Nik Stauskas Commits to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt
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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:
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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.

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Scouting

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.

ESPN:

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.

NBADraft.net:

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.

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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.

  • Chris

    hell yes

  • Beilein’s Swish

    Excellent! I really think he’s going to be a great addition to the team.

  • Evan

    i like it. great news for michigan fans expecially with all the talent coming out of canada these days

  • Brian W

    Sweet. Welcome, Nick. I’m looking forward to the class of 2012 getting on campus. Nick and Glenn Robinson III will bring a lot of game to Ann Arbor.

    Two commitments in two days. Awesome. Congrats to Coach Beilein and the assistant coaches.

  • Bluebufoon

    Wow– the future for Michigan basketball is really bright. Congrats to the staff I believe Stauskas is another Meyer recruit but either way the roster is really coming together. Now we can focus on the class of 2013– who would of though a year ago Beilein would now be prioritizing sophomores ?

    BTW Stauskas is going to be awesome in Beilein’s system. Much like Jon Scheyer at Duke.

    • Beast1530

      Still not over with recruiting 2012 class. I think there’s a pretty good chance of Darius Morris leaving after next season(JR year). I would think that PG would be a priority or they would take Hawkins if a spot opens up.

      • Mich Fan

        That’s one of the nice things with this new commitment, as Stauskas has the ball skills where he could play the point in a pinch, certainly as a back up to Burke and/or Brundidge, should Morris go pro and the need arise. For that reason I doubt you see this staff target another PG for 2012, even if Darius does turn pro, especially with all the very good PG and combo guard targets they are after in 2013.

        One constant you see with the guys Beilein likes to recruit is the versatility to play multiple positions.

  • Chris

    i was definitely nervous when kansas got involved. ever since i first started watching this kid I thought he was a perfect match. He’s got range, plays smart, and can actually put it on the floor and get to the rack. I expect to see both GRIII and Nick Stauskus to be on the ESPNU100 next season. beilein has done an excellent job. truly turning this program around.

    • Beilein’s Swish

      Is it true that Kansas pulled its offer? Maybe they didn’t give him a commitable offer. Still, the fact they were considering him is a good sign. I was surprised he didn’t sign up when he received his official offer, but glad the good guys got him.

      • Tim Kim

        Rivals and Scout aren’t showing a kansas offer, as far as I can see. I could be wrong though.

    • Evan

      I dont like tp [ut alot of emphasis on ratings but i think an 89 for this guy is really low and for some reason i feel better about the players when their rating is higher

  • Joe

    Love it!!! He is an ideal player for Beileien’s offense. Heck he is a great fit for any system. The kid can play!!!

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    Welcome to the family, Nick. Work hard and great things will happen.

  • http://maizecoloredglasses.blogspot.com/ the_white_tiger

    Wow, this is a great commitment! Excellent grab by Beilein and staff.

  • mat

    A 6’6 shooter who can handle the ball – yes!

    Morris–> Burke
    Douglass–>Stouskas
    Harris–>Hardaway
    Novak–>Vogrich
    Sims–>Smotrycz

    It’s almost as though Bielien has a vision for what he wants the roster to look like.

    • http://maizecoloredglasses.blogspot.com/ the_white_tiger

      I think you meant Morgan instead of Sims. Douglass and Novak will be gone (maybe more if they leave early) when Stauskas arrives.

      • mat

        I was referring generally to outgoing players between last year and next year (after which all the guys on the left are gone – unless Morris decides to stay). Morgan is in the same class as Smotrycz.

        It seems to me that Bielien has certain kind of players that he wants on his roster and is bringing in replacements as they depart.

  • ToBlav

    Welcome Nick. Considering my brackets are a wreck, it’s been a great couple days.

  • JimC

    Welcome Nick & Max!

  • Romeowolv

    ToBlav-

    Ditto. Besides my brackets being a complete disaster, last couple days have been awesome for hoops.

    Love Stauskas game. Love the idea of bigger type guards.

  • Mattski

    Fantastic. I regret it’s going to be so long again before we get to see these guys play.

  • aMaized

    Coach B has been looking for that wing slasher and now he has him. He reminds me of Mike Gansey

  • Joe

    This offense is going to be really fun to watch when you get several players on the court at the same time that can take their man off the dribble.

