Gasaway: Stauskas, Robinson among college basketball’s best freshmen

Dylan Burkhardt
on

John Gasaway tabs Nik Stauskas at No. 3 and Glenn Robinson III at No. 9 while ranking the nation’s top freshmen:

3. Nik Stauskas, G, Michigan Wolverines
Stauskas is merely Michigan’s third option on offense, and you may think being rated the No. 3 freshman in the nation is disproportionate for a role player. In the abstract, I agree wholeheartedly, but exactly how much tribute do we give to a player who has helped his team’s offense to the very limit allowed by the sport itself? Stauskas has an offensive rating (152.8) that’s in another zip code, even better than that of Bennett (127.5) and Adams (122.8). He is a normal carbon-based player in only one facet of the game: Stauskas inside the arc with the clock running is a mere mortal. But if he’s at the line (89 percent) or, heaven help the opponent, 3-point range (64 percent), he’s Stauskasesque.

His numbers will correct downward, but the larger point is that for a second consecutive season, John Beilein has a freshman who arrived in Ann Arbor as a lightly regarded recruit, and who then promptly began stomping on opponents like Mothra. (Last time the freshman in question was named Trey Burke, who for his part has called Stauskas “probably the best shooter I’ve played with.”) Whether this keeps happening because of Beilein, the freshmen, the guys doing the rankings, or some combination of all of the above, remains to be seen. But if you’re a Michigan fan, what a great mystery to have to unravel.

Click through for the whole list, including Robinson’s write-up at number nine.

  • geoffclarke

    “His numbers will correct downward, but the larger point is that for a second consecutive season, John Beilein has a freshman who arrived in Ann Arbor as a lightly regarded recruit, and who then promptly began stomping on opponents like Mothra.” With Hardaway, that’s 3 consecutive seasons. I’ll put my vote in for Donnal next year right now.

  • Cary Bear
  • Lester Abram

    I think Walton and Irvin are showing strong improvements later in their high school careers. Beilein had them on his radar early though. I hope Donnal surprises me like Burke did.
    I expected Stauskas to be really good based on the videos I saw (the shooting was impressive, but the dribbling drills were really surprising), but I didn’t expect him to play with such swagger or confidence this early. GRIII is so good, i’m starting to already expect him to efficiently get a double/double.

    I hope Booker and Bluiett sign with big blue for 2014.

    • Steve2081

      I hope Booker does. Blueitt is still a secondary choice IMO.

      • Cary Bear

        he looked good on film to me. nice that a consensus top 50 sf is a secondary choice for us now. who is a better sf prospect that we still have on the table?

        • Steve2081

          He’s just not in my best case scenario class right now. I want Booker, Hatch, Edwards, and Doyle. Booker, Hatch, and Edwards can all play the 3 and at least 1 other position. I certainly wouldn’t complain if he committed though. Edwards wasn’t my first choice a month ago but he is now.

  • Chazer

    This kid can play the game and shoot the rock…and he knows its going down! As Johnny B would say….can of corn baby! Love the confidence, swagger and how its rubbed off on his teamates! Trey and others are looking for him on the break and Nik is automatic. Looks like JB and Big Blue are finding the right guys for his system, great job by the entire staff with these young men!

    Next year….as someone posted last week…..reload!!