beast hopefully returning will still render Zak a 3rd or 4th scoring option....which means hes sticks around a few years :)  This also means that DJ Wilson and Kameron Chatman will have time to develop behind Irvin and Walton which will allow for seemless changing of the guards leadership wise over the next 4 years of Michigan Basketball.  This is truly huge and does NOT happen if Nik doesn't morph into the POY candidate that he is.  His development has added years onto Zak.....GR3...Walton .and likely Chatman's career. 

3. Nik's 1v1 ability has also lessened the pressure of Derrick Walton's development due to Nik's ability to create and the rate in which we give Nik the rock at the top of the key.  Walton has been able to play off of Nik and hasn't had to face the oppostion's best defenders as a result.  This has allowed Walton to avoid being thrown into the fire so to speak and will pay dividends down the road.  (Spike is also due much credit for easing Walton in) 

4.  The Internationa (Stauskas)l Effect.  Nik is Canadian...duh.  It's one thing to claim that your a world wide recruting program.  It's another to take an underrated kid from Canada and develop him to Stardom in the Nation's toughest conference.  Belein has done just that.  Somewhere there is an underrated Canadian...or Australian...or British kid with a world of talent just waiting to be tapped into.  He will be approached by a few universities that will promise the world.  When Michigan comes calling....he will have a real life example to follow and believe in.  Canada is an untapped gold mine that is just waiting to flourish.  Nik has opened the flood gates for future Canadian athletes in Ann Arbor amongst other nations.

5.  The Re-inforcement of "Michigan Swag".  Michigan has been known for having players in the past that had a little spice in their game.  Players that were better than you and they let you know about it with demonstrative gestures and maybe even a little jaw-jacking.  Some purists may not prefer this type of behavior and to each his own.  Nik Stauskas has "Swag".  He plays with a chip and an extra bounce.  He makes being a "Shooter" cool...even though we now know he is much more than just a shooter.  Nik is what we used to call on the playground, "a Bad Ass White Boy".  I think Nik has taken right where Tim and Trey left off and carried the load as the Michigan Star player.  He had a Februrary lull but has really picked it up.  I think kids that watch Nik will gravitate to our program because at Michigan you can be a Scholar Athlete of the highest caliber and look damn good doing it.  A lot of people not in tune with the 16-22 year old mindframe may disagree....but "Swag" is important especially in recruiting.  Nik has it and has made us look damn good this season.  Luke Kennard is a name that I would watch going forward....he is the perfect example of a kid that could replicate Nik's game in college.  (and not just because he is white)

6.  Nik's probable B1G Player of the year award will cement Michigan as a guard/wing hot bed in the Midwest and start to pay even bigger dividends on the recruiting trail. Nik in just the past 4 years.  We are putting elite NBA talent out year after year and it's going to get noticed.  Tim and Trey last year could be looked at as a rare output.  Not with Nik following up their departure in as grand a fashion as this.  We are approaching Guard U least as far as the Midwest is concerned. 


I'll be honest with you...I think Nik Stauskas goes pro.  He is a top 20 pick and despite his defensive inability and need for additional strength....he is still a solid 1st round draft pick.  Another year could make him a lottery lock and folk hero in Ann Arbor to the Nth degree......but I just don't think we're going to be that lucky..  I'd love to be wrong. 




Bando Calrissian

March 5th, 2014 at 2:51 AM ^

All I know is the guy was absolutely cold blooded tonight. That 3-pointer where he just kind of dribble-faked with a guy in his face and drained a three anyway, with a bunch of time on the shot clock, is as much confidence as you can ask for out of a kid.

turd ferguson

March 5th, 2014 at 3:23 AM ^

It blows my mind how many NBA players Beilein and his staff are developing right now.  Just from the last two seasons, it looks to me like we'll have at least eight guys who will eventually make it to the NBA (Burke, Hardaway, McGary, Robinson, Stauskas, LeVert, Walton, and Irvin).  Some of the guys have some maturing to do as players - especially Walton and Irvin - but if they're anything like the other guys on that list they should develop more than enough to find themselves on an NBA roster at some point.

Last year, I figured that Stauskas would be an eventual NBA player as a three-point specialist who would serve a valuable role on the bench (and generate some other offense).  At this point I think he's a potential NBA starter someday and the type of player and personality who will attract other top talent to Michigan over the next few years as guys who want to follow his lead (shooters who see what Beilein can do with them, Canadians who want to play real basketball, etc.).

The other good news in all of this is that the NBA might get a little more watchable for Michigan fans.  We're about to have a lot of guys in there to cheer for.


March 5th, 2014 at 3:27 AM ^

One Stauskis Effect is opposing fans trying to be clever by chanting "USA USA", immediately followed by Nik draining a three.

Another effect is that Nik clearly loves to play. That is highly contagious and great fun to watch.


March 5th, 2014 at 2:35 PM ^

For real chills, you need to have heard Roger Doucet sing his bilingual version before a Habs game at the Montreal Forum. The French stanzas were glorious, a loving tribute to Canada's epic history. Then he'd switch to a commanding, martial tone in English to "Stand on Guard." 