  • fresh

    more talent than beilein has ever had on any team is coming to michigan…….things are going to be really fun in ann arbor for a long time it seems

  • fresh

    hope that gr3 grows to 6’7 or 6’8 …………burke, brundidge, stauskas, gr3 and anybody else as a starting lineup in a few years has me really freaking jazzed up

    • Kenny

      4 very good ball handlers, with smotrysz at 5, very very difficult to defend.

  • Other Matt

    The scouting reports read like Diebler 2.0, which, like, yes please. But then I watched a couple of the videos and it seems like he’s got a better handle than Diebler. Regardless, I’d kind of expect a similar kind of game. Great 3 point shooter who will take you off the dribble and infuriate opponents.

  • Andy

    Does anyone know where he’s actually from? I keep seeing Canada, but isn’t Canada the second largest country in the world? I read in the NBE article that he said UM is close to home, so I’m assuming somewhere in Ontario?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      He’s from outside of Toronto but goes to prep school at St. Mark’s in Massachusetts.

      • Ben

        He lives near Toronto which is about 5 hours from AA which I think played a role.

  • Ken in Vegas

    Wow! 2 recent commits for the bball team and 2 recent commits for the fball team. Great few days.

  • Tweeter

    omg omg omg omg! This is amazing! I screamed like a little girl when I opened the page and saw this news. What a terrific recruit to land. Congrats Nik, cant wait to see you in the Maize and Blue!

  • DutchWolverine

    At the 1:30 mark of the second video it looks like he is going up against a middle school team. All the defenders look 12 yrs old. Seriously though…great get for JB.

  • j-turn14

    Dylan, I think we should spell his name the way he does (on his fb page). ;)

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      His dad told me that the proper spelling is Nik… So who knows.

      • stauent

        The spelling of his name is Nikolas Stauskas (Lithuanian). So, the correct short form would be Nik, but Nik doesn’t like it and spells his own name as Nick. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. Nobody will be offended at either spelling.

        Just to clear up any other lingering misconceptions that have been posted on ESPN, etc – He is a legit 6’6″ in bare feet. He is 205 lbs. As far as the 106 ranking goes, he outplayed and outscored his top 10 ranked teammates all year, so make up your own mind what he should really be ranked.

  • Kenny

    Great news

    Guess that this summer will be very quiet. No european trip, No scholarship left for 2012 ( at least if Morris stays next year have to wait for spring 2012). Maybe a few names pops out for 2013, but has only two scholarships on paper. We need a big and a PG.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      With Darius testing the water, that means he’s almost assuredly gone next year. So that means you probably have another scholarship.

      • Kenny

        I agree that there will likely another for 2012 but only for a spring signee.

  • Marvin

    Just from watching these few videos I am extremely encouraged to see that he uses his range to really open up his slashing game. I love shooters who get to the rack. He looks good finishing with either hand. If he grows another inch or two he could be a super freak.

  • Paul

    I wonder if Michigan is recruiting Ryskamp for 2013. Seems to be a beast in the making: http://www.detnews.com/article/20110326/SPORTS05/103260411/1049/Class-C–Sophomore-stars-as-Schoolcraft-makes-up-for-2009

    • Tweeter

      I only caught the first quarter of this game, but the kid on McBain looked pretty good for a sophomore as well (Larr). However, I would add that the defense in the first quarter on both sides was pretty sub par. Schoolcraft ran a 3/4 court trap and gave up a ton of open threes and easy post up looks. While McBain seemed to be running a mix of man and zone but neither was anything that could stop penetration.

  • gpsimms

    woooooo! i love how all the scouting reports are “wet jumper this, and wet jumper that” but all the video is just his taking fools to the rack.

    too bad he might never play with tim and darius. If we could just get those two to stay for another year, i think we would be sick sick sick, like n.c. sick in nik/GR’s freshman year.

    • gpsimms

      so everyone plays the comparison game. i just finished all the videos:

      jake kelly. remember the sweet guard that won some games for iowa last year? then transferred to indiana state. anyway, he had some streetball in him that really looked similar to the way stauskas handles the ball.

      my memory is that he wasn’t a great shooter, though, and stauskas appears to be good at that.

      i looked up kelly, and he had a pretty mediocre year with indiana state, who, in the tournament, looked to have a surprising number of pretty athletic white dudes on their team, one of which had a pretty formidable chin beard.

      • jacksimms

        so, gp, how do you answer the internet claim that beilein has totally neglected chin beard potential in his recruiting classes?

  • grandchamp

    YESSSSSSSS, this kid is an absolute stud. Hail to the victors!!!!! Go Blue!!!!!!!!!!

  • Paul F.

    Like Nik’s game. A great catch.

  • ScottGoBlue

    Wow, well done M coaching staff! I wondered whether Stauskas would hurry up and snatch that last scholarship, but never imagined it would be this fast. Very good news.

    Follow-up on a previous comment of mine about minutes next year. Here’s the breakdown of minutes this year (from Mgoblue.com’s statistics)
    – 35.0 Z.Novak
    – 34.8 D.Morris
    – 30.7 T.Hardaway
    – 30.4 S.Douglass
    – 24.0 J.Morgan
    – 17.8 E.Smotrycz
    – 14.0 M.Vogrich
    – 6.8 J.Horford
    – 5.4 B.McLimans
    – 4.7 C.Christian

    After looking at the raw numbers and the roster make-up, I’ve changed my mind a bit. I think the frosh guards (Burke, Brundidge) will get some minutes, though still not a bunch. These are my best guess for minutes next year, rounded high to show what we should expect overall.

    1: Morris (35), Burke (5)
    2: Novak (15), Douglass (15), Brundidge/Burke (10)
    3: Hardaway (30), Vogrich (10)
    4: Smotrycz (25), Novak (10)
    5: Morgan (20), Horford (20)

    Changes from this year:
    – Douglass loses his minutes at the 1 to Burke, and some minutes at the 2 to Burke and Brundidge.
    – Horford splits the 5 with Morgan, Smotrycz rarely plays the 5

    Notably
    – Novak still plays the 4 from time to time as a change-of-pace. It gives us a different look that opposing teams have a hard time adjusting to. Like it or not, he can play effective minutes at the 4 despite the size disadvantage (3 years of doing it should convince you), and most opposing 4’s will give up 3-balls trying to defend him. Plus, he’s still the “Glue Guy” on this team, so having him on the court has a positive effect that doesn’t always show up in his stat line (just everyone else’s stat lines).
    – McLimans and Christian are getting squeezed out. I have a hard time seeing how they’ll break into the rotation. Maybe with those last 5 minutes at the 4-spot.
    – Bielfeldt probably redshirts because there won’t be minutes for him and it would be a waste of a year NOT to give him a redshirt.

    • Mith

      Good point about the squeezing. We have 10 guys getting minutes and then are adding 2 or 3(depending on redshirts) next year. There is no way 12 or 13 guys are going to get regular minutes. I think McLimans or Christian or both will see the writing on the wall and end up transferring.

      Even with some possible NBA attrition, we are setting up to be a solid, deep team for the next couple years at least.

      • Kenny

        1, Smotrysz will play some 5, he is the only one in the group that has range and can put the ball on the floor, and his progress in playing post at the end of the season is obvious.
        2. Having 10+ players rotation, Beilein will change line-ups depending on the opponents. Christian is a good defender and rebounder at 4, I like his chance of playing time against players such as Basabe, he rarely take a shot but the one he took in the first game against MSU actually went in. Maybe a good sign that he will have some decent mid-range game.
        3. No question that Horford will come back taller and stronger and has the highest ceiling among our bigs. but he still need to bring an offensive game, refine his pick and roll moves, improves his FT and jumper shot to get more than 10 minutes of playing time.
        4. Do not write McLimans off yet. Many has written Vogrich off after his first year, but he came back become the spot up shooter he suppose to and a fierce rebounder and hustler. There is no reason that McLimans can do the same, as Beilein repeatedly praised his performance in practice. From his body language on the bench, I don’t think that he is the type that will get frustrated and transfer.
        5. Burke, if he is a good lock-down defender as advertised, he could take a chunk of Stu’s minutes.
        6. Brundidge might have a tougher transition than Burke into the team offense but he could be used when the shooters are not clicking.