The mp3 recordings online don't quite capture the resonance. 


March 5th, 2014 at 9:41 AM ^

It seems like they all are having fun out there (except Horford obviously).  I think it is part of Beilein's offensive system that really allows them to play a controlled open ball.  They are all also encouraged to shoot.  Instilling confidence in your players to hit open shots is huge.

I remember last year when Beilein was asked about how athletic his team was, and he joked about practicing  alley oops.  It feels like a non stop highlight reel, and I think Ace's gifs each week confirm this.

I have to imagine that recruits would be excited about playing in an offense like this.  The fact that players have proven to get better, and he is sending players to the NBA at an amazing rate, seems that only good things can happen moving forward.


March 5th, 2014 at 12:13 PM ^

In this day and age nearly every college team has a player from a foreign country.  For example, the freaking starting center for Illinois, Nnanna Egwu, is from Nigeria.  I doubt he gives a crap but the fact remains that it's dumb as hell.

Oh and that whole thing where Stauskas drops a 25-foot bomb on your ass then gives you the stink-eye.


March 5th, 2014 at 5:09 AM ^

"This kid has shown such tremendous growth in just a year's time.  He has transformed from a corner shooter to a playmaking offensive machine."

So he was Just a Shooter last year? I disagree. Not Just a Shooter (TM) was prevalent last year as well for a reason. Obviously he's much improved though.


March 5th, 2014 at 6:27 AM ^

Nik had the tendency to sit in the corners last year and shoot threes. This season Nik ' s all around game is vastly different than it was a year ago. Nik was timid when going to the basketball more often than not last season. He could not fend off on ball defense and his handle was mediocre. This season he has greatly improved in all areas. Remember that Nik was held scoreless in games last season and was completely taken out of the title game. Good luck with that this year. He has developed quite a bit.


March 5th, 2014 at 5:44 AM ^

Im very anxious to see what he does in the NCAA tourney. He is the B10 player of the year but March is where you make a mark and leave your legacy. This is going to be fun to watch.


March 5th, 2014 at 5:55 AM ^

Nik said on post-game radio interview, when asked if LeBron's 61 inspired him, that a certain coach pointed out that LeBron had 8 three pointers

Stauskas is big  LeBron fan

I bet Bacari made the point


March 5th, 2014 at 7:06 AM ^

It definitely was Bacari. I remember watching an episode of The Journey earlier this season and Bacari was challenging Nik to make 7 (at a time when Stauskas's high had been 6 in a game), pointing out college players who had made 7 3s in a game this season and saying they were better than him.


March 5th, 2014 at 8:55 AM ^

I mean, ceiling, and he's probably not getting there, because Allen is a first-ballot hall of famer.  But I can't remember any other lights-out shooters from 3 who also have his playmaking ability.  Allen was famous for his work ethic, which Stauskas definitely seems to share.

And yes, I don't think it's a question that he's been better than Reddick, who really was "Just-a-Shooter" until his senior year.

The biggest thing Nik needs to get better at is consistent defense, if he wants to excel at the next level.  In the NBA, they'll find you if you're the weakest link on the floor.  When that happens enough, you find yourself playing a lot on bad teams, or on the bench of good ones.  He's got the size to defend on the wing, and it seems like he's added the strength.  At this point I think it's mostly about technique and consistency -- LeBron, hate him tho I do -- gives it at both end, and not one -- Bacari needs to remind him of that.  His shot is great -- time to practice something new!


March 5th, 2014 at 9:36 AM ^

I see Nik as more of a Reggie Miller type.  Not incredibly athletic, but can flat out shoot.  Reggie had a nice pull up game, and had some real nice up and under moves, and was top 5 in terms of being clutch.  Nik has a lot of the same type of moves, and I would love to see him develop a little bit of a post game.  But I see him as more of a Reggie type than a Ray Allen.


March 5th, 2014 at 10:59 AM ^

Reggie was similar in height, build & swag, and was a deadly shooter.  If you want to grab HOF players to compare Nik to,  he's the guy I think of.  Obviously Nik has a long, long way to go to become Reggie Miller, but I think that's the type of player he could be in the NBA if he maxes-out at the next level.


March 5th, 2014 at 7:12 AM ^

I still think GR III definitely leaves. He's putting his game together and looking more motivated. As someone who is basically going to be drafted on upside and athleticism, his draft stock is highest the sooner he leaves.

I also don't think it's a forgone conclusion that McGary comes back next year either. If he can get back to 100% for the combine and pre-draft camps, he could still be a late 1st/early 2nd round guy. He's another guy who is a year older than his eligibility would suggest, and entering the draft as a 23 or 24 year old is nba draft stock suicide.


March 5th, 2014 at 10:16 AM ^

Why does entering the draft as a 23 or 24 year old matter?  What do NBA teams care?  Draft him in the first round, sign him to a contract... he's going to be on that contract for several years (don't know the NBA/contracts)... and then he's going to sign another, either with you or another team.  His youth doesn't matter at all to the team that drafts him, does it?  It's not like he's going to be old coming off that first contract.