        • http://www.offtackleempire.com GregGoBlue

          Agreed re:many points.

          The thing that Horford needs to improve most is his defense, especially screen recognition. I expect him to be greatly improved by next year and get some quality minutes at the 5. Beilein continually praises him as a “sponge” and as a player who “wants to learn”. As Coach BA reminded us in the WTKA interview: “his last play of the season was an emphatic 2-handed dunk in the lane.” You’re going to see a lot more of Horford in the coming years.

          It’ll be interesting to see what Smotrycz’s role will be next year, as the coaches mentioned focusing him more in the offseason exclusively at the 4, rather than splitting time between the 4 and the 5 as we saw towards the end of this season. It may depend on the emergence of Horford next season, but I agree that we may see Smotrycz at the 5 when Beilein wants to go small and really stretch the floors with a bunch of shooters.

        • Bill

          I agree with McLimans. He can shoot and for a guy with his size he can be a valuable weapon. He started showing more confidence when he got in later in the year. Most of his shots came up short which indicates he was a little lacking in confidence. Once he gets more comfortable out there whe should have a 4 or 5 man rotation at the 4-5 spots which would be great depth and can make a huge difference over a season.
          Vogrich needs to continue to improve on shooting on the run and the mid range game since he isn’t gonna get shots off when guarded tight.

          The best thing we will have going is experience and a smart team that plays together.

          • JD

            Blake was 1 for 19 from 3 and 12 for 21 inside the arc. He needs to start playing like a big man to have success, I think.

          • JD

            He had a nice post-up basket against dook. I’d like to see him stick to the paint.

          • Bill

            I just think McLimans gives a different look and gives teams one more thing to think about. And I think his shooting will improve. We already give teams match up problems Izzo said so about Evan after both games so did coach K. I think all of these guys together make us tough since we can give teams a lot of different looks. Horford inside Morgan in the lane and McLimans give us a guy who can hit from 10 to 15 feet.

        • ScottGoBlue

          Kenny, I love your enthusiasm for each and every player, but at the end of the day there are 200 minutes to divvy up. 60+ are gone between Morris and Hardaway alone. Probably safe to assume Novak, Smotrycz, and Morgan will be good for 20 each (probably more). Conservatively, that leaves 80 minutes for the other 8 guys.

          This year, Horford and McLimans and Christian barely ever played, and all three averaged about 5 minutes per game. So the threshold for contributing this year was about 15 minutes (Vogrich, Smotrycz). Since we won’t lose anyone, it’s hard to imagine McLimans AND Christian AND Horford AND Burke getting substantial minutes next year. There will be games and situations where guys are called on, sure, but overall there isn’t that much PT to be had next year.

          • Kenny

            I am not saying that they will each play 10+ minutes per game but each brings some unique game to the table and possibly will see more actions in some games. A good team needs a bunch of role players contributing in the practices and coming off the benched when needed.

  • matt d

    This is a big pickup for Michigan, Stauskus is the definition of underrated. I’ve seen him play twice in person, and a ton of film. The only thing that prevents his recruiting rankings from giving him a universal 4 star is questions about his athleticism……….the 2 times I’ve seen him play in person he actually seemed to have above average jumping ability(will be average in college), and while he isn’t the quickest player on the court laterally, I think he moves his feet better than Vogrich for example. He can shoot the hell out of the ball, handles it well, passing ability is amazing, and finishes with both hands in the lane.

    I am so pumped for this kid to suit up for M, I actually think he can play PG for us, I think his passing ability at his height can change a game. Our talent level will be significantly improved over the next 2 years assuming DMo(at least sticks around for next year) and THJ are around. I truly believe we’ll be competing at a National Level.

    • YpsiTuckyBoy

      I’m not really concerned about his athleticism. When you’ve got the hops, you’ve probably got the ability to increase your lateral quickness. I’d assume that Stauskas probably doesn’t have a world-class strength and conditioning program at St. Marks like they have at Michigan, so I’m sure he’ll improve by leaps and bounds (pun intended). He already looks much quicker on film than Vogrich/Stu/Novak looked. And when you’re 6’5″ and blowing by guards that are shorter than you, it’s a good sign.

  • JimC

    Freep article today says DMo entering his name in the NBA draft as an underclassman, but not hiring an agent. He’s testing his draft status.
    Should we worry?

  • YpsiTuckyBoy

    I wonder if everyone will insist on comparing him to some white player from here on out (Gansey, Diebler, etc). Why can’t he be compared to Lester Abrams, etc?

    • Quick Darshan

      This is another white player, but how about Nick Fazekas?

      • Quick Darshan

        Whoops. Meant Calathes.

    • JB…

      I was thinking the same thing. How about a smaller Shawn Bradley with a better outside shot haha.

      • Trevor

        I think he most closely resembles Snow.

        #RacialSemiotics #Informer

    • Other Matt

      I compared him to Diebler because that seemed to me to be a reasonable (read: not breathless) comparison of what we could expect from him in his senior year. Outstanding 3 point shooting and the ability to take people off the dribble. If he turned into Lester Abram, that would be a huge disappointment. The highlight videos show that Stauskas is a better athlete than Diebler. If you’re hung up on white-guy to white-guy comparisons, how about a comparison to Tim Hardaway Jr? Good athlete, can take you off the dribble, outstanding shooter.

  • stayhungry

    Well, considering Abram was always hurt, they probably don’t want to compare him with Abram.

    Usually when comparing a commit to another player, there’s a little wishful thinking involved. Who would want to hope that Stauskus ends up like Abram?

    • jmblue

      What happened to Abram, anyway? I can’t find any information on his post-college career.

  • http://www.offtackleempire.com GregGoBlue

    YES!! Welcome Nik to the Maize N’ Blue family!!

  • Evan

    O Canada

  • Steve

    Wow, have things turned around for UM Hoops or what?, I really believe our new assistants are much better recruiters than the old ones & Coach B can bring a 3* in & make him a really solid player!, Coach B has a great eye for talent. Next year could be really special!

    • Bill

      I agree these guys look like they can coach too. It’s not just coach B.

  • Kainkitizen

    2013 is a recruiting year for 2 bigs.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I think you will almost certainly see a point guard in that class and there are some good ones in Michigan.

      Then there are wings like Haney, Irvin and Hatch.

      Not a lot of big man names out there – Edwards, Lamb, etc – so it will be interesting. Michigan gives out 2013 offers on June 15th so it will be interesting to see how things go this summer.

  • Dford

    We cleaning up, I haven’t felt this hype since we got Rob Traylor, Mo Taylor, and Lou Bullock and we stole Travis Conlan. This is great, Beilien is cashing in on the success as opposed to last year, where as this year they were successful playing team ball and was able to put Beilien system on full display garnering the full attention of these high level recruits, who wanna be coached up by this great staff. Nik and Max, great gets and throwing the big dog jr. in the mix on top of Trey and CB to sprinkle in with what we have in Hardaway (if he doesn’t go pro), Smot, vogrich and Morgan, WOW… I love the direction of this program, the character and talent of the recruits and Beiliens knack for getting under the radar recruits who he can mold and shape and turn into stars like the genius he is proving to be! Get use to the tournament life ladies and gents because we are gonna be representing for a while and in year or two we may be cutting nets down as Champions, outstanding… Welcome Nik!!!

  • Brian W

    Bloomberg has an article on basketball recruiting spending for the 2010 fiscal year. Kentucky spent the most at $434,095. Wisconsin spent the least amount at $57,397.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-25/kentucky-wins-ncaa-basketball-championship-in-spending-to-recruit-players.html

    • JimC

      I wonder if KY’s spending is more a function of John Calipari…

      • Brian W

        I think it’s more a function of what the school emphasizes. AOL published the following article last June, comparing what is spent on basketball versus football. Duke, Kentucky and Kansas spent more on basketball in relation to football than others in their conferences. The stats are from 2008-09, and Michigan spent almost 25% of the amount that they spent on football for basketball.

        http://www.aolnews.com/2010/06/30/conference-breakdown-table/

  • http://umhoops.com Wayman Britt

    Great News! Welcome Nik. The thing I like about Nik is that he is just not a three point specialist. He can drive to the basket. This is just flat out great.

    Man, I can’t tell you how excited, proud and happy I am about the UM basketball program. The last ten or so years before Beilein have been extremely difficult times for hoops fans. To be honest it was hard to remain positive, but now times are a changin.

  • Mattiz

    Man, you can really see the quality of the recruits coming to Michigan picking up. Although Stauskas is a 3-star recruit, the big-time offers that he has makes it seem like he’s at least a low four-star recruit. Kansas doesn’t send offers to just any player.

    Anyways, our depth chart is looking real nice for next year and years following. Can’t wait to see Burke and Brundidge.

  • Bill

    Well there are 2 final four teams that are not filled with 4 and 5 star recruits. A good system and depth can take you a long way so as we get more experience there is no reason we can’t be a contender. And these guys are hungry.

  • Kainkitizen

    By the end of Nik and Lil Dog’s senior seasons, Both of them should at least be top 75 maybe top 50 if all things go extremely well for both of them this summer and next season. Right now, they are top 150. I see a big jump for both of them when their class gets re-ranked. When does that happen? Is it during the summer?

  • stauent

    I wouldn’t put too much faith in any ranking service. Most of them have some basis in fact, but the top 150 positions are very politically motivated. Its all about who you know, how hard your coach politics for you and aboce all, who you stroke. When Nik outplayed and outscored his two 5-star, 97+ ranked teammates ALL SEASON LONG, why doesn’t his rank go up anywhere? If the you outperform the 8th ranked player in the country (at the same position) going to Duke, why would you still be ranked 100 positions below him? Beleive me when I tell you Michigan got a far better player than Duke did.

    • JimC

      Well said.

      • Justin

        Who’s the Duke ’12?

        • KRN

          Alex Murphy.

          He wears #5 in Stauskas’s high school highlight film.

    • KJay

      Stauent–Do you know if Nik is still growing? I’d seen that he grew from 5’10” to 6’6″ over the last few years, which probably means that his athleticism will only increase as he develops into his new frame. If he ends up an inch or two taller he will only be more dominant than I already expect him to be.

  • stauent

    It appears that he is still growing. I don’t think he’ll get to 6′ 9″, but 6′ 7″ is realistic. He just turned 17 in October, so if he’s like any normal male, he has another 2 years or so of possible growth.

    • Kenny

      Interesting. Do you think that Alex Murphy is ranked higher because of his size? Both are listed as small forward, do they play him and Stauskas together at St. Marks?

      • Kenny

        watched some of Murphy’s highlight, he is definitely stronger and looks much more grown up than Stauskas but the latter has much better handle.

  • stauent

    Murphy is about 2″ and 15 lbs heavier than Nik. He also has a wingspan about 3 inches longer too. They both start and play on the floor at the same time. Nik plays 2/3 and Murphy plays 3/4 most of the time.

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what position the ranking services think you play, its what you do when you’re out on the floor that matters. Murphy is a great player – no doubt. Nik just happens to be better. If Nik outplayed him once or twice you could say he got lucky. But, when it happened in 80% of the games they played its no longer called luck.

    • KJay

      Good stuff stauent, thanks. Nik was on the top of my wish list. By the time he steps on the court at UM in 18 months or so, I think everyone will realize what a big time player he is.

  • http://umhoops.com Amp Gram

    Also remember that summer camps and AAU tournaments factor in to rankings. I know that Nik is originally from Canada, which may have limited his exposure. Ranking of talent is getting younger and younger; as early as seventh grade. Higher ranking prospects may have just got an earlier jump on Nik; because his talent is undeniable!! Kansas noticed and jumped on the bandwagon. Plus they had a scholarship to offer, which is typical of the “elite programs” who have more “one and done” players. That’s probably one of the biggest advantages that “elite programs” have over the “up and coming programs” (scholarship vacancies and notoriety).

  • http://umhoops.com Amp Gram

    That kid from Ohio (Trey Burke) is going to be a great college basketball player!! and thats coming from an admitted biased person, who has a difficult time admitting that great players can’t come from anywhere, but Detroit/SE Michigan!! Even when players have all the talent and athleticism in the world, heart and determination trumps the other two 8 out of 10 times!!